Finally, after years of NATO forces waging a running war against the Taliban and other terrorists in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere across the globe, the military commanders involved are finally ready to prosecute the war in an efficient and proven manner. NATO’s senior military commander, General Bantz John Craddock, has proposed that the alliance’s soldiers in Afghanistan shoot drug traffickers as enemy combatants.
NATO is finally fighting to win this war.
General Craddock understands that, in order to win the war against the Islamists and their jihadi terrorist cells, NATO has to do a lot more than just fight a long war of attrition against their forces.
BERLIN — NATO’s senior military commander has proposed that the alliance’s soldiers in Afghanistan shoot drug traffickers without waiting for proof of their involvement with the Taliban insurgency, according to a report in the online edition of Der Spiegel magazine.
The commander, Gen. John Craddock of the United States, floated the idea in a confidential letter on Jan. 5 to Gen. Egon Ramms, a German officer who heads the NATO command center responsible for Afghanistan, Spiegel Online reported Thursday.
General Craddock wrote that “it was no longer necessary to produce intelligence or other evidence that each particular drug trafficker or narcotics facility in Afghanistan meets the criteria of being a military objective,” the news magazine reported. A NATO official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the wording of the letter, and several NATO officials said publicly on Friday that no such orders had ever been given to NATO troops.
— Judy Dempsey
NY Times article, January 30, 2009
Yes! Finally! At least General Craddock knows that NATO has to destroy the infrastructure that the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and the other terrorists use to fund and arm their organizations. A protracted engagement that attacks only the terrorists’ and insurgents’ – all too disposable – fighter will not win this war.
We didn’t win WW2 by just fighting troops in the field. We leveled the Nazis’ and Japan’s manufacturing capabilities. Allied bombing raids destroyed the factory districts – at a minimum – of dozens and dozens of Axis cities. That is to a large extent what gave the Allies their victory; we denied Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo the ability to effectively supply and arm their militaries.
The only functional difference between WW2 and the War on Terror, in this respect, is the nature of the enemies infrastructure. In WW2 the enemy were nations with heavy industry capabilities. In the War on Terror the enemy are bands of jihadis with little or no manufacturing capability but with access to large amounts of money from the international drug trade. In both cases, however, the enemy is dependent upon static resources and extended supply lines.
If NATO starts launching operations against the drug traffickers, we’ll break the Taliban and Al-Qaeda’s supply lines. If NATO starts – finally – destroying the opium poppy fields in Afghanistan and Pakistan, we’ll destroy what passes for the Taliban and Al-Qaeda’s manufacturing capabilities. It will be a lot harder for these terrorists and insurgents to wage war or launch terror attacks against the civilians of the Civilized World if they can’t afford ammunition for their Kalashnikovs, grenades for the RPG-7s, and sundry other munitions and explosives.
Tags: Afghanistan | Al-Qaeda | Islamists | NATO | Pakistan | Politics | Taliban | Terrorism | War On Terror