Wrong Assumption #4 – The Military Can Stop Transnational Terrorists

This is part 4 in a series of posts about foreign policy.

Our military is designed to destroy foreign governments and defeat foreign armies.

Give our generals a nation in the world and they can crush that government in two months or less. The U.S. military is a powerful and blunt weapon. But, no military has the precision to go into a city and only kill the terrorists. Terrorists will either slip through the cracks or everyone will die.

A military can temporarily stabilize a region but that stability fails as soon as the military leaves. The insurgeants may leave for a time or lay low, but they will be back when the troops leave. Borders stop soldiors much better than they stop terrorists.

Espionnage is the Key

An army of spies would be much more effective at the delicate work of fighting transnational terrorist organizations. Only espionage has the surgical precision needed to fight non governmental actors such as Al Qaeda.

The man we need to fight terrorism is James Bond, not Rambo.

Trying to stop Islamic terrorism with the military is like trying to do open heart surgery with a chainsaw.


Thomas Umstattd Jr. is the author of Courtship in Crisis, the former head of PracticalCourtship.com, and co-founder of the Austin Rhetoric Club, a homeschool speech and debate club in Austin, Texas. He is a professional speaker and CEO of Author Media. He sits on the board of directors for several nonprofits, including the Texas Alliance for Life.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

2 thoughts on “Wrong Assumption #4 – The Military Can Stop Transnational Terrorists

  1. You are correct that the armed services are too blunt an instrument. I served for 8 years in USMC during Vietnam era and know up close and personal what can and can’t be done by 18 yr old troops led by 23 yr old Lts. We can crush governments but we can never defeat ideas with bullets. I don’t think we could defeat terrorists with spies either. About 15% of Islam supports the concept and will continue to provide the intellectual and emotional rationale for recruiting the people. The spies would have to target the preachers and publishers, mainly in Saudi Arabia (!), who are providing the fuel and oxygen.

    ps – I need to send you a private note regarding first interaction with your company – best way?

  2. Respectfully, I agree and disagree simultaneously with you. The lines of cooperation are such between special forces and espionage these days that we need both in the fight. However, I do agree that the standard military is a large, extremely blunt weapon.
    I also believe that your assumption #3 is a tad misconstrued as well. Bullets CAN solve radical Islam. I would propose that volumes of bullets won’t solve it…but selective bullets could solve it. It’s like the old saying goes: “It’s not how many bad guys you kill…it’s who you kill”. Then again, we could just carpet bomb a few regimes literally back into the stone age. Islam does tend to understand and respect the concept of overwhelming force. The Huns sure did make it work. The difference is today that we all try to play the hears & minds game which lost us Vietnam and is losing Iraq & Afghanistan. Had we lunched minuteman silos on 09-12-2001 we would have had world sympathy and understanding on our side in spite of the response being heavy handed (wounded dog syndrome). The ONLY people who have won against Islamists are those who went toe to toe with them and fought back in the most vicious manners conceivable (Vlad the Impaler & Atilla the Hun, for example).
    Being a veteran and from a family who has served this nation back to and including its founding, I can tell you that the times change, the venues of conflict change, but the #1 complaint by all soldiers is that politicians want to run the war…and few of them have even shot a BB gun. War is a horrendous and evil thing, yet in many cases it is our last option. The notion of a few James Bond types is sexy and cool sounding and makes for many a Ron Paul sound byte, yet it’s from a yearning for “out of sight, out of mind”. When our nation has successfully won against a threat like this it was via a fully rallying of the nation against perceived evil (as in WWII). Instead the left has divided us among imaginary fracture lines. Islam, since it’s inception, has been a very real threat to the rest of the world. We don’t acknowledge it in the west as many in the media are sympathetic to the islamist cause due to their own anti-Semitic tendencies (which has resulted in many Marxists in the west to ally with Islamists over the past 75 years). The media is loaded with leftists (as I’m sure you would agree)…and bingo, instant pro-islamic propaganda is churned out via the politically correct machine of the left.

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