In the middle of a conversation over Memorial Day weekend my younger son asked: “How do we defeat ISIS and al Qaeda and the Taliban when we don’t always know who we are fighting?”
In traditional armed conflicts, battles are waged among and between nations. When Germany and Italy and Japan surrendered in World War II, agreements were made, hostilities ended, and the rest of us moved on. How do you defeat enemies with no clear geographic, ethnic, or hierarchical parameters?
Last week, the Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour was killed in a U. S. drone strike. Almost immediately he was replaced, not by one of Mansour’s military lieutenants, but by a religious fanatic—Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada—yet another America-hating zealot. There are simply not enough drone missiles to solve this problem.
In my recent novel, ROGUE MISSION, drones play an important part in the story. As sophisticated as these weapons are, though, they are not the answer to defeating the forces of evil throughout the world. The sad truth is that we must engage them, with boots on the ground, putting the lives of our young men and women at risk. As we know, the various presidential candidates do not want to confront such an unpopular notion, not while they are trying to win votes. And our current president is too weak to do what needs to be done.