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Very Interesting Question for Dr. Pipes

Reader comment on item: Must Counterinsurgency Wars Fail?

Submitted by Alex (United States), Sep 14, 2008 at 22:16

Regarding Yaakov Amidror's point about the need for precise intelligence to effectively prosecute a counter-insurgency, I think I disagree.

Wouldn't fielding more spies than we currently do and really developing our field methods be a function more of ruthlessness than a desire to avoid civilian casualties on the other side? I think it takes a lot more guts, in fact, to field a spy than to field a battalion. A spy is a dare-devil all on his own, totally vulnerable, usually unarmed, meeting with the worst of the worst, and in possesion of our secrets too.

Bernard Lewis likes to point out how Imad Mugniyeh stopped kidnapping Soviet officials in Beirut in the 1980s after the Soviet Union threatened to nuke the city of Qom, yet when Congressman Tom Tancredo proposed threatening to nuke Mecca and Medina in response to a nuclear terrorist strike on our country, he faced huge protests--but don't those protests, rather than Tancredo's lack of cultural understanding, represent the real reason why we have such a bad intelligence system? In other words, isn't good intelligence work and use more a reflection of a desire to win than simply to not lose?

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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