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  • Morning Bell: The Right Strategy to Fight Terrorism

    In what has been described as an ”act of international terrorism,” news agencies report that a suicide car bomb struck the United Nations building in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, on Friday. Though details are sketchy and there is no immediate claim of responsibility, if the attack is, indeed, an act of terrorism, it reaffirms what we already know: The world continues to face an ongoing threat–and America must be prepared for the next wave of terrorist attacks.

    Since September 11, 2001, at least 40 Islamist-inspired terror plots aimed at the United States have been thwarted. And though all categories of successful terrorist attacks against U.S. targets (both at home and overseas) have been on a downward trend since 2005, the number of disrupted plots has risen considerably since 2007. In a new paper by The Heritage Foundation Counterterrorism Task Force, “A Counterterrorism Strategy for the ‘Next Wave,’” Heritage lays out steps that America should take to ensure a successful end to the long war against terrorism.

    Unfortunately today, the United States is not on a trajectory to adequately counter the terrorism threat. Though America has enjoyed success in thwarting al-Qaeda’s efforts against the United States, those victories have come as a result of a decade of taking the offensive in the war on terrorism. Now, though, the Obama Administration is changing course with its new National Strategy for Counterterrorism. Heritage explains:

    The Administration now seeks to treat terrorism under a law enforcement paradigm that failed to protect Americans from terrorism when it was adopted by the Clinton Administration before 9/11. In addition, the White House intends to follow a “small footprint” strategy for overseas operations, relying primarily on Special Forces operations, covert action, and strikes with unmanned aerial vehicles.

    The President’s strategy cedes the initiative to America’s enemies and provides them the opportunity to reconstitute both their moral and physical assets.

    According to the task force, the President’s strategy sets America on a course for failure because it fundamentally fails to appreciate that Islamist beliefs are rooted in a culture that equates honor with power–and that means that “by unilaterally withdrawing from the conflict, the Administration allows al-Qaeda to paint a narrative of the U.S. in retreat.” One successful major terrorist attack will allow al-Qaeda to claim a “victory” and regain its “honor,” further empowering their cause.

    Meanwhile, the Obama Administration offered an ambivalent response to the “Arab Spring,” failed to capitalize on the opportunity to build a plan for the future of U.S. engagement with the “new” Middle East, has allowed al-Qaeda to physically re-establish itself in the Afghanistan–Pakistan theater, has ignored what al-Qaeda has been doing on a global scale, and has paid insufficient attention to state-sponsored terrorism. The Heritage task force offers its recommendation of what America should do next:

    The primary goal of the U.S. counterterrorism strategy must be to prevent the emergence of a global Islamist insurgency. The danger to the security, freedom, and prosperity of the U.S. and the Western world is far graver than what might be achieved by any individual terrorist act. An insurgency is a threat to the fundamental legitimacy of all free societies.

    The first element of the U.S. strategy should be persistence, the Heritage task force says, and the right way to conquer the terrorist threat is to divide and defeat the enemy. American can get there through “hard” power and strong bilateral cooperation between the U.S. and nations that share a commitment to defending free, just, and open societies.

    Though the United States has had success since 9/11 in combating terrorism and averting attacks at home and abroad, that success did not come easily–and it was not accomplished without taking an aggressive stance against al-Qaeda. Continued terrorist attacks around the world should remind America that the threat to our homeland remains and that the right strategy is needed in order to ensure our continued security at home and abroad.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    35 Responses to Morning Bell: The Right Strategy to Fight Terrorism

    1. ThomNJ says:

      "Unfortunately today, the United States is not on a trajectory to adequately counter the terrorism threat." Might I suggest that this statement be awarded the prize for understatement of the year? We have been lucky so far with this administration. Even if they were to counter with the fact that a lot of what Bush set up has remained in place, the act of emboldening the bad guys is a huge issue. You are quite right that the arab/muslim culture respects strength – that's one reason why one never heard a peep out of Ghaddafi while Bush was in office – G was scared of Bush. Eventually, they wil feel strong enough again to attack us – our perceived weakness does more for al qaeda recruiting than when we bring them a world of hurt.

