Category Archives: Counterjihad

Drug Warriors

Not anti-drug warriors, but warriors who are blitzed on barbituates, high on hash, strung out on smack, crazed on cocaine. According to Dr. Paul Rexton Kan:

From marijuana, khat, hallucinogenic mushrooms, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine to looted pharmaceuticals, irregular fighters have found a ready supply of narcotics to consume for a variety of combat purposes. Such consumption has led to unpredictable fighting, the commission of atrocities, and to the prolongation of internal violence. The presence of intoxicated combatants will continue to be a feature of armed conflict and requires a fuller accounting to adequately prepare policymakers and military planners for future conflicts…

h/t: Small Wars Journal Blog

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Must Read on the Global Counterinsurgency

Jonathan Morgenstein & Eric Vickland have written a must-read article at Small Wars Journal. They propose a way to recast the GWOT as a Global Insurgency that must be countered.

We have distilled the keys to a successful counterinsurgency down to five equally vital pillars: 1) targeted military force and security, 2) intelligence, 3) law enforcement and the rule of law, 4) information operations, and 5) civil affairs and development. Taken together, these five pillars constitute the essential framework needed to guide America’s post 9-11 national security policy. It must be understood that this is distinctly not a military policy, nor a policy to guide the Department of Defense (DoD). This is a National Security Policy, for which we must re-focus the entire national security and foreign policy apparatus. This is a doctrine that must provoke reforms not only in the DoD, but also the Department of State (DoS), USAID, a re-established US Information Agency (USIA), and across the intelligence community. […]Current national security policy puts America at risk by minimizing individual components of this doctrine and overemphasizing only the first pillar, targeted military force.

Read it all.

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I didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition

Vox Day talks about the real Spanish Inquisition, that killed about 800 people over 300 years.

The Spanish Inquisition, which began in 1481, cannot be understood without recognizing the significance of this epic 771-year struggle between Christians and Muslims over the Spanish peninsula. What took the great Berber Gen. Tariq ibn Zayid only eight years to conquer on behalf of the Umayyad Caliphate required almost 100 times as long to regain, and neither King Ferdinand II of Aragon nor his wife, Queen Isabella of Castile, was inclined to risk any possibility of having to repeat the grand endeavor. Isabella, in particular, was concerned about reports of conversos, purported Christians who had pretended to convert from Judaism but were still practicing their former religion. This was troubling, as it was reasonable to assume that those who were lying about their religious conversion were also lying about their loyalty to the united crowns and it was widely feared that Jews were again encouraging Muslim leaders to attempt the recapture of al-Andalus, as they had its original capture eight centuries before. (“It remains a fact that the Jews, either directly or through their coreligionists in Africa, encouraged the Mohammedans to conquer Spain.” The Jewish Encyclopedia (1906). Vol XI, 485.)

An investigation was commissioned, and the reports were verified, at which point the Spanish monarchs asked Pope Sixtus IV to create a branch of the Roman Inquisition that would report to the Spanish crown. The pope initially refused, but when Ferdinand threatened to leave Rome to its own devices should the Turks attack, he reluctantly acceded and issued “Exigit Sinceras Devotionis Affectus” on Nov. 1, 1478, a papal bull establishing an inquisition in Isabella’s Kingdom of Castile. One tends to get the impression that Ferdinand was less than deeply concerned about the potential converso threat and may have even been acting primarily to mollify his wife, as he promptly made use of this hard-won new authority to do absolutely nothing for the next two years. Then, on Sept. 27, 1480, the first two inquisitors, Miguel de Morillo and Juan de San Martín, were named, the first tribunal was created, and by Feb. 6, 1481, six false Christians had been accused, tried, convicted and burned in the Spanish Inquisition’s first auto da fé.

