Who put John Kerry in charge of the Defense Department? Back in the 04 campaign, the insufferable Massachusetts senator got hammered by Republicans for his calls for more international coalitions, for his observation that there were non-military ways to win the war on terror, and for his view that there might not be a formal end to the anti-terror fight. But take a look at what the Pentagons every-four-years master plan, the Quadrennial Defense Review, has to say about fighting Islamic extremists. You get a decidedly Kerryesque view:
The long war against terrorist networks extends far beyond the borders of Iraq and Afghanistan and includes many operations characterized by irregular warfare operations in which the enemy is not a regular military force of a nation-state. In recent years, U.S. forces have been engaged in many countries, fighting terrorists and helping partners to police and govern their nations. To succeed in such operations, the United States must often take an indirect approach, building up and working with others. This indirect approach seeks to unbalance adversaries physically and psychologically, rather than attacking them where they are strongest or in the manner they expect to be attacked. Taking the line of least resistance unbalances the enemy physically, exploiting subtle vulnerabilities and perceived weaknesses. Exploiting the line of least expectation unbalances the enemy psychologically, setting the conditions for the enemys subsequent defeat.Victory will come when the enemys extremist ideologies are discredited in the eyes of their host populations and tacit supporters, becoming unfashionable, and following other discredited creeds, such as Communism and Nazism, into oblivion. This requires the creation of a global environment inhospitable to terrorism. It requires legitimate governments with the capacity to police themselves and to deny terrorists the sanctuary and the resources they need to survive. It also will require support for the establishment of effective representative civil societies around the world, since the appeal of freedom is the best long-term counter to the ideology of the extremists. The ultimate aim is that terrorist networks will no longer have the ability or support to strike globally and catastrophically, and their ability to strike regionally will be outweighed by the capacity and resolve of local governments to defeat them.Just as these enemies cannot defeat the United States militarily, they cannot be defeated solely through military force. The United States, its allies and partners, will not win this long war in a great battle of annihilation. Victory can only be achieved through the patient accumulation of quiet successes and the orchestration of all elements of national and international power. (emphasis mine)Don't get me wrong; I like what I'm reading here. In fact, I thought the ideas sounded pretty good in 2004, too.UPDATE 3:45 PM: So the Pentagon is saying that beating Islamic extremism "requires the creation of a global environment inhospitable to terrorism." How're we doing on that front? Judging by the jihadists' strong showings at the polls in the West Bank and in Egypt, I'd say that part of the Long War isn't exactly going swimmingly.