Has Iraq been lost to America?
- Has Iraq been lost to America?
The war is not over - it has simply entered into a new decisive
Many people have been posing the aforementioned question for a number
of weeks now. With the apparent defeat of Iraqi forces; the collapse
of the regime of Saddam Hussein, and the U.S. British occupation of
Iraq, explanations concerning this chain of events have been very
sparse indeed. In fact many people throughout the Muslim world seem
to have been disheartened by the current events in Iraq. The
perception of the relatively quick collapse of the Iraqi armed
forces; especially after such initial heavy resistance at Umm Qasr,
Nassiriya and Anbar, was a shock for many.
All is not lost though. The war is not over - it has simply entered
into a new decisive phase. The war continues, despite the change in
tactical operations by the Mujahideen. It is possible to discern this
change on two separate levels; the military and political. Amongst
the countless principles of war there are key lessons that have been
garnished and utilised by many, including the Muhjahideen. It is
necessary at present to elucidate these for a wider audience to help
combat the overwhelming propaganda being aired by the western media
that the Muslims of Iraq are defeated; and to demonstrate the
strategic utility of the current campaign against America.
There has been a change of strategic focus by those resisting
American and British occupation in Iraq. This is both necessary and
desirable. In order to understand this, one has to be fully cognisant
of the present strategic military balance, and appreciate how it is
possible to militarily engage the United States, and win.
The U.S. military has been undergoing a transformation since the end
of the Cold War. A so-called `Revolution in Military Affairs' (RMA)
is often quoted as being the driving force behind this change. Yet
military technology is not solely responsible for this. Rather, a
strategic shift of massive proportions is a more accurate description
of contemporary shifts. Without having to face the massive mechanised
Soviet armies on the plains of Europe, the U.S. has been left
militarily without a symmetric military competitor. Despite this,
since the end of the Gulf War many have been studying the U.S. way of
warfare and formulating how to combat it. Nobody can deny that the
U.S. wields massive military power. The now famous quoted maxim that
emerged from the Gulf War do not confront the United States unless
you possess nuclear weapons has been adopted most obviously by
Pyongyang. In spite of not having the support of a state or our own
polity where the Sharia is applied, we can, and must engage the U.S.
militarily and politically wherever possible. Defeat can be inflicted
upon our enemy, and there are two intertwined ways through which this
can be achieved:
· Not confronting the U.S. military on its own terms, but at the
time and place of our choosing
· Using denial strategies against the U.S.
`Engagement on our own terms'
Like other major powers in the world, the United States has, by and
large, adopted the Clausewitzian state-centric paradigm of war.
Although one must note that since the end of the Cold War, she is now
adapting and remoulding her forces, culture and doctrine to be able
to fight a multiplicity of military contingencies against what she
considers `rogue' states and non-state actors.
America's military forces, but more importantly, her will to fight
and remain within Iraq is, with the help of Allah, being broken
slowly but surely. This is being achieved since the Mujahideen are
not confronting the U.S. on her own terms: that is, in open
conventional battles. Rather they are seeking to attain what Mao Tse
Tung achieved during his fight against the Japanese army, of which he
The enemy's objective is to have us concentrate our main forces for a
decisive engagement. Our objective is exactly the opposite. We want
to choose conditions favorable to us, concentrate superior forces and
fight decisive campaigns and battles only when we are sure of victory
we want to avoid decisive engagements under unfavorable conditions
when we are not sure of victory 1.
We must unite the strength of the army with that of the people; we
must strike the weak spots in the enemy's flanks, in his front, in
his rear. We must make war everywhere and cause dispersal of his
forces and dissipation of his strength 2.
The concept of `strategic denial' refers to actually preventing one's
enemy from achieving their politico-military objectives. Thus it
involves attacking and undermining the key points of the enemy's
strategy and becomes the main focus of politico-military operations.
If the enemy can be prevented from achieving her political and
military objectives, then she will be denied victory, thus handing us
success3. Arguably the most famous example of a successful employment
of strategic denial occurred during the Vietnam War. The Vietcong was
unable to defeat U.S. forces. However, her ability to deny America
outright military success; and the cunning employed to politically
undermine her overall campaign, resulted in an American failure.
At this level, actions are being undertaken not only by those within
Iraq, or, for that matter, even the Middle East. Every Muslim has a
responsibility and a role to play in this particular theatre of war.
However this theatre of war is characterised by a battle of ideas and
will, not a force of arms.
As has been elucidated over the past eighteen months 4, the American
political plan for the Muslim world is very clear. Regime change is
not limited to Baghdad, but is intended to extend across the region.
America wants to remould key states; the region, and Islam. America
envisions that a remoulded Iraq, will be presented as a `democratic
force and model' for the wider region. The U.S. hopes that her
presence in Iraq will give her even greater leverage than she wields
at present - enough to affect regime change in Tehran, and wide-
ranging changes in Syria. There is speculation that this policy may,
if successful, may be extended to Egypt or even Saudi Arabia. In
addition to this, America has recognised that Islam presents a
tangible threat to her interests and security. Deepening American
influence in the Middle East has at its core preventing an even
stronger Islamic threat from arising and challenging the United
States. Therefore it is of no surprise that America is trying to
force her version of a moderate and pliant Islam upon the Muslims at
large. Many people have been recruited from even amongst our own
ranks to try to convince us that `Islamic democracy' and `secular
moderate Islam' is the way forward.
Continued political turmoil in Iraq helps to stall and deny America
the attainment of her strategic goals. Likewise, the demonstrations
that are occurring against the U.S. British occupation of Iraq - as
well as her intentions for the country, are very productive. In
tandem with this, an ongoing global campaign is being waged
against `American Islam', i.e. the open Shirk and Kufr that
is: `Islamic democracy', `secular moderate Islam' and the like.
Every Muslim must come on board with this campaign and propagate this
The stakes in this contest with America are very high. Everybody
should be aware of this by now. America's victory is not assured,
whereas ours is. Yet it must be continually reiterated though that
the victory promised to us by Allah (swt) is conditional we must
only worship Allah and fulfil our duties and responsibilities for His
sake alone, remembering that it is only He (swt) that grants victory.
1. Mao Tse Tung, (1967), On Protracted Warfare (Peking: Foreign
Language Press), p. 97
2. Mao Tse Tung, (2000), On Guerrilla Warfare, Second Edition
Translated by Brigadier General Samuel B. Griffith, (Chicago:
University of Illinois Press), p. 68
3. For an elaboration regarding strategic denial, see: Daniel Byman
& Matthew Waxman, (2001), The Dynamics of Coercion American Foreign
Policy and the Limits of Military Might, (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press), pp. 78 - 82; Robert Pape, (1996), Bombing to Win
(New York: Cornell University Press), p. 69
4. Khalid Hasan (2002), America, Iraq and a new Middle East
(manuscript available upon request).
CDLR (The Committee for the Defence of Legitimate Rights)
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