I bring to the readership’s attention a fascinating speech at Breitbart by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich in December 2015 at National Defense University about the “Long War” we are facing and our spectacular lack of preparation for such a conflict.
You should read the whole think, slowly. It is delivered in Gringrich’s usual crisp, punchy prose. Here is a sample in medias res:
6. Lawfare [ combined with ubiquitous regular media and social media coverage is creating new ground rules for the effective use of force in defense of American safety. ] For two generations we have allowed lawyers, media members, and non governmental organizations to define an ever more complex and more unwieldy set of ground rules. The efforts to turn war into criminal justice and to find “humane” methods of waging war have largely come at the expense of American national security. Confronted by enemies like Islamic Supremacists who don’t care about either the rule or law or the public opinion pressures created by visible violence, the United States will find itself at increasingly one sided disadvantages. The notion of “bringing to justice” those who attacked us on 9/11 or Paris this November is absurd. Not only do we need to move the lawyers, NGOs and media to the side, but our new leaders must communicate directly and bluntly the nature of the threats we face, and make it plain that we all must sacrifice something if we want this nation to endure. We have to cease treating our enemies with the kind of disdain (the “J.V. team” comment, for example) that allows our leaders to demand little of themselves and nothing of us.
7. As I noted at the beginning, we are engaged in a Long War. Hollywood began recognizing that war with movies like Black Sunday 38 years ago (1977) in which a Palestinian group sought to kill thousands at a Super Bowl. Today, 36 years after the Iranian illegal seizure of the American Embassy and year long hostage crisis, 22 years after the first bombing of the World Trade Center, 17 years after the bombing of the United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, 15 years after the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen, 14 years after the attack of 9/11killed 2,996 people, we need to have the courage to face the facts. We are losing the Long War. Our elites in America and Europe have an enormous resistance to dealing honestly and effectively with the Islamic Supremacists who seek to kill us and destroy our civilization. Until we can find accurate words to describe the realities of the Long War we have no hope of even beginning to win it. We have to recognize that this Long War may require totally new approaches completely outside the American historic experience. Furthermore the enemy’s ability to adapt may force us to dramatically shift away from the traditional “American Way of War”.
8. The Long War will last at least 50 to 100 years unless there is a disaster so large the West is compelled to mobilize with ruthless efficiency and destroy the capacity for Islamic Supremacists to function. We have no language or doctrine for sustaining a century long struggle in a free society. We have no serious efforts underway in our national security community to even begin thinking about such a long war. We certainly have no plans or systems which enable America to cope with technological breakouts, Chinese scale and complexity, Russian opportunism and a Long War simultaneously. We also have no plans to communicate with the American people and organize understanding among Americans to sustain a century long effort which will inherently be both foreign and domestic. Since we can’t talk with ourselves it is no wonder we can’t build support among our allies.
There’s a lot more. Read all of it.