Sunday, January 09, 2005

Impressing the Saudis and Winning the War

The United States is winning the war on terror. That is the conclusion of America's Secret War: Inside the Hidden Worldwide Struggle Between The United States And Its Enemies, George Friedman (London: Little Brown, 2004), reviewed in Sunday's Singapore Strait Times by Mafoot Simon (registration required).

Dr. George Friedman, founder of the Austin-based private intelligence agency Stratfor, argues that "the goal of Al-Qaeda (in its attacks on the US) was a rising of the Islamic masses (in the Islamic countries) that would topple Islamic regimes, replacing them with ones that would take their bearings from Al-Qaeda's thinking." The US holds the edge so far, in Friedman's estimation, in virtue of the fact that no Islamic regime has yet fallen.

Friedman also argues that the real purpose of the invasion of Iraq was to stop the flow of money to Al-Qaeda. "The problem was that the Saudis did not think the US was going to win this war... and the US did not terrify the Saudis nearly as much as Al-Qaeda did. The Saudis had heard US rhetoric in the past and were not impressed. Somehow the US had to demonstrate just how serious and frightening it could be, and then be in a position to put massive military and political pressure on the Saudis."

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|| headland, 2:51 AM


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