    2. KC - NM says:

      Obama and his band of misfits in the administration just cannot accept that what President Bush endured and accomplished after the 9/11 tragedy actually worked and prevented additional terrorist events in America. Why should Obama re-invent the wheel when he already had a viable and working solution? It is time for Obama and his administration to man-up and deal with their real issues of ineffective leadership and not having a vision, mission, or plan.

    3. Drew fm Downey says:

      As I recall, in the first months after the fall of Saddam Hussein, terrorists deployed a truck-bomb against the U.N. compound in Baghdad, causing significant damage and deaths. This resulted in the U.N. removing all of their personnel from that country.
      If Nigerians are lucky, the U.N. will do the same in their country.

    4. Jaime B. Calva says:

      I agree, terrorism is an ongoing and real threat. My concern is that unless we openly name the sources of the funding for the terrorist groups and hold them accountable, I do not see an end. the terrorist groups represent the cannon fodder for our real enemies and that is those providing them the where withal to continue. It is a waste of money to simply engage the armed militants. Wars priors to the existence of the United Nations were not ended until there had been an unconditional surrender by the identified enemy. Am I wrong? Western civilization faces the same threat as did the Roman empire.

    5. Robert, TX says:

      Terrorism is a lot like crabgrass in your lawn – you have to attack it and remove it (by the root) wherever it grows. Then, you can allow the St. Augustine grass to fill in the affected area. You can't wait for your neighbor to pull some of his – and you are insane if you poison your entire yard because you are lazy. I've said it before, but if you think these "terrorists" in Afghanistan and Iraq are building RPG's in a rathole, then you are misinformed. These weapons are being manufactured, transported thousands of miles and delivered to the insurgents where they are needed – right under our noses. If we can't stop a bunch of punks in dinghies from pirating billions of dollars in shipping off Somalia – what CAN we DO?

    6. LYGHTITUP says:

      I'm not so sure that those 40+ terror plots against the U.S. were thwarted. I believe they were designed to fail to give the illusion that this administration is doing it's job, all the while our defenses are being diminished at a very rapid pace. Just a thought.

    7. Bob Solem says:

      A great article.An eye-opening (re–eye-opening) of s deadly serious subject. Keep up the good work.

    8. Luis Zuniga says:

      Congratulations for this excelent article and analysis. The new leader of al Qaeda desperately needs to be accepted and respected, and among such violent people he may get respect and obedience only if he succeeds on a big terrorist action, preferably in the U.S. Al-Qaeda has realized that American Intelligence Agencies keep their eyes on every individual with Middle East roots, so they must be on the work of convincing American nationals to do the dirty work. That same startegy must be on the implementation stage in many other countries of Europe. I fully agree with the message implicit in your article. The Administration is on the wrong path and God must deliver us from that mistake.

    9. Howard says:

      I wonder what would be the future if our country reversed most foreign war & assistance finances for United States city clean-ups, gang clean-up, Mexican Cartel clean-up and border shut-down, among millions of other things our people need? As far as foreign terrorism and threat of other kinds, a policy of zero tolerance could suffice. Zero tolerance being: we build an arsenol of high tech and bunker bombing weapons that would be on stand by. The policy would be broadcast and "let it be known", we will mind our own business for the most part, but will not hesitate to send intercontinental missles to the threat or attack known location. That threat will be extinguished and we will not be more involved. If threatened again, the same will be done. No troops, no politically correct, no negotiation, minimal diplomacy. Just military might that will be fast and without talk (it would be less costly than all our little world location wars). See next comment : U.S. BORDER STOP

    10. Dr.Refet Ramiz says:

      Hi Mr. Mike Brownfield,

      I suggest you (and your Foundation Authors) to determine yours and other countries possible structural groups first for not to do any bad and/or wrong actions against the structual groups in other countries. This will be helpful to solve some conlicts/problems as well. See Facebook: Refet Ramiz, Profile, Books: Ülkeler Birli?i (Countries Union) for some info which can be a guide.
      best regards,
      Assist.Prof.Dr.Refet RAM?Z

