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and the war undergoes a name change

Lysistrata

Well-Known TRIBEr
better than basic becoming ravegod skills.

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America's Long War

Last week US defence chiefs unveiled their plan for battling global Islamist extremism. They envisage a conflict fought in dozens of countries and for decades to come. Today we look in detail at this seismic shift in strategic thinking, and what it will mean for Britain

Simon Tisdall and Ewen MacAskill
Wednesday February 15, 2006
The Guardian


The message from General Peter Pace, the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, was apocalyptic. "We are at a critical time in the history of this great country and find ourselves challenged in ways we did not expect. We face a ruthless enemy intent on destroying our way of life and an uncertain future."
Gen Pace was endorsing the Pentagon's four-yearly strategy review, presented to Congress last week. The report sets out a plan for prosecuting what the the Pentagon describes in the preface as "The Long War", which replaces the "war on terror". The long war represents more than just a linguistic shift: it reflects the ongoing development of US strategic thinking since the September 11 attacks.


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Looking beyond the Iraq and Afghan battlefields, US commanders envisage a war unlimited in time and space against global Islamist extremism. "The struggle ... may well be fought in dozens of other countries simultaneously and for many years to come," the report says. The emphasis switches from large-scale, conventional military operations, such as the 2003 invasion of Iraq, towards a rapid deployment of highly mobile, often covert, counter-terrorist forces.
Among specific measures proposed are: an increase in special operations forces by 15%; an extra 3,700 personnel in psychological operations and civil affairs units - an increase of 33%; nearly double the number of unmanned aerial drones; the conversion of submarine-launched Trident nuclear missiles for use in conventional strikes; new close-to-shore, high-speed naval capabilities; special teams trained to detect and render safe nuclear weapons quickly anywhere in the world; and a new long-range bomber force.

The Pentagon does not pinpoint the countries it sees as future areas of operations but they will stretch beyond the Middle East to the Horn of Africa, north Africa, central and south-east Asia and the northern Caucasus.

The cold war dominated the world from 1946 to 1991: the long war could determine the shape of the world for decades to come. The plan rests heavily on a much higher level of cooperation and integration with Britain and other Nato allies, and the increased recruitment of regional governments through the use of economic, political, military and security means. It calls on allies to build their capacity "to share the risks and responsibilities of today's complex challenges".

The Pentagon must become adept at working with interior ministries as well as defence ministries, the report says. It describes this as "a substantial shift in emphasis that demands broader and more flexible legal authorities and cooperative mechanisms ... Bringing all the elements of US power to bear to win the long war requires overhauling traditional foreign assistance and export control activities and laws."

Unconventional approach

The report, whose consequences are still being assessed in European capitals, states: "This war requires the US military to adopt unconventional and indirect approaches." It adds: "We have been adjusting the US global force posture, making long overdue adjustments to US basing by moving away from a static defence in obsolete cold war garrisons, and placing emphasis on the ability to surge quickly to troublespots across the globe."

The strategy mirrors in some respects a recent readjustment in British strategic thinking but it is on a vastly greater scale, funded by an overall 2007 US defence spending request of more than $513bn.

As well as big expenditure projects, the report calls for: investments in signals and human intelligence gathering - spies on the ground; funding for the Nato intelligence fusion centre; increased space radar capability; the expansion of the global information grid (a protected information network); and an information-sharing strategy "to guide operations with federal, state, local and coalition partners". A push will also be made to improve forces' linguistic skills, with an emphasis on Arabic, Chinese and Farsi.

The US plan, developed by military and civilian staff at the Pentagon in concert with other branches of the US government, will raise concerns about exacerbating the "clash of civilisations" and about the respect accorded to international law and human rights. To wage the long war, the report urges Congress to grant the Pentagon and its agencies expanded permanent legal authority of the kind used in Iraq, which may give US commanders greatly extended powers.

"Long duration, complex operations involving the US military, other government agencies and international partners will be waged simultaneously in multiple countries round the world, relying on a combination of direct (visible) and indirect (clandestine) approaches," the report says. "Above all they will require persistent surveillance and vastly better intelligence to locate enemy capabilities and personnel. They will also require global mobility, rapid strike, sustained unconventional warfare, foreign internal defence, counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency capabilities. Maintaining a long-term, low-visibility presence in many areas of the world where US forces do not traditionally operate will be required."

The report exposes the sheer ambition of the US attempt to mastermind global security. "The US will work to ensure that all major and emerging powers are integrated as constructive actors and stakeholders into the international system. It will also seek to ensure that no foreign power can dictate the terms of regional or global security.

Building partnerships

"It will attempt to dissuade any military competitor from developing disruptive capabilities that could enable regional hegemony or hostile action against the US and friendly countries."

Briefing reporters in Washington, Ryan Henry, a Pentagon policy official, said: "When we refer to the long war, that is the war against terrorist extremists and the ideology that feeds it, and that is something that we do see going on for decades." He added that the strategy was aimed at responding to the "uncertainty and unpredictability" of this conflict. "We in the defence department feel fairly confident that our forces will be called on to be engaged somewhere in the world in the next decade where they're currently not engaged, but we have no idea whatsoever where that might be, when that might be or in what circumstances that they might be engaged.

