Until they impose



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Islam defeated Crusaders (1280), into Balkans, gates of Vienna (1683); by 1914 was poor, weak, colonized; by 1990s Western alliances shielded Turkey/Pakistan, defended Saudi Arabia/Kuwait, freed Bosnia/Kosovo

  • Islam defeated Crusaders (1280), into Balkans, gates of Vienna (1683); by 1914 was poor, weak, colonized; by 1990s Western alliances shielded Turkey/Pakistan, defended Saudi Arabia/Kuwait, freed Bosnia/Kosovo

  • 2014 no consortium of Islamic states/VNSAs can defeat the West in battle: would invite eradication

  • many Muslims, desperate to reclaim their rightful place in God’s order, are receptive to exhortations to wage jihad until they impose Shari’a over mankind

  • ISIS using armed force, beheadings, sex slavery, narcotrafficking, and chlorine gas, to extend a “Caliphate” it declared over swaths of Iraq and Syria in June, and its ferocious momentum has the West fumbling for a counterstrategy even as its fighters prepare to capture Baghdad and Damascus. Meanwhile, the Taliban gain in Afghanistan and Pakistan, secular regimes tumble in N Africa, Iran races toward nuclear weapons

  • ISIS goal: (a) depose secular Arab regimes, evict Western military forces; (2) extend dar al Islam to lands once under Islamic rule: Israel, Spain, S Italy, Balkans, S Russia; convert/kill “infidel” populations; (3) use project military power and submit rest of world under Caliphate



VNSAs seek to collapse states and impose radically different governance regimes

  • VNSAs seek to collapse states and impose radically different governance regimes

  • In state-VNSAs wars, the first party to (a) eradicate, (b) deter, or (c) defeat the other, wins

  • Eradication unavailable: state military power severely constrained, VNSAs lack military capacity

  • Deterrence unavailable: no common interests, no possible modus vivendi, nothing VNSAs fear losing

  • Political will—belief in legitimacy of, and justice in defending, a cause—must be broken to defeat enemy

  • Breaking political will requires undermining the belief of the enemy society in the legitimacy of, and willingness to fight for, its political-economic system, culture, morals, and laws

  • Information warfare [“IW”] uses information as a weapon to break adversarial political will

  • PSYOPs (IW) that on offense sows “distrust, dissidence, and disaffection” and “turn[s] a people against the cause for which it fights” and on defense supports and defends political will

  • PSYOPS waged in political, economic, cultural, moral, and legal domains are primary combat method

  • Military ops are combat support that frame, magnify, potentiate effects of PSYOPs on enemy political will

  • Total war: battlespace is everywhere, everyone is a potential combatant, and everything is a target

  • First society to make the other unwilling to fight for its pol-eco system, culture, values, morals, laws, wins



  • Islamists have adapted and West is losing for three reasons…

  • (1) don’t know what the war is about: (a) Islamists fight a total war to extend religio-political legal domain using info as weapon to destroy Western will and civilization, (b) West fighting a limited war with military force to disrupt Islamist groups and create a democratic, ROL Islamic world where minority rights are respected, goods and ideas are freely exchanged, and incentives to religious radicalism are diminished

  • (2) West underestimates Islamist nature and resolve: Islamists forced U.S. withdrawal without victory from Iraq and Afghanistan because they recognized that Western political will and its constituents—belief in the legitimacy of a civilization defined by democracy, individual rights, and religious pluralism, and the willingness of the Western peoples to fight for the survival of this civilization—are far more vulnerable

  • (3) West failed to adapt to a conflict with Islamism that became 4GW in 1979 and cannot/will not employ PSYOPs yet: (a) West still thinks conventional military force that carried utility previously will suffice whereas (b) for Islamists victory is political and must destroy the Western will to fight using info



Islamists win if they destroy Western political will by making West doubt utility and morality of the war and compel governments to withdraw combat forces

  • Islamists win if they destroy Western political will by making West doubt utility and morality of the war and compel governments to withdraw combat forces

  • most fundamental component of Western political will: veneration of rule-of-law

  • ROL: politico-legal order in which rights are respected in the creation and application of laws; life, liberty, and property are immune from arbitrary deprivation; individuals are formally equal; judges are neutral and redress grievances based on rules and not politics; and laws govern disputes rather than human whim

  • U.S. elites champion ROL as export that spreads peace, order, justice globally and part of CT strategy for creating international order that detects, deters, defeats Islamists

  • democratic republics require public support to muster, deploy, sustain mil ops, and claims of LOAC violations undermine the legitimacy and political will of ROL nations unwilling to prosecute “illegal” wars

  • Islamist repudiation of IHL irrelevant if national will to fight them withers under allegations of lawlessness

  • two-dimensioned op plan: (1) info element (PSYOPs) supported by (2) military element—unlawful use of armed force (perfidy, POW murder, suicide bombings, mosques/schools/hospitals as combat platforms, human shielding)—to convince Americans that the U.S. is an evil regime that elected to fight an illegal war against Islam, U.S. systematically commits IHL violations, U.S. crimes erode natsec and destroy core values, only way U.S. can restore moral virtue, recommit to ROL, and protect itself is withdraw in defeat





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