National Security

Iran Shows Difficulties of and Need for War on Terror

The political rancor at home is arguably as challenging as any threat in the field.

Harold Hutchison · Jan. 14, 2020

The takedown of Qasem Soleimani has caused a major shift in the Middle East. It also has managed to reinforce the necessity of fighting the War on Terror, as well as illustrating why this war is a very difficult one to fight.

In the wake of the termination of the notorious Quds Force commander, Iran retaliated by targeting two American bases with 15 or so ballistic missiles, four of which failed, making the regime look like a paper tiger. President Donald Trump had authorized a strike to take down Soleimani should an American be killed and if the conditions were right. Obviously, earlier this month, they were.

However, shortly after the ineffective missile barrage, some Iranian troops near Tehran who were manning a SA-15 Gauntlet launcher apparently forgot a basic safety rule involving weapons — be sure of your target. As a result of that negligent discharge of an air-defense system, the Iranian regime downed a Boeing 737 with 176 people on board. There were no survivors. Somehow, at least if you listen to Democrats and the Leftmedia, the Iranian regime’s inability to follow a commonsense rule that anyone would learn at an NRA firