Can the War on Terror be won? - Wargaming Forum and Wargamer Forums
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-27-08, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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Default Can the War on Terror be won?

well as the title says can the war on terror ever be won, especially afghanistan. i was interested in your opinions as im studying vietnam ATM.
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-27-08, 09:01 PM
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No, how can you fight something thats basically paranoia, its like trying to fight the shadows that follow you home at night.

the best way to fight terror is the same we British did in WWII, ignore it the best you can and carry on with your lives the best you can, its not terrorism if nobody is scared.

going around invading random countries pointing at everyone for being suspicious isn't how to do it, its how you increase it

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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-27-08, 10:50 PM
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I agree, I don't see how you can fight terror with more terror and expect to end up with less terror.

The way to defeat terrorists is to end the factors that cause sections of the population to support them. If people are poor, desperate, ignorant or afraid, they'll turn to any scumbag with a plausible line in who to blame. Ending the poverty, desperation, ignorance and fear is the way to defeat terrorists, whether of the governmental or wannabe kind.

But terrorism, no, because that's a tactic. You can't defeat a tactic, you might as well say "we'll defeat swimming". And "terror"? No, you can't defeat that either, except by calming everyone down and making them brave... and even then you're not really "defeating terror" you're defeating the effects of terror.

In terms of your question, I think a better way of looking at it is "Is America's policy in the Middle East and Central Asia serving its goals in the long or short term?"

The question then becomes, what are America's goals?

I'd suggest, surrounding Iran and trying to intimidate China, while guarenteeing that some oil flows out, are the immediate goals, with attempting to limit French, German and Russian power in the region being the next most important.

"Well it's Forty-one Thousand Nine Hundred Sixty-nine OK -
Gotta war across the Milky Way - "
Iggius Popiscus and the Stoogii, "41,969"

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-28-08, 01:25 AM
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Actually, I agree that a war on terror cannot be won - for the reason the Orc states. You can't win a war on a tactic.

Fortunately our government isn't quite that stupid. What they are actually doing is waging a war against a certain branch of terrorists. The "War or Terror" is just a sound bite to garner support.

Now, war on terrorists can be won. That is what the "winning hearts and minds" thing is all about, and which is another discussion entirely.

Originally Posted by jesse View Post
[Necrons]shoot, shoot, teleport, shoot. win
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-28-08, 02:12 AM
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it could be won, but it would be cruel, brutal, and totally against what the war was probably all about: dropping bombs on places where the terrorists are. this would not only kill the terrorists, but it would kill the innocent, which is not the point of the war. wasn't it to establish a democracy in iraq and order? and then the terrorists don't have uniforms and armor to show that they are the enemy, so it will be impossible to find the terrorists. perhaps if there was a detector for weaponry, that would help greatly in the war on terrorism. so no, as of now, the war of terror cannot be won.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-28-08, 04:27 AM
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Certainly not using the tactics my government currently practices.

Invasion, rendition, limiting and removing civil liberties, denying the existence of the Geneva Conventions....if we mean to 'win the hearts and minds of the people,' we're certainly doing a God-awful job of it.

I think 'winning' basically comes down to Orc's suggestion-eliminating the factors that led to the emergence of terrorist organizations. Offering aid to Islamic countries, keeping our noses out of their governments, and collaborative, police-style action against the organizations themselves seems to be the right course to me. However, given the current situation, I think the American government is unlikely to put such policies into place...

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-28-08, 06:05 AM
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no, I believe its quite impossible.

For the simple fact that killing one gives enough to more to hate you. Also it depends on your views, on one side you have people saying they are terrorists, then on the other, they view themselves as the only ones willing to stand up to what they believe in, thus to them they are freedom fighters.

And no amount of propaganda an prevent a person from hating the person, or side who killed some of his family.

They say reasons why people are terrorists, but look closer. They can not fire Guided missiles, they can not sustain a firefight, so they fight the best way they can.

Thus I believe it would equal being an Idea, a thought, a view.

And you can not force someone change that without application of force, and we have seen how some people will still fight, or will be further infuriated, causing the creation of more terrorists.

What do I think the US should have done in Iraq and Afghanistan? We should have left after we removed the initial target. They want to degenerate into killing themselves, so be it, but I will be clean in my head that we gave them the chance to choose their future.

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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-28-08, 07:47 AM
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They should have sent NZ troops in instead of your trigger happy Marines and Para's and other supporting elements. NZ troops have the best experience with hearts and minds projects. We are, effectively, a peacekeeping force. Just look at our operations in East Timor, sure people are being killed, but it isn't as violent as Iraq or Afghanistan. The NZ troops have experience in the goals the US are trying, but aren't achieving.

Fact is, the general populace of Afghanistan hate the Taliban. They have mutilated them, destroyed their lives and exerted a vicious rule over them. However, they do promise things that will make the people want them instead of the current rule, like promises to stop bandits attacking food carts and so on that travel between towns. They also protect the Opium farmers. The farmers don't have a choice when it comes to farming opium, its the only way they stay alive because it's worth so much.

It's also about culture, our culture is so incredibly different to theirs, we can't try impose our regulations on them, our style of rule because they aren't used to it, they have totally different values. They don't see the irony in employing a teenage opium addict in an opium field. It's just so different.

We can destroy terrorism, to an extent. Many organizations fall apart once their leaders are gone. We can't get rid of the idea, but we can get rid of those with the will and resources to act upon it. Take the war on drugs in Colombia. The ISA found the intel, and handed it to the SEALs and other para-military forces, who slowly dis-assembled the cartels member by member. Sure, it's still there, but it was a very very effective way of dealing with it. All we need to do is remove those people in positions of power and influence, and the rest falls apart.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-28-08, 09:47 AM
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No. Simple as that.

As has been said earlier, you can't fight a tactic. For example, you can destroy tanks and planes but you can't kill the idea of the blitzkrieg. When you kill a terrorist leader, there will always be a second in command to take his place. If you've ever played that war on terrorism flash game, you'll know its impossible to win.

See, when you get rid of the Taliban and Al-Queda, there's still hundreds of other fringe groups and cults that could give us just as much hell. There will always be more terrorists then we have soldiers. And they have the best hiding places too: in the heart of cities, in huge mountain ranges, within governments, etc. They're just too hard for us to find. If we waged a conventional war, and they waged a conventional war back, we would win due to our superior arms, airstrikes, and tanks. However, that's never going to happen. Terrorist groups know that in total war, they won't come out on top. So, they wage a guerrilla war. Well placed ambushes and lightning fast attacks can cripple even the best, largest and most technologically advanced force to ever been used in combat. You can't use tanks without fuel. You can't use infantry if their demoralized and out of ammo. You can't use planes if their burning on the ground. Just look what happened to the Red Army when they invaded Afghanistan.

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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-28-08, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Red Orc View Post
and trying to intimidate China
intimidate China?, whats the point in that

intimidate the country with the Largest standing army in the world and where everything comes from and who have no intention or need to invade or attack anybody, not one of the best ideas in the world

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