Ideas to Guide Us in the Long War Against Islamic Extremism

(Washington Post) David Petraeus - It is increasingly apparent that ungoverned spaces in a region stretching from West Africa through the Middle East and into Central Asia will be exploited by Islamic extremists who want to establish sanctuaries in which they can enforce their extremist version of Islam and from which they can conduct terrorist attacks. It is also apparent that the attacks of such extremists will not be confined to the areas in which they are located. Rather, as in the case of Syria, the actions of the extremist groups are likely to spew violence far beyond their immediate surroundings, posing increasingly difficult challenges for our European allies and even our homeland. It is also increasingly clear that, in responding to these challenges, U.S. leadership is imperative. If the United States does not lead, it is unlikely that another country will. Moreover, no group of other countries can collectively approach U.S. capabilities. The path the U.S. and coalition partners pursue has to be comprehensive and not just a narrow counter-terrorism approach. More than precision strikes and special operations raids are needed. It is clear that the U.S.-led effort will have to be sustained for what may be extended periods of time. While aspirational timelines for reductions in our efforts may have some merit, it is clear from our experiences that premature drawdowns can result in loss of the progress for which we sacrificed greatly - and may result in having to return to a country. The writer is a retired U.S. Army general who commanded coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and served as CIA director.

2016-04-21 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive