2. Cut off the enemy’s flow of men, material and resources. We have to interdict the enemy’s flow of resources in order to prevent the ability to fund, supply and replenish his ranks.
3. Win the information war. Unfortunately, the enemy is far more adept at exploiting the power of the Internet, broadcast media and dissemination of powerful imagery. In addition, I fear our media now sees itself as an ideological political wing. If we cannot fully use our own national informational power as an asset, we will lose the strategic battle, if not our country.
4. Cordon off the enemy and reduce his sphere of influence. We must shrink the enemy’s territory, but we are not being effective. We are allowing, if not welcoming, the enemy into the United States. What happened with Maj. Nidal Hasan, the alleged Fort Hood shooter, should not have happened in this country. We must not turn a blind eye to a very bold enemy who is telling us exactly what he wants to do and is willing to bring the battle to our doorstep.
We must recognize that Afghanistan and Iraq are not distinct wars, but combat theaters of operation. It is up to our elected leaders and our senior military officials to identify and agree on the correct strategic goals and objectives in order to be successful on these battlefields and others. When we have a proper national security strategy, we will have a focused national military strategy, preparing the defense-industrial base to develop the right weapons systems for victory.
We must be mindful of the wise words compiled by Sun Tzu in “The Art of War” more than 25 centuries ago, “to know your enemy and to know yourself and to know the environment and countless amounts of battles, you will always be victorious.” If we do not understand this simple maxim, we face dark days ahead.
For the sake of our nation, and of all nations who seek freedom for their citizens, we must clearly identify the 21st century battlefield and ensure we are victorious on it.
Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), a retired Army lieutenant colonel, serves on the Armed Services Committee.
Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations for the IRS, arrives for a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the investigation of the IRS' targeting of political groups. Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right to not testify and caused a protest from some committee members when she offered an opening statement and engaged in dialogue with members before invoking the right.
Roll Call has launched a new feature, Hill Navigator, to advise congressional staffers and would-be staffers on how to manage workplace issues on Capitol Hill. Please send us your questions anything from office etiquette, to handling awkward moments, to what happens when the work life gets too personal. Submissions will be treated anonymously.