What happened in between November 1478 and September 1480 to inspire this sudden burst of action? While historians such as Henry Kamen pronounce themselves baffled as to what could have provoked the Spanish crown, the most likely impetus was that on July 28, three months before Ferdinand’s decision to appoint the two inquisitors, a Turkish fleet led by Gedik Ahmed Pasha attacked the Aragonese city of Otranto. Otranto fell on Aug. 11, and more than half of the city’s 20,000 people were slaughtered during the sack of the city. The archbishop was killed in the cathedral, and the garrison commander was killed by being sawed in half, alive, as was a bishop named Stephen Pendinelli. But the most infamous event was when the captured men of Otranto were given the choice to convert to Islam or die; 800 of them held to their Christian faith and were beheaded en masse at a place now known as the Hill of the Martyrs. The Turkish fleet then went on to attack the cities of Vieste, Lecce, Taranto and Brindisi and destroyed the great library at the Monastero di San Nicholas di Casole before returning to Ottoman territory in November.

It is one of the great ironies of history that three times more people died in the forgotten event that almost surely inspired the Spanish Inquisition than died in the famous flames of the inquisition itself.

Fascinating.

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Coughlin Redux

The guys at Augean Stables closely read Stephen Coughlin’s thesis and highlight some of the best parts. Read it all.

Since neither tough cop nor nice cop will work with the current dynamics of apocalyptic violence that our ignorance has fostered, it seems that we need a fundamental change in our approach to the current thrash of cultures which has become so much more violent since 2000. And rather than swinging wildly from nice cop (PCP, Current Approach) to tough cop (HJP, Coughlin approach), we need to have our nice cops cease being dupes of demopaths, start listening to the tough cops, and ask — gently — some hard questions of all those Islamic “moderates” who promote a dialogue designed primarily to keep us in ignorance. If we can’t tell the difference between Muslim demopaths and real moderates, we are, indeed, preparing a terrible war further down the pike. Si vis pacem, para bellum.

In other, good news, we pass on the report that Stephen Coughlin is not being fired from the DOD, but is transferring from one department to another and is arguably being promoted. Included is an extract from a statement by Rep. Sue Myrick of NC

I decided to vet this matter personally. I met with Members of the House and Senate, Pentagon officials, and even Major Coughlin himself. Major Coughlin told me that he has had a great working relationship with the Joint Staff and that he did not believe there was any conspiracy to remove him from his position. In fact, he was already planning to leave the Joint Staff at the end of his contract. Lest the rumors persist, Major Coughlin will be associated with another office program within the Office of the Secretary of Defense where he will continue to spread his message.

Rep. Myrick continues:

One clear point that emerges from this issue: Major Coughlin’s thesis must be read by everyone responsible for ensuring the safety of America. If we fail to emerge victorious, our radical enemy threatens to establish fascist, Taliban-style governments in many parts of the world. These would be constructed around a system of rules so severe that women are forced to be second-class citizens- as in Taliban-era Afghanistan. In such a society, I would be put to death for writing this piece. In order to ensure that the ideals of our founders persist into the next generation, Americans must be willing to confront the enemy head-on—and be smart about it.

Hallelujah. Amen!

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Must Read: Success in Irregular Warfare

Sam Holliday writes on the challenges posed by, and responses demanded by, the Global Jihad against the non-Muslim nations of the world (or any other Global guerrilla movement).

We have strategies for achieving victory in conventional war and strategies for achieving agreement in peace. We need strategies capable of maintaining stability through equilibrium in irregular warfare. The Department of Defense has the military and hard power of war and the Department of State has the diplomats and soft power of peace. We need career personnel — not confined by the war or peace dichotomy — dedicated to all aspects of internal security when insurgents are attempting to weaken or overthrow those in authority. […]

We need to improve our ability to develop and implement foreign policies for the current conflict. However, more than the “soft power” and increased funding of the State Department suggested by Gates is needed. The threat of the global Islamic revivalist movement (Third Jihad) has brought to our attention the fallacy of the war and peace duality. We must now think in terms of a war-irregular warfare-peace trilogy. During policy formulation we must think of three subdivisions of conflict and cooperation — each having unique means, strategies, tactics, methods and techniques. [emphasis mine] Since the rise of the nation-state the focus has been on external security, resulting in the reality of irregular warfare being slighted. Also, irregular warfare presents some unique hurdles for the United States. In the eighteenth century it was assumed that that we would exist in relative isolation, and would never want to use the military for internal security.

