"AND THERE IS MUCH TO BE SAID FOR KILLING FOREIGNERS..."
From Dr. Michael Scheuer
, author of Imperial Hubris
, former head of the CIA Bin Laden Task Force writing in On Point
:"And there is much to be said for killing foreigners -- even in large numbers -- who are willing to host, hide, feed, fund, and pray for America’s enemies...In a rational, historically aware country, U.S. leaders would have told Americans that the attack on Zawahiri was facilitated by U.S. intelligence officers and Special Forces who risked their lives to gather intelligence that seemed to fix Zawahiri in a specific place at a specific time. Because Washington’s most important duty is to protect Americans, they would have said, we acted on the best information available and, so to speak, let 'er rip. Unfortunately, we missed Zawahiri, but we killed four of his fighters and will keep trying to get him and bin Laden. As for the dead Pakistanis, they are foreigners not Americans and we have no responsibility to protect them. And, in any event, they were about to serve up sautéed goat steaks and curry to one of America’s most dangerous enemies. The lesson all Pakistanis should take from the incident is that we are not concerned with the lives of Zawahiri’s abettors, that they were lucky the village was not hit by B-52s, and that next time they may not be so fortunate.Such a public articulation would have been neither callus nor irresponsible; it just would have been true. We are engaged in war against Islamic militants who fight as insurgents. These men wear no uniforms, and live -- and hide -- among a population in eastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan that overwhelmingly supports them because the insurgents are their coreligionists and because they are attacking the United States. The current problem for America is not last week’s near-miss on Zawahiri, but that there have been so few attacks on Zawahiri and bin Laden. Frankly, from an intelligence perspective, the more violence, the better chance to collect quality intelligence. Frequent, deadly bombings -- even if not always totally effective -- make the enemy nervous, force him to move about, and stimulate chattiness as he communicates electronically about his location and status. Our ability to collect intelligence pin-pointing the enemy increases exponentially when he is talking and moving. Thus, even a near-miss is a valuable stimulus to collection."
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One of the underutilized aspects of 4GW theory on moral conflict and violence is that while de-escalation
is the preferred tactic of the State to accrue moral capital in the war with an insurgency, an abrupt use of extreme violence can also have a positive moral effect if the duration is very short with a particular lesson in mind rather than generalized mayhem. Wiliam Lind
referred to the apocalyptic butchery unleashed by Hafez al-Assad against the Muslim Brotherhood at Hama for challenging the power of the Syrian Baath dictatorship as an example.