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TACTICAL DOCTRINE: Israel, America, Hizb'Allah, and World War Four

First of all, let's get the name correct:

The militant forces that captured two Israeli soldiers in northern Israel are not called "Hezbollah." Their proper name is Hizb'Allah, the Party of God. Why the media changed the name, I'll never know. Is it because the media didn't want to equate the name "Allah" with such violent terrorists? Why are we codling these thugs? If they want to invoke the name of God while they murder and destroy, who are we to change that? Whose sensibilities are we trying to protect?

Let's call it like it is from now on, shall we?

There is no doubt any longer that we are in the midst of World War Four: the battle against radical fundamentalist Islam (World War Three was the first Persian Gulf War in 1990 and 1991 in response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait).

This is not just Israel's fight. It is undoubtedly the United States' fight, and it's also the world's fight. Fundamentalist Islam affects every nation on Earth. Europe, Russia, China, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Micronesia, and the Americas, as well as the Middle East, have all been under attack by Muslim extremists, not just after Nine-Eleven but for the past thirty years.

There is also no doubt that this is a proxy war: just as the Chinese and Russians supported the North Vietnamese against the United States and the United States supported the Afghan mujahadeen against the Soviet Union, Hizb'Allah is supported by Iran and Syria in order to weaken democratic states in the Middle East, encourage or foment insurrection or revolution, and establish an Islamist theocracy in their place.

Iran WANTS Israel and the United States to attack Hizb'Allah, Lebanon, and even Syria. They want world opinion to go against the defenders and use the controversy and negative press to further divide the democracies of the world.

The United States should not disappoint them.

Israel shouldn't go at it alone. After the first rocket landed on Israeli soil, the American bombers should have gone in. Every Syrian base known or suspected to warehouse weapons that could be bound for Hizb'Allah fighters in Lebanon should have been attacked by American cruise missiles fired from the Mediterranean Sea, and American bombers and reconnaissance planes should be patrolling Lebanon, establishing a "no-fly, no-drive, no-move" zone throughout southern Lebanon in order to completely and quickly shut down Hizb'Allah. One Iranian cruise missile launched from Lebanon should have immediately resulted in the COMPLETE DESTRUCTION of the entire base or port from where it came.

Would such a response trigger an angry call for jihad from all around the Muslim world?

Doesn't matter--because the call for jihad has ALREADY gone out, and the rest of the world is already under attack.

Has the American invasion of Iraq limited or even killed America's capability to respond to incidents such as the Hizb'Allah attacks against Israel? Could the United States help Israel if we wanted?

There is no doubt that American forces are stretched to the breaking point--but that doesn't mean we're incapable of fighting elsewhere in the world. Sending 100,000 troops to Israel or Lebanon would probably be difficult and would undoubtedly create a hardship for a lot of military families as their husband, wives, fathers, and children went off to yet another deployment even sooner that first thought.

But we could do it--and we need to do it. Israel shouldn't fight World War Four by themselves. Israel shouldn't be America's proxy--they should be our PARTNERS, and we should be theirs.

That same air power used to strike at Hizb'Allah in Lebanon can be quickly turned and redirected to fight if necessary over other battlefields: Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, and even Indonesia, the Philippines, and South America. The world should know that America is not tired, exhausted, spent, divided, and demoralized. If it means spending more to rebuild our depleted armed forces, recruit more soldiers, and build more ships and planes, then so be it. The drawdowns as a result of the ill-conceived "peace dividend" reduced America's military to a shadow of the force that won World War Three, the Persian Gulf War of 1991.

But let's be honest: America IS tired, exhausted, spent, divided, and demoralized. The insurgency in Iraq seems to have morphed into an all-out civil war, with American troops caught in the middle. Iraq may not have a well-disciplined police force or army, but they have plenty of weapons, fighters, and suicide bombers.

We shouldn't just get out of Iraq, but we shouldn't stand for being surrounded by Iraqis whom we are trying to help as they strike out after sectarian rivals. If Iraq can't handle the mess the country's in right now, we should redeploy to the relative safety of the western deserts of Iraq, to bases in neighboring countries, or offshore, pick strategic targets carefully, and transition to a high-tech air war.

Can a stealth bomber or Raptor fighter plane stop a suicide bomber or insurgent who wants to blow up an oil pipeline or mosque? No…but so far, our ground forces haven't been entirely successful in stopping them either. The ones best equipped to stop suicide bombers and insurgents are the Iraqis themselves, even if others call them "guerrillas" or "private armies." If the Shi'ites want to fight as part of the Mehdi Army or under some other cleric rather than under the Iraqi flag, fine. Whatever gets the job done.

Once U.S. forces disengage from day-to-day patrol operations, more forces can go home and rest up. But the fighting won't be over. World War Four has just begun, and the deployments and separations won't stop with the withdrawal of Americans from Iraq.

The best way to ensure our success in this new world war is for the American people to first recognize that it exists. That might be the most difficult battle of them all.

Click here for more on Edge Of Battle

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Edge Of Battle (May 2006)

Violence and tensions along the U.S.-Mexican border have never been higher, sparked by battles between rival drug lords and an increased flow of illegal migrants. To combat the threat, the U.S. has executed Operation Rampart: a controversial test base in southern California run by Major Jason Richter and members of Task Force TALON.

But their success is thretened by a drug kingpin and migrant smuggler named Enrique Fuerza, and the Mexican president, a nationalist who causes a storm of controversy on both sides of the border, calling for a revolution to take back the northernmost "Mexican states"-the southwest U.S.

Soon Richter and his force are reassigned to the FBI to investigate the murders of several Border Patrol agents-a deadly mission that will set off a wave of bloodshed that threatens to become an all-out guerrilla war.

The "best military adventure writer in the country today" (Clive Cussler) takes it to the terrorists with high tech firepower in this electrifying new military thriller.

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