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Thread: Quieter Presence Urged In Mideast

  1. #1
    Annaliese
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    Quieter Presence Urged In Mideast

    WASHINGTON — The United States should launch a major covert information campaign to promote the nation's image in the Middle East and sow division among radical Muslim groups, according to a West Point critique of U.S. terrorism policy.

    The strategy, amounting to a secret campaign for hearts and minds, could involve paying for favorable publications and schools that promote moderate Islamic philosophies.

    The report also proposes using Muslim allies, or at least groups hostile to the more militant Islamic movements, to exploit ideological rifts within terrorist groups.

    Through it all, however, "it is essential that the U.S. hand not be seen," said the report by the Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. military academy.

    The authors of the unpublished report, civilian scholars Jarret Brachman and William McCants, confirmed the authenticity of the report obtained by USA TODAY. Though not an official U.S. military document, it has circulated widely among U.S. intelligence officials and officers on the Pentagon's Joint Staff. The authors regularly brief Pentagon officials on terrorism issues.

    The report, completed Monday, says the United States should rely on "proxies" for military action in the Middle East, if force is necessary.

    "Direct engagement with the United States has been good for the jihadi movement," the authors argue, because it reinforces the perception in the Mideast of the United States as an anti-Islamic crusader.

    "The United States should avoid direct, large-scale military action in the Middle East."

    Such action, the report says, "rallies the locals behind the movement, drains the United States of resources and puts pressure" on allied regimes.

    Titled "Stealing al-Qaeda's Playbook," the report is based on a detailed study of jihadist writings and communications and is meant to help better understand the enemy, Brachman said in an interview.

    The current U.S. anti-terrorist strategy is reactive, the authors argue in briefing slides accompanying the report. They dub the strategy, "Whack-a-Terrorist," after the game "Whack-a-Mole."

    Retired general Wayne Downing, the center's chairman and a former head of Special Operations Command, has been advising Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on ways to make the command more effective against terrorist groups.

    In the report's foreword, Downing writes that although U.S. intelligence agencies have devoted more resources to translating jihadi texts and broadcasts, they don't have enough people to pay enough attention "to the most useful texts" they have collected.

    Last year, the U.S. Special Operations Command issued $300 million in contracts for three companies to spread pro-American propaganda without revealing the U.S. connections.

    One contractor, the Lincoln Group, became the focus of a Pentagon investigation in December because of reports it had paid Iraqi newspapers to publish pro-U.S. stories as part of a U.S. information warfare strategy in Iraq.


    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/...e_x.htm?csp=24

  2. #2
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    Yes, I tend to agree with this approach which is fighting fire with fire. I think Mark Steyn wrote an article suggesting the same thing against Iran, as a means of stopping them from producing nuclear weapons.
    Idealism increases in direct proportion to one's distance from the problem.
    Author: John Galsworthy 1867-1933, British Novelist, Playwright

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mediocrates's Avatar
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    Yanqui Go home - and take us with you!

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/c...?story_id=3331

    Introduction

    From news article:

    The rest of the world complains that American hegemony is reckless, arrogant, and insensitive. Just don’t expect them to do anything about it. The world’s guilty secret is that it enjoys the security and stability the United States provides. The world won’t admit it, but they will miss the American empire when it’s gone.


    Everybody talks about the weather, Mark Twain once observed, but nobody does anything about it. The same is true of America’s role in the world. The United States is the subject of endless commentary, most of it negative, some of it poisonously hostile. Statements by foreign leaders, street demonstrations in national capitals, and much-publicized opinion polls all seem to bespeak a worldwide conviction that the United States misuses its enormous power in ways that threaten the stability of the international system. That is hardly surprising. No one loves Goliath. What is surprising is the world’s failure to respond to the United States as it did to the Goliaths of the past.

    Sovereign states as powerful as the United States, and as dangerous as its critics declare it to be, were historically subject to a check on their power. Other countries banded together to block them. Revolutionary and Napoleonic France in the late 18th and early 19th century, Germany during the two world wars, and the Soviet Union during the Cold War all inspired countervailing coalitions that ultimately defeated them. Yet no such anti-American alignment has formed or shows any sign of forming today. Widespread complaints about the United States’ international role are met with an absence of concrete, effective measures to challenge, change, or restrict it.

    The gap between what the world says about American power and what it fails to do about it is the single most striking feature of 21st-century international relations. The explanation for this gap is twofold. First, the charges most frequently leveled at America are false. The United States does not endanger other countries, nor does it invariably act without regard to the interests and wishes of others. Second, far from menacing the rest of the world, the United States plays a uniquely positive global role. The governments of most other countries understand that, although they have powerful reasons not to say so explicitly.


  4. #4
    Luke90
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    One contractor, the Lincoln Group, became the focus of a Pentagon investigation in December because of reports it had paid Iraqi newspapers to publish pro-U.S. stories as part of a U.S. information warfare strategy in Iraq.
    Isn't that exactly what they wanted them to do?

  5. #5
    varian
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annaliese
    ...The current U.S. anti-terrorist strategy is reactive, the authors argue in briefing slides accompanying the report. They dub the strategy, "Whack-a-Terrorist," after the game "Whack-a-Mole."...
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/...e_x.htm?csp=24
    They should start their whacking at places like this:
    http://www.homelandsecurityus.com/si...php?storyid=88
    While our military is away, what do you think that these tangos are planning?

  6. #6
    Annaliese
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by varian
    They should start their whacking at places like this:
    http://www.homelandsecurityus.com/si...php?storyid=88
    While our military is away, what do you think that these tangos are planning?
    Right on!

    While you are in California, consider this: Lodi (near to the capital city Sacramento) has been transformed from a lovely little town to this. One would think our government would have wised up after 9/11, but no ... just wait until the next shoe (or should I say, shoebomb? ) drops.

  7. #7
    varian
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    I've heard bits and peices about this on the news. These home-spun tangos don't need to go to the ME to train. Apparently, there are many areas to train tangos right here in the US. I'm sorry if I said anything about SF, I didn't realize that you were from here until I read one of your other posts. It's just cold here for this desert rat.

  8. #8
    Annaliese
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by varian
    I've heard bits and peices about this on the news. These home-spun tangos don't need to go to the ME to train. Apparently, there are many areas to train tangos right here in the US. I'm sorry if I said anything about SF, I didn't realize that you were from here until I read one of your other posts. It's just cold here for this desert rat.
    Yes, in Lodi, CA, for one. They are all over the US, especially in New York and New Jersey, from what I've read.

    About SF: no problem and certainly no need for an apology! Also, you didn't say anything about it that is incorrect. For one so used to hot & dry, SF would be a difficult change, I would imagine. Lots of fog in the mornings, huh? I remember when, as a child, my Dad drove us across the GG Bridge, everything was covered with white clouds (as opposed to fog). He told me it was snow: LOL.

  9. #9
    varian
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    The place that I'm staying in is high up on a hill. Snow would really make a wild ride to the bottom, eg Irving or Lincoln. In this case I'm happy that your dad had a sense of humor. I wouldn't have to watch the events in Turin, the "streets of SF" would be better.

  10. #10
    Annaliese
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by varian
    The place that I'm staying in is high up on a hill. Snow would really make a wild ride to the bottom, eg Irving or Lincoln. In this case I'm happy that your dad had a sense of humor. I wouldn't have to watch the events in Turin, the "streets of SF" would be better.
    LOL

    um

    Basically, the odds of staying in a place in SF that is not high on a hill are low. Okay, not in the Financial District, but, although they have beautiful hotels, well, yuck!

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