Friday, January 9, 2015

Tactics of war, the need for change

Going on its fourth year of violence, the war in Syria has made some big steps in regional and global chaos. At the outset of this war almost every world leader sided with the rebel faction. This support even called for the overthrow of the leadership of Syria. Today we have a clear understanding that the rebels are now known as the Islamic State – (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria or Islamic State in Levant). The difference of these names is easiest to understand by seeing the ISIS as an internal focus and ISIL as the global focus. To make things even confusing the phrase Islamic State terrorists has even been used. Either way, the world is dealing with a group of misguided and lost souls who are hell bent on violence. If such people really were devout followers of their religion, killing anyone would be seen as killing yourself. However, killing is what is being done. Thus far the leadership of the world has failed completely in handling this war. Those that sought regime change are now proven to be wrong and have wasted both time and resources in such a pursuit. Here we are today with an even greater mess to deal with. In order to end this war there will have to be large numbers of boots on the ground. Old school tactics of building front lines have to be employed. The American tactic of forward operating bases, has failed miserably in two if not three or four wars and needs to be abandoned in face of such failure. The tactic that must be employed is the exact same tactic of the Islamic State. This tactic is to move in and stay, never leave, remain in force, patrol and police every step you take from one end of the country to the other until there is no more need. This tactic is without a timeline, has unknown cost and will consume untold resources and people. However it is a tactic that has and will work, unlike the tactics of Afghanistan and Iraq. In short the tactic is like a pebble hitting the water. From this top down tactic there needs to be and equal effort of bottom up peacebuilding. The grass roots peacebuilding is easier to accomplish with establishing frontline tactics. With such grass roots efforts the reliance on religion is going to be very much needed. Never mind the nuances of religion, the focus must be on the basics of peace which each religion is rooted upon. In fact religion can even be left out of the conversation and the word peace put its place because peace is all that the leaders of each religion asked for. Twist the words of such religion all you want yet Islam follows the same God as the Jewish and Christian religions. With that it is hard to see how the Commandment of Thou shall not kill is over ruled. Both Moses and Jesus bowed to the will of the law to the point where they accepted punishment and death before they would use violence. Even though religion is a major theme in the Syrian war, reality proves that it is the furthest reason or cause. The only reason for this war is rooted in the seven deadly sins. Furthermore, each religion tells us that the best way to fight evil is to ignore it, tell it to go away. Engaging with evil only brings more. Unfortunately most of us do not have the same level of trust and faith as Moses and Jesus.

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