    11. howard says:

      U.S. BORDER: The day will come when drug cartel groups may organize /take over American gangs (motorcycle, Wong gangs, hispanic-Crypts/Bloods, etcetera) and heads will be sitting on American city corners. 5 American soldiers wer beheaded. Tourists were just killed in Acapulco (body parts put into purse of one killed tourist women).The disease is manifest itself with little effort stop the border flow, about 15k illegals crossing every mo. see YouTube: hidden border cameras. at least 8% are cold blooded killers. Add that to our U.S. gang cold blooded killers and we are going to see heads on U.S. corners A tx border guard said when they see vultures it is not a wild animal road kill. It is human food. then there was the women hung by all fours and I know the readers can guess the rest of the story.not an isolated case. Human smugglers will kill their customers if they are threatened or can't get them across border.This is not saying most immigrants are evil,at least stop the criminals. There should be no human trafficing or drug cartel surviving. The U.S. and Mexican Armys should be enilatingof thes animals. Fight fire with fire.

    12. toledofan says:

      The entire approach to terrorism has been muted at best and it appears we rely more on luck than on real intelligence. The Christmas Day bomber was a classic example of good luck. I think that by not taking the offensive against terrorism we allow the terrorist structure to rebuild and regnerate itself and as we continue down the path of looking the other way, not addressing the area's that promote terrorism or the parts of the muslim beliefs that foster it, the greater the threat to America. The longer we try to pacify the Muslims rathert than take them on, our weakness becomes their rallying cry.

    13. Elaine says:

      Since Heritage is such an effective organization, why do I not see anything dealing with Obama eligibility? This resolved – everything should fall into place. I saw a comment elsewhere saying "you want my money for what?" Please for sake of us and our military resolve this one. Have I missed something?

      • LYGHTITUP says:

        Elaine, you haven't missed anything. I agree, this should be first and foremost. Reveal the truth, take the action, and all else will fall into place, with the proper replacements, of course.

      • Frank says:

        If you search the internet, you will find a lot of information on the probability of Obama's Long Form Birth Certificate (LFBC) being a forgery. Besides that, there are multiple other factors in Obama's record that could disqualify him from holding the office of President of the USA. We really need a Supreme Court ruling on this… but virtually nobody, except Trump, ever had the guts to face this issue. Even Trump is hedging his bets on the authenticity of the revealed LFBC. In the meantime, our nation spirals down.

    14. David says:

      As we used to say in the 70's, I don't know where Brownfield is coming from. Instead of lauding the news of the successful car bombing of a UN office in Nigeria, he somehow twists this into a tragic event to which the United States must give great attention. A successful attack on the communist-inspired United Nations has absolutely nothing to do with America. The attack is worthy of great praise and the article should have ended there. Certainly the nitwits in Washington don't need isolated world events to sharpen their attention to the protection of our country. Should we now send US-financed "security" forces to Nigeria? I think not.

    15. tarawa1943 says:

      "We're surrounded. That simplifies the problem."
      - Attributed to Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC
      (I have found three versions of this one)
      The quotes may not be Chesty Pullers,
      but may instead have been said by General O.P.Smith

      "All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of
      us, they're behind us…they can't get away this time"
      - Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC

      "They are in front of us, behind us, and we are flanked on both sides by an
      enemy that outnumbers us 29:1. They can't get away from us now!"
      - Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC

      When the Marines were cut off behind enemy lines and the Army had written
      the 1st Marine Division off as being lost because they were surrounded by 22
      enemy divisions. The Marines made it out inflicting the highest casualty
      ratio on an enemy in history and destroying 7 entire enemy divisions in the
      process. An enemy division is 16500+ men while a Marine division is 12500 men.

      Bring it! There are still a few good men left.

