The Nature of the War

Richard A. Muller

September 21, 2001

Last night, President George W. Bush addressed the nation concerning the terrorist threat. I am sharing my thoughts for those who are interested.

The one aspect of Bush's speech last night that completely surprised me, was his attack on the Taliban. (I had hoped, previously, that we would enlist them to try and convict bin Laden, but that is obviously not going to happen now.) I immediately sensed that he already knew that the Taliban was going to reject his demands. That means that he is getting information from some of the mullahs.

I also interpreted his public attack on the Taliban as an indication that he is preparing the US public for invasion. Whereas previously I thought we were going to bomb the terrorist camps, now I think we are going to go right into Kabul and oust the Taliban.

How many people in Afghanistan will be relieved at this? Many -- but most Afghanis don't like us either. Perhaps the US will try to arrange a coup in the next few days or weeks, before we send our troops in. Remember -- we have NOT recognized the Taliban as a legitimate government.

After the Taliban are replaced, there will be many Afghanis who will be outraged with the US. But there will also be a large number Afghanis who will be very pleased. In particular, many articulate and educated Afghan women will be interviewed on CNN saying how glad they are that the Taliban have been removed, and how grateful they are to the US for restoring their lives.

Bin Laden is like Hitler, but Hitler had made his country wealthy and happy prior to taking it to war. Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world. A key element of our program will be to bring food and medicine to the people of Afghanistan. The tricky part will be the government that we install. Remember, we succeeded in installing a government in a religiously-fanatical country, maybe in two of them, at the end of WWII. It is not impossible.

A key element is food and medicine. It is hard to hate someone who is feeding you. There is famine in Afghanistan that the Taliban believe is the will of Allah. We have nothing that the Taliban want, but we have a lot that the people of Afghanistan need. Massive aid, delivered simultaneously with the invasion, is an important part of the plan. Everyone in Afghanistan will know that the arrival of US troops in their village means food and medicine. This will be broadcast via radio and through dropped leaflets.

The US military does not believe that Afghanistan will be a quagmire. They have studied the Russian experience, and will do things differently. They will take out all advanced weapons quickly. Remember, when the Russians were there, they had to face an enemy that was being resupplied by us. Nobody is going to be resupplying the Taliban. The US will have AWACS and other radar, U-2s, and drones constantly surveying the countryside. There are no jungles in Afghanistan.Troops can hide in caves, but they will be seen when they move to a new cave. Small arms will survive, and snipers will be a constant problem. In the past, a few deaths from snipers would have brought the US troops to a standstill. Things are different now. We will take the casualties, and take out the snipers.

I would bet that we already have special forces inside the country setting up observation posts. They are already setting up radio stations to broadcast to the people of Afghanistan our version of the truth, and the imminent arrival of food and medicine. They are already enlisting the aid of sympathetic mullahs to serve as the announcers for these radio stations. The enlistment of famous people that are locally respected is a standard part of the Special Ops procedures. These mullahs will make it clear that we respect Islam, but that the distorted version preached by the Taliban is no longer in force.

In doing all this, we will have the complete support of Pakistan. In return for this, we will help remove "terrorist" elements from that country. This means, of course, not those terrorists that sneak into Kashmir, but those terrorists that do not support the Pakistani government. We will once again be stabilizing a regime that was not popularly elected. But this is war....

Only after some success in Afghanistan will we attack Iraq. We will make Iraq think that we are not going to attack, because we don't want them to be prepared. We will "leak" statements that we cannot attack Iraq for fear of alienating the Russians or the French. But within a month (my guess) we will suddenly attack all of Saddam's palaces and other "secret" facilities. Everything that we were denied access to, in the UN inspections, will be destroyed. Bush will state that the reason that we did this is not related to bin Laden, but to the wider issue. We could not afford to wait until a terrorist used a nuclear or BW weapon against us. Since we "knew" that these weapons were under development in Iraq, it was his duty as President to destroy them.

We will probably not land troops in Iraq until Afghanistan is completely "pacified."

Remember, I am only analyzing, not endorsing. This is what I guess is happening, and what will happen.