"We realise that almost in all circumstances others will be able to do the job less expensively than we can because we tend to have a very cost-intensive force. But many times they'll be able to do it more effectively too because they'll understand the local language, the local customs, they'll be culturally adept and be able to get things accomplished that we can't do. So building a partnership capability is a critical lesson learned.

"The operational realm for that will not necessarily be Afghanistan and Iraq; rather, that there are large swaths of the world that that's involved in and we are engaged today. We are engaged in things in the Philippines, in the Horn of Africa. There are issues in the pan-Sahel region of north Africa.

"There's a number of different places where there are activities where terrorist elements are out there and that we need to counter them, we need to be able to attack and disrupt their networks."

Priorities

The report identifies four priority areas

· Defeating terrorist networks

· Defending the homeland in depth

· Shaping the choices of countries at strategic crossroads

· Preventing hostile states and non-state actors from acquiring or using weapons of mass destruction

Lawrence's legacy

The Pentagon planners who drew up the long war strategy had a host of experts to draw on for inspiration. But they credit only one in the report: Lawrence of Arabia.

The authors anticipate US forces being engaged in irregular warfare around the world. They advocate "an indirect approach", building and working with others, and seeking "to unbalance adversaries physically and psychologically, rather than attacking them where they are strongest or in the manner they expect to be attacked.

They write: "One historical example that illustrates both concepts comes from the Arab revolt in 1917 in a distant theatre of the first world war, when British Colonel TE Lawrence and a group of lightly armed Bedouin tribesmen seized the Ottoman port city of Aqaba by attacking from an undefended desert side, rather than confronting the garrison's coastal artillery by attacking from the sea."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,1710062,00.html
 

zoo

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Lysistrata
Looking beyond the Iraq and Afghan battlefields, US commanders envisage a war unlimited in time and space against global Islamist extremism.

...

Briefing reporters in Washington, Ryan Henry, a Pentagon policy official, said: "When we refer to the long war, that is the war against terrorist extremists and the ideology that feeds it, and that is something that we do see going on for decades."
A war against the terrorism and the "ideology that feeds it." What is the ideology? Islam.

And now it's called what it is: the contemporary religious war.

:(
 
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2canplay

TRIBE Member
"BEWARE THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX." "IT THREATENS TO PROPEL THIS COUNTRY INTO INNUMERABLE CONFLICTS...."

- Dwight Eisenhower
 

Vincent Vega

TRIBE Member
Re: Re: and the war undergoes a name change

Originally posted by zoo
A war against the terrorism and the "ideology that feeds it." What is the ideology? Islam.

And now it's called what it is: the contemporary religious war.

:(
Don't be silly. You know precisely which ideology was being referenced in that article, as well as the statement being quoted.
 

zoo

TRIBE Member
Re: Re: Re: and the war undergoes a name change

Originally posted by Vincent Vega
Don't be silly. You know precisely which ideology was being referenced in that article, as well as the statement being quoted.
what ideology, terrorism?

what is terrorism?
 
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atbell

TRIBE Member
How about "to change, or destroy, a system through the propogation of fear and paranoia feed by occasional, aparently random, attacks."
 

deafplayer

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by atbell
How about "to change, or destroy, a system through the propogation of fear and paranoia feed by occasional, aparently random, attacks."
how about, 'To oppose the United States and/or its interests.'
 

Lysistrata

Well-Known TRIBEr
Vincent Vega said:
Don't be silly. You know precisely which ideology was being referenced in that article, as well as the statement being quoted.

i'm kinda confused... i do that a lot. it looks to me that zoo is sayi ng that the ideology being referenced is islam. if you're disagreeing with him, what ideaology do you think they meant?

crusade would be a better term, if just because this isn't really a war. it's a war like the 'war on drugs' is a war: it's a catchphrase, it's semantics, it's sophistry. technically, a war is officially declared on a nation by a nation. 'terrorism' is not a nation.
 
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freshest1

TRIBE Member
2canplay said:
"BEWARE THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX." "IT THREATENS TO PROPEL THIS COUNTRY INTO INNUMERABLE CONFLICTS...."

- Dwight Eisenhower
the exact qoute i was thinking about as i read this
 

Taro

TRIBE Member
seriously though (although obviously the images are serious),
I am concerned about 2 things. First, the amount of resources that are being put towards this 'war' and where exactly the money is going (who is receiving the contracts and how are they, if at all, related to the political apparatus.)

Second, I feel this shift from 'war on terror' to a 'war on ideology' to be an incredibly significant one, as the former implicates those who are a threat (although threat is obviously open for interpretation), whereas the second type of 'war' completely disregards any 'obective' form of analysis of a 'threat' and shifts the basis of legitimate violent action solely upon the subjective whims of those in power.
 

