This came up a while ago from Bing West’s book, The Wrong War.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Adm Michael Mullen, was fond of saying, “we can’t kill our way to victory.” That was political drivel. If the Taliban weren’t killing people, there wouldn’t be 100,000 American troops in Afghanistan. It was comparable to a police chief saying, “Arrests are not the solution to crime”—a vacuity sure to result in fewer arrests. War is centered on killing. The grunts knew that, even if their own generals did not. Killing was not the solution, but it was the means to the solution.
It’s still true, and it’s especially applicable today as the Obama administration pays lip service to taking on ISIS. We need to take this war seriously, and set about doing a couple of things:
- getting serious about fighting—and killing—these terrorists, rather than just taking potshots from the air
- repairing our reputation with our friends, allies, and enemies so that we can get a real coalition going and take the fight to these terrorists, on the ground as well as from the air.
It’s also applicable today as so many on the Left argue that this isn’t a war we should be fighting, it’s a wrong war. Never mind that if we don’t fight today, there, the terrorists will force us to fight tomorrow, here.
The time for talking is long past. Three administrations have tried talking, including the present one for six interminable years. Words don’t stop terrorists.