5 Ways You Can Help Fight Terrorism RIGHT NOW
I joined the Marine Corps in 2005 because I believed in what we were doing in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I believed we were fighting a battle we could win. It made sense for me to believe we could win. I was no military scientist or historian, but I knew we had the best trained, best equipped, best funded, most powerful military in the world, nay, in history.
Yet, over a decade after invading Afghanistan and Iraq, it is very clear that we have won in neither theater. Why?
This question bugged me. Why, with the most powerful military in the world, do we lose? And this is no new phenomenon. Our most recent blunders are scattered around the Middle East, but it goes all the way back to Vietnam and the Korean War. The staggering truth is that the US has not won a single major conflict in the last 70 years with one partial exception. In 1991 George H. W. Bush sent over 700,000 troops to boot Saddam Hussein’s army out of Kuwait, and to force a surrender by invading Iraq. Our victory and Hussein’s surrender were swift, but given that we had to invade again 12 years later to go after the same man and his same army, can we truly call that a victory?
Modern pundits have provided a litany of excuses for our current low performance. Insurgency. Guerrilla warfare. 4th dimensional war. A new kind of war. But all of these excuses ignore the fact that the most difficult war we have ever fought, by far, was World War II. And we won.
Though there are many small differences in the way we fight now compared to the way we fought then, the singular, major difference is limited war vs. total war. In World War II and prior wars we fought total war. That is, we used any and all means necessary in order to win. And it worked. Our current method for fighting war is known as limited war, and it involves limited objectives, and very strict limits on our strategies, tactics, timelines, and geography. We do not fight with the primary objective to win. And as a result we do not win.
As I began to study this concept it became more and more clear to me that the reason we were losing was based primarily on our lack of national commitment to winning. The answer has been staring us in the face for decades, yet we plunge into conflict after conflict with the same approach, expecting better results each time. It the definition of insanity.
And the benefit of total war is twofold: First, it helps us win. Second, it forces us to be honest about the cost of war to ourselves and those in the regions where we fight, which should make us less likely to go to war in some circumstances.
So I wrote a book called Total War: America’s Roadmap to Victory. In it I outlined the differences in total war and limited war, what we have been doing, what we should be doing, and how we need to get there. One of the most important steps I identified was the need for education. Simply put, most Americans learn everything they know about war from movies, TV, and video games. That is to say, most of us know almost nothing about a subject that affects our livelihood, security, economy, liberty, and the worldwide balance of power and stability. If we are to achieve any of the changes necessary to change the way we fight, it will have to start with a better understanding of war among the general population. No matter how jaded you may be about the political system, know that you do still have some power. Our elected officials tend to make at least some of their decisions based on public opinion because, surprise, they want to get reelected.
And this (finally, thanks for waiting) brings me to the 5 ways you can help fight terrorism. Ultimately the most effective means I have of changing the way we fight is by educating the population about war. So I have gone and created several avenues for you to learn about war in a simple, easy way.
1. Social: If you just do one of these do this one.
Let’s face it, American’s spend a lot of time on Facebook, and if you’re not on it, then good luck getting your message across. For that reason I have created a Facebook page for the discussion of total war and subjects surrounding it. I post videos and articles on it that provide you with an express look at what you need to know about war. All you have to do for for this step is go to the page and push “like” HERE.
2. Video: Everybody likes TV
Don’t like reading? Or maybe you do like reading, but you still enjoy watching the “talking pictures.” After you do number one (and if you haven’t done number one yet, do it), go to the YouTube page I set up for the discussion of total war and SUBSCRIBE.
3. Flash News Feed
One of the major reasons we have Facebook and YouTube in the first place is we like to be able to ingest little pieces of information quickly and efficiently. But sometimes those mediums aren’t quick or efficient enough. You want the bare minimum, core essence of the information, and for that you use Twitter. If you use Twitter and you want to be able to learn about war in easy-to-digest amounts, go to my Twitter page right now and FOLLOW.
4. Go in depth
Social media and videos are a great way to learn, but it’s difficult to beat the in-depth learning that can come with sitting down and reading a book. If you are serious about getting to know what war is, how it works, and what we can do to win, then read my book, Total War: America’s Roadmap to Victory. It’s not a long read. It will be worth your time.
It’s not enough for me to reach a small percentage of the population. In order to affect change, this message needs to reach a lot of people. If I have reached you that’s half the battle. If you also want to see change in the way we fight war, share this message with your friends. Share the article. Share the book, and YouTube channel, and Facebook page, and Twitter. Because winning half the battle is not enough. After all, this is total war, and losing is no longer an option.
Paul Brown is an author, entrepreneur, and public speaker. He spent five years in the Marine Corps, and another four years as a civilian contract intelligence analyst. He is currently working from Dallas, Texas to spread his message about war so that we spend less time at war, and when we do go to war we win. In addition to writing Total War: America’s Roadmap to Victory, he has also written several articles for The Washington Times and The Truth About Guns.