Thoughts on Al-Qaeda, Today’s (Cold) War

In terms of a grand strategy, one goal should be to maintain the neutrality of the Muslims who have already accepted rule by majority vote and a separation of church and state (esp. the 100s of millions living in Indonesia and Malaysia).

I’m sobered that George Kennan’s grand strategy came with the sacrifice of 100 million lives, and billions enslaved whose lives as slaves came to no useful purpose. i.e. what came out of their factories was worth less than the inputs. And though the West gained something back in its civilian sphere from all the monies spent on the military, in truth it delayed the miracles of the 90s in all things technical (including medical) by 15 to 20 years – as research that served military purposes was for good reason sequestered, to say nothing of the intellects required that could have been employed and motivated so much more productively in the commercial sphere.

No one can authoritatively tally the opportunity cost save in hindsight. We (the U.S.) were not able to forecast the costs, and as the pot slowly came to boil we were still unable to act even given the horror of what had become visible. Though we could have used what ended WW2 to (cheaply for us) decapitate those countries’ leaderships over and over until they behaved better. i.e. Create a meme where we dictate terms and state our belief that the government named does not represent its people (irrespective of 99.9 % votes), when the terms are not met, strike, and only if there’s a general uprising of the people in the country in favor their leadership (and marshaling arms against us) desist from future interference (as in "ok, we really didn’t understand that it was the majority there free choice.")

An aside, it’s interesting to note that the "the base" has more fighters and enablers than, say, the U.S. did in its revolutionary war, and that the training camps around the world are graduating several 1,000 new soldiers per year. I wonder if their leadership is any larger than George Washington and his cadre.

Re: asymmetrical costs of warfare. It need not be. I’ve worked with special forces folks who would live off the land and could/would succeed without all the technical wizardry. Call them samurai of old. But I’ve observed civilization fights with the humanity it can afford. And in our case we will spend millions, if not billions, to avoid razing a town containing a military objective… scalpels rather than chainsaws. We could choose to spend much less – but perhaps it’s best for those nearest to god-like powers to make war as expensive as possible (to restrain ourselves, v. others).

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