A New US Strategy to Fight Terrorists

Prof. As’ad Abdul Rahman

A top secret report by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Directorate of Intelligence (DI) was revealed by Wikileaks in which the Agency assesses the pros and cons of attacks on insurgent groups by the United States and other countries, especially Israel.  The secret report assesses “how to make high-value targets (HVT) operations an effective counterinsurgency tool in the war against terrorism.” In other words, the report assesses the effectiveness of assassinating the leadership of organizations considered to be “terrorist organizations” by western intelligence agencies and the Israeli Mossad around the world.

An assessment of operations in Afghanistan has asserted that the efforts of HVT against Taliban had limited effect “because the Taliban had good succession planning and bench strength which prevented any vacuum to take place.” The report mentions the utter failure of the Mossad and the Israeli military fighting Hizbollah in Lebanon; Eliminating Sayyed Abbass Al Mousawi and his family by an air strike brought about “a new leader that transformed Hizbollah into a regional power.” Targeting Al-Qaeda leadership “without cutting the terror group off from its support base created a more deadly group, Daesh, by the vacuum created by the demise of Al-Qaeda leadership.” Another more deadly result that came about was the birth of “Lone Wolves” adhering to the Takfiri doctrine of Al-Qaeda and Daesh, but without any connection to a central command “cooking their homemade bombs”, like the two brothers from Chechnya who planted the bomb in Boston.

The report states that “removing the leadership of any terrorist organization without fully addressing the underlying issues which caused the birth of such an organization is an act of futility.” In the case of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, it is almost turned into a religious war since Likud came to power which removed the Arab nationalists from the arena and brought fundamentalist Muslims to face in combat the so-called “chosen people of God.” Now the conflict is transforming towards a war till death without any possibility of any compromise.

The above-mentioned report openly reveals the failure of past American policies. Eliminating high-value targets in Vietnam on top of all the might of the humongous American military power never brought victory to the United States, but only a humiliating withdrawal from South Vietnam. The secret report warns American policy makers not to repeat the mistakes of the past, like “The Phoenix Program” which was designed and carried out by the CIA “along with special forces operatives of the Australian Army Training Team and the security apparatus of South Vietnam.” The Phoenix Program was established to identify and neutralize the supporters of the National Liberation Front NLF, (The Viet Cong) of South Vietnam. It meant “to infiltrate, capture, torture and assassinate all members or sympathizers of the Viet Cong.” The Program was in operation between 1965 and 1975 and “neutralized 81,740 suspected NLF operatives, informants and supporters of the Viet Cong.”

The same program was deployed to eliminate President Salvador Allende, the Chilean physician who was the first Marxist to become a president in Latin America through open and democratic elections in 1970. General Augusto Pinochet not only removed President Allende from power, but also killed him in his presidential palace.  The Military Junta began a killing campaign in which “thousands upon thousands were kidnapped, tortured and killed.” The conclusion reached by the report was that “the negative aspects of high-value targets lead in most instances to more local support for the insurgent group and more radical groups filling the power vacuum created.”

Bombing planes will not defeat the Islamic state group, Daesh, in Syria and in Iraq, according to CIA analysts who wrote this report. Only motivated foot soldiers, accompanied with air power can eliminate Daesh and Al-Qaeda from Iraq and Syria in order to attain “a political solution.” The two groups are now infiltrating Western countries, including the United States. Their western “Jihadists” who became “battle tested” in Syria and Iraq are now returning by the hundreds to their original western countries “to continue their terrorist activities.” Therefore, they must be defeated in Iraq and in Syria before they leave and become “the most deadly threat against western civilization.”

Recent reports leaked to the Israeli press recently revealed astonishing news that “the United States has given the green light to Russia to establish military air bases in Syria to bomb Daesh targets”, as American pilots  are bombing Daesh from air bases in Turkey. Many analysts view this as a direct result to the recent nuclear agreement with Iran, giving Tehran a major role in fighting Daesh in Iraq and in Syria with direct cooperation with Russia. President Obama has now in his hands enough votes to defeat Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and his republican allies in Congress. In order to establish balance in the fight against Daesh and Al- Qaeda and not leave Iran to dominate the arenas of battles, President Obama is now working hard to get regional countries to form ground forces to certain parts in Syria and certain parts of Iraq, accompanied by western air power to defeat Daesh for good, in order to attain a ceasefire followed by a political solution. The American administration is hoping that a regional Arab ground military force would lead to cooperation between Iran and the Arab Gulf countries to lessen the tension since Arab neighbors still have great doubt about Iran’s real intentions.