It is true that “we must focus our energies beyond the guns and steel of the military,” as Gates suggests; however, he fails to say what is needed: policies and strategies for stability through equilibrium. In other words, we need to create self-regulating systems that maintain internal stability through coordinated responses to any internal disruptions or input from its external environment. The goal of stability is to maintain a climate of order and satisfaction through a process of reciprocal and endless interactions that avoid the extremes of both status quo and chaos.

A Department of Stability?
Today there are two broad contending views regarding policy formulation and implementation for irregular warfare:

1. Focus the military on conventional war against the armed forces of other states and focus the Foreign Service on diplomacy and negotiations to avoid war, while muddling through irregular warfare.
2. Recognize irregular warfare as being distinctive from both war and peace by creating a new Department of Stability with career personnel dedicated to irregular warfare.

[first view deleted…]

The second view places responsibility for irregular warfare in a single department. With the Defense Department focused on war fighting and the State Department focused on diplomacy, a Stability Department could focus on (1) separation of hirabahists (evildoers using terror) from other Muslims; (2) strategic communication to increase support for our actions and weaken support for our enemies; (3) uniting the enemies of our enemies with our allies and friends into an alliance of the willing; and (4) implementing the tasks (methods and tactics) for achieving stability through equilibrium and neutralizing hirabahists. Such changes in structures and processes would be the most efficient way to develop policies regarding irregular warfare.

Very interesting. Read it all.

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All eyes on Baitullah Mehsud

It is time for some news from the Far End of the World, the region that touches the sky where the Pashtun tribes live between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Baitullah Mehsud, the rising young al-Quaeda/Taliban commander who has been accused of responsibility for the assassination/murder of Benazir Bhutto, is all of a sudden very popular with the Pakistani military, which is seeking him out in order to kill him as dead as vulture vomit, and then kill him some more. It is possible that some want the military to capture him first. Judging from what seems to happen to captured Taliban commanders (free and clear after a little bribe), I’m against capture. Mehsud, who captured five Christians recently, has freed the the Christians under intense political pressure.

Mullah Abdul Salaam, the former Taliban commander and governor of Uruzgan province, who recently joined the government and helped NATO retake Musa Qala, has been made the district chief of Musa Qala.

Pakistan is on alert over the Shiite holy month of Moharram, which will reach its peak observance on Jan 20.

It’s questionable whether this is really information from Afghanistan or Pakistan, but it is about a man of Pakistani heritage who was headed to Afghanistan to go on Jihad. Britain has jailed Sohail Qureshi, a London dentist who had his mind set on going to Afghanistan and joining the Taliban in order to kill NATO soldiers (including British soldiers). The sentence is 4 1/2 years, but he’s likely to be out in one year. Now that’s multiculti punishment for you! Going to war against your own country is the most clear, unambiguous example of treason possible. One year in jail for treason! When did they stop hanging people for treason again?

Iran is beginning to expel its Afghan refugees, many of whom have been in Iran since the Soviet invasion of 1979 or were born in Iran. Afghanistan is pleading for Iran to hold off. This is the middle of winter after all.

Now this is good news! Islamic political parties are losing their appeal for voters in Pakistan.

British special forces stationed in Taliban-infested Helmand province (where most of the Heroin comes from), kept up their spirits on Christmas by patrolling in Santa hats.

But as they neared the final mile of their patrol, almost five hours after they set out, every man who had one swapped his helmet for a Santa hat. Armed with heavy machine guns, mortars and grenade launchers, the men continued through a derelict bazaar, grinning like children, but looking like a violent Father Christmas audition.

China is going into copper mining near Kabul.

All that remains from Soviet attempts in the 1970s to assess one of the world’s biggest copper reserves is exploratory drill holes.

But in five years time, if all goes to plan, the landscape in the Aynak exploration area will finally be changed into one of the world’s largest open cast mines thanks to a $3bn investment by the China Metallurgical Group Corporation (MCC).

And finally, a traveling exhibition of ancient artworks from Afghan’s pre-Islamic past has found its way to Amsterdam, and in May will begin a 17-month tour of the USA. Time magazine gives an overview.