Taro

TRIBE Member
Finally, without any achievable goal, the 'war' is now prolonged for an indefinite (possibly eternal?- in the sense that ideology, insofar as its an idea is simply unachievable) period of time.
 

atbell

TRIBE Member
Well put Taro.

I don't like this precedence either. How long before countries refusing to allow US access to their natural resources is classified as "ideologically different" then the US.

This precedence is allowing the US to begin to target anything different then them.

What if some country was described as an ideological threat to the US because it was described by the administration as being lax on terrorists and drugs, subsidizing its lumber industry, refusing the free market economy by protecting fresh water from the open market, unfairly subsidizing all corporate interests by providing state funded medical care, and unfairly erecting barriers to the legitimate industry of small arms manufacturing and sales?

Boy would the US ever be pissed at a country like that. The precedence might actually make it easier for the administration to use force to eliminate a threat to their ideology like this though.

I also wonder if internal US ideological differences might start being resolved the same way as the external differences have been. Take the current baptist church burnings in the south. From what little I know of the Baptist line I am not a huge fan of it but this type of thing is the stuff used to rally groups against groups.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4731578.stm
 
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Vincent Vega

TRIBE Member
Lysistrata said:
i'm kinda confused... i do that a lot. it looks to me that zoo is sayi ng that the ideology being referenced is islam. if you're disagreeing with him, what ideaology do you think they meant?
I was disagreeing with him because "islam" is not an ideology. I also think he (intentionally or otherwise) misinterpreted the quote he cited.

I think of "ideology" as being more of a vision, a set of ideas or tendencies, typically expressed in a "political" sense. While there are different types of ideologies (ie. socialism, nationalism, anarchism, etc), I would not characterize a religion as being an ideology.

The quote was likely referring to an ideology BASED ON a religion (in this case Islam) but not the religion itself. If anything, "the ideology that feeds it" is a reference to Islamism, which is derived from the overall religion, and which is pretty different from saying "islam is the ideology."

Is that any clearer or did I just confuse you more? :)
 

Spinsah

TRIBE Member
Vincent Vega said:
I was disagreeing with him because "islam" is not an ideology. I also think he (intentionally or otherwise) misinterpreted the quote he cited.

I think of "ideology" as being more of a vision, a set of ideas or tendencies, typically expressed in a "political" sense. While there are different types of ideologies (ie. socialism, nationalism, anarchism, etc), I would not characterize a religion as being an ideology.

The quote was likely referring to an ideology BASED ON a religion (in this case Islam) but not the religion itself. If anything, "the ideology that feeds it" is a reference to Islamism, which is derived from the overall religion, and which is pretty different from saying "islam is the ideology."

Is that any clearer or did I just confuse you more? :)
Rob, I think your definiton of 'ideology', while functional to a degree, does not adequately flush out the nuances of the concept. For me, ideology is one most slippery theoretical orienting points I've come up against, and even after tackling a range of the works that wrestles with its comlexity, I still feel incredibly distant from having a firm grasp on the concept.

My main man, Stuart Hall does a decent job of laying out just a few of the main points of oscillation:

Ideology is indeed a system of "representations", but in the majority of cases these representations have nothing to do with "consciousness": . . . it is above all as structures that they impose on the vast majority of men, not via their "consciousness" ... it is within this ideological unconsciousness that men succeed in altering the "lived" relation between them and the world and acquiring that new form of specific unconsciousness called "consciousness" (For Marx, p. 233). It was, in this sense, that 'experience' was conceived, not as an authenticating source but as an effect: not as a reflection of the real but as an 'imaginary relation'. It was only a short step the one which separates For Marx from the 'Ideological State Apparatuses' essay to the development of an account of how this 'imaginary relation' served, not simply the dominance of a ruling class over a dominated one, but (through the reproduction of the relations of production, and the constitution of labour-power in a form fit for capitalist exploitation) the expanded reproduction of the mode of production itself. Many of the other lines of divergence between the two paradigms flow from this point: the conception of 'men' as bearers of the structures that speak and place them, rather than as active agents in the making of their own history the emphasis on a structural rather than a historical 'logic'; the preoccupation with the constitution in 'theory' of a non-ideological, scientific discourse; and hence the privileging of conceptual work and of Theory as guaranteed; the recasting of history as a march of the structures (cf. passim, The Poverty of Theory): the structuralist 'machine'. . .
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
I think that the term "ideology" may have a precise, academic definition, in so far as having a concrete set of descriptors associated with the name itself, though the descriptors -- and I doubt this greatly -- could not ever be more specific than a relatively ambiguous philosophical outline.

My personal specification on this non-specific topic (some people get off on word play, okay?) is that an "idelogy" simply consists of a connected set of ideas that are already established as part of your thought process. I'm not sure I would go so far as to describe "already established" as being "unconscious", however it would be something similar to the inductive principle and why we assume the sun will rise tomorrow.
 

Spinsah

TRIBE Member
If they are already established as part of your thought process then you awknowledge the existence of these idea sets to some extent and are self-reflexive about it. However, I think we can all agree that ideology makes itself known through far more covert mechanisms and often works at once within and outside consiciousness.
 
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