    16. clarence swinney says:

      Im scared–7000 Miles away–no planes-no missiles-no nothing-two most unarmed- destitute on earth
      Our biggest threat is Conservatve Inequality ideology
      Since 1980 took us to 4th from bottom of 28 oecd on Equality
      Took us to 27h of 28 of oecd on lowest taxed.
      Got us in 10 foreign conflicts
      Took 600B budget to 3,600B
      Took 1000B of Debt to 10,000B

      Disrtract us with Terrorism–lil ole Al Queda which had less than 100 hard core members on 9-11-01 and we expanded to many hundreds. Got us 9-11 and bragged how protective. What a crowd?

      Protect me from that One or that Few. 850 Bases do not protect me
      Nukes do not protect me from a one armed bomber.

      Conservatives get suckered. Big Time. By WSA military industrial stock owners War = $$$$$$—Big $$$
      Fight Team Fight $$$$$$$$
      We have only 93% of Financial Wealth and xxxxx we want that last 7% right now now now now
      Start more wars $$$$$ We need that 7%.
      Oh We initiated involvement in 10 since 1980 and you want more?
      Yes! Invade Gaza you idiots




    17. @eltiare says:

      Wow, you know: since Obama has ratcheted up the Afghanistan war and maintained the Iraq war plus started wars in several OTHER countries!? Yet he's done nothing? Seriously people? Why don't we just put the entire world under military law? That's what it seems like all you are screaming for. Then we'd see how much you like it when the boot is put on YOUR faces.

    18. Ron W. Smith says:

      There are reasons we're the target of terrorists. First, we're openly supportive of Israel, whose Zionism has been a thorn in the paw of Islam for scores of years. We give Israel money, we assist them to technological superiority, and we are ever in their defense in the U.N. Second, our footprint(s) in the Middle East are unmistakable: we're everywhere there and around the world, whether wanted or not. Third, and much more recent as a problem, the internet is everywhere, as are instant communications and "interconnectedness," a problem for repressive societies as the "Arab Spring" has shown.
      In talking about what must be done in the "war on terror," Mike Brownfield mentions none of the above. There are no reasons for terrorism to exist, apparently, just a war to be fought because we will not be impeded in what we want in our role as SuperPower on Call. We won't talk with our "enemies," instead preferring endless interventions and wars to diplomatic discussions. It has been a very expensive strategy as our $14.5 trillion debt, annual deficit, and $4 billion a day borrowed money amply show.
      Hegemony in flush times was easy. In lean times, when we really can't afford the expense, imperial ambition, hard to shake and hard to finance, looks awfully foolish.

      • Joseph J. Ruffino says:

        We also did the same thing for the Saudi's, Egypitans and Pakistan. Before the Persia.

      • Wayne Peterkin says:

        Our national debt is far more a product of domestic wealth redistribution than our foreign wars. I agree with some of your post, but I will never support abandoning Israel and I absolutely support all efforts to take down the authors of 9/11. I also refuse to “blame America first”.

    19. Frank says:

      We cannot forever fight a vague "War on Terror". Congress needs to do its Constitutional duty and declare a war or stop this global US aggression. I'm all for a strong defense, but why have bases in over 100 countries world wide with troops all over. We probably now have land, sea & air units operating covertly in Yemen. Who knows where else we have operations! All without the consent of Congress (or the average American) & all under the direction of one person in the White House. Madness. We are becoming a dictatorship where nobody on the face of this Earth is safe. Neither can we afford to be "the world's policeman", even if we were only engaged in lawful police work. What would our Founding Fathers say about what we have become? I don't think they would be pleased. They would want us to follow the Constitution, avoid foreign entanglements whenever possible, guard the borders & protect us at home.

    20. Joseph J. Ruffino says:

      I am not sure what is the correct strategy but I do not believe that an 78-year-old man and/or an over 80 grandmother should be targeted because they happen to have knee replacements and the scars to prove it. Recently I traveled with my wife, daughter, her husband and two of my grandchildren between the White Plains, NY and Orlando, Fl airports on our visit to Disney World when I was pulled aside, placed in a plexiglass cage and they touch searched for hidden something. Happened in both directions. When my son-in-law asked why I was in the cage I responded, I guess they think I am a terrorist. Then one of the attendants went off the deep end because I used the word terrorist. They did the same to the old lady at White Plains. I cannot help but feel wronged as someone who served his time in the armed forces helping to protect this country. I believe such procedures might be necessary but I also believe that common sense is called for as to applying it. All I got was lip service from the federal agency that established the procedures. That individual sounded like someone with not very much life experience.
      Good Bless and HELP America.

    21. Jack says:

      I kind of like the "small footprint" idea as long as there is significant collateral damage. This war cannot be won without brutality. We are the most powerful nation in the history of the world, and without the conviction and the willingness to wield that power, we might as well not even have it. But "we" are too sensitive about what the rest of the world thinks of us. The World Wars were won by the use of brutal force in which many innocent lives were lost. In the end our enemies feared us too much to continue. That is what must be done now.

      • Frank says:

        I'm all for the Constitutional use of brutal force, if necessary for our national defense. But we are engaging in a world-wide Unconstitutional use of brutal force. We need checks & balances on the use of this force & a clear statement by Congress. No more fighting "non wars". This is "double-speak". Please America, let's not continue down this path.

    22. Bobbie says:

      As all people of minds know, peace is in the best interest for the survival of humanity. If a man's natural instinct is to kill, then he is a man of inherent strength in control of his instinct not to.

      Terrorism- Nobody's doings but the freewill and choice of mankind and personal intellect. Too bad for them… Now we pray.

    23. The Farmer says:

      The way to stop the terrorist 101
      Use the law Congress passed to destroy Christianty, against the terrorist instead, "the hate speach law".
      Then destroy all of their "golags".

    24. Dave says:

      US strategy should include declaring that future terrorist attacks will be judged to have been carried out under the auspices of Iran and considered an act of war on the US and rest of civilized society. The US should then respond with measured but significant military force causing pain and grief to Iran and its fellow perps.

    25. Wayne Peterkin says:

      Good article and I agree. However, my only caveat is to acknowledge that a few of the terror attacks we managed to "thwart" were blind luck. As one example, the Christmas "underwear bomber" over Detroit failed to bring that plane down only because his bomb malfunctioned. The same could be said of the New York Times Square car bomber. We have been very, very fortunate that we have not suffered substantial casualties from some of the terror attempts during the past few years. Our security has done a fair job, but we have had a lot of unseen help as well. We must do better and not let our guard down.

    26. leftshot says:

      When 9/11 happened I searched the Bible to see how God deals with terrorists. I found a reoccurring theme. You terrorize the terrorists, and if they still won't yield, you kill them. Terrorists are a particularly deep seeded form of evildoers, but many of them can be frightened. We don't have to be as brutal as they to terrorize them, but we do have to clearly show our power and resolve to be greater than their's.

    27. Petar Ganev, IME-BG says:

      If you go on to think like that, be sure U.S.'ll have big troubles not only with Arab islamists but all Africa. This kind of neoliberal thinking will lead to right-wing or fundamentalistic moods in people all over the world. Stop this policy now or meet you doom.

    28. brian says:

      The only real threat to us is our elected officials. We have more people die in motorcycle accidents per year that we have killed by terrorists. Guess we need to take over the 2 wheeled terror network and make them pay for what they've done too,huh. We should be more concerned with our home spun "terrorists". You know bloods,crypts and so on. A guy with a third grade education and an AK47 7000 miles away doesn't scare me. A flash mob full of godless hoodlums is a bigger fear for me. How about we get our own house in order. Then if a mentally challenged extremist group manages to get into our "secure" borders we can handle them too. Just a thought.

    29. Dwayne Plumpton says:

      The article contained a jab at "soft power" which sounds fluffy, but cannot be ignored. What can we do to reduce underlying "Anti-Americanism" around the world? Perhaps couple military might with a new approach to diplomacy…

      We need to restore our image. This may be the best defense.

    30. Dwayne Plumpton says:

      The article concerning terrorism contained a jab at "soft power" which sounds fluffy, but cannot be ignored. What can we do to reduce underlying "Anti-Americanism" around the world? Perhaps couple military might with a new approach to diplomacy…

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