The Amsterdam exhibition presents 250 objects from four archaeological sites — Tepe Fullol, Ai Khanum, Tillya-tepe, and Begram — dating back as far as 4,000 years ago. It includes gold and silver vases from the Bactrian Bronze Age; a Greek limestone pillar and sundials from the 2nd century BC; Indian-related ivory figures and furniture from the 1st century AD; and a spectacular gold collection from Tillya-Tepe that includes bracelets, hearts, a crown, and even a pair of golden shoe soles meant to convey an aristocrat’s disinclination for walking.

But just as Afghanistan’s geography invited cultural influence, so too did it draw a sequence of invasion and conquest that has put the country’s heritage in constant peril. The Taliban’s destruction of art was the culmination of years of catastrophe visited on the National Museum, and the extraordinary story of how the surviving art got here is as much part of the exhibit as the art itself.

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Afghanistan expels footloose UN and EU staffers for visiting with the Taliban

It is time for some news from the Far End of the World, the region that touches the sky where the Pashtun tribes live between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has asked a staffer from the UN and one from the EU to leave the country. If the pair hadn’t had diplomatic immunity they would have been arrested. One of the pair is a Briton from Northern Ireland, and the other is from Ireland. Which one is from which NGO is not yet known. It also seems likely they have connections to British Intelligence. Apparently the two were wondering around in Helmand province talking to Taliban elements and otherwise threatening the national security of Afghanistan. UN spokesman Aleem Siddique claims this is a “storm in a teacup.” Judging by an article Siddique wrote for Australian ABC last week, the UN was “reaching out to groups hitherto involved in the insurgency,” presumably without Afghan government approval. The beeb ties these talks to drug eradication efforts in Helmand. The Telegraph confirms the report and adds that British Intelligence (MI6) has been holding secret talks with the Taliban, contrary to explicit denials from new Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Note that Siddique has a semi-famous, 5-star quality quote at ThinkExist.com.

We condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms and hope that the perpetrators will be brought to justice swiftly.

So he’s the guy who said that! I would have thought that was a line from Casablanca. </sarcasm>

Across the line in Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto has been busy identifying the elephant in the room.

Speaking to about 25,000 supporters near her ancestral home in the southern town of Larkana, she also renewed accusations the government had done nothing to stop militant violence.

“They always try to stop democratic forces but don’t make any effort to check extremists, terrorists and fanatics,” she told a rally at a cricket stadium, two days after a suicide bomber killed nearly 50 worshippers in a mosque.

Bhutto said President Pervez Musharraf had spoken of the need to reform religious schools, or madrasas, but had done nothing. She said she respected genuine religious schools. […]

“Then there are the political madrasas, the political madrasas that teach their pupils how to make bombs, how to use rifles and how to kill women, children and the elderly.”

God bless her and keep her alive long enough to make a difference. Also, God please help guide her towards true morality so she does not once again rob her country blind if she gains office.

A dozen Jihadists belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen surrendered in Jammu and Kashmir. This is the sort of thing that the political attempts to speak to the Taliban in Afghanistan are trying to create: Cracks in the alliances between the Taliban, various Jihad organizations, and al Qaeda. The problem is that al-Qaeda is a revolutionary vanguard that spins off cells and subsidiary organizations like a semi-truck tire throws off pebbles. A different name is no guarantee of any meaningful difference in goals, methods, or morals.

But it is, like the 40% drop in cross-border attackers from Pakistan into Afghanistan, an indication of progress.

On the other hand, Afghan intelligence agents near the Pakistani border arrested a 50 year old foreign woman who was transporting a bomb-vest in her burka to be detonated by someone else. In this case foreign means Pakistani.

Recently some bomb-makers in Afghanistan have begun to defile corpses by placing bombs in them.

The British Army Field Hospital at Camp Bastion is doing impressive work, though the treatment of the Taliban is a step too far.

2500 tons of Afghan opiates (mostly heroin) are getting into Iran every year, 25% of which stay in Iran. The rest is going through Iran in the direction of Europe.

The India Times reports that al-Qaeda poses a threat to Musharraf’s life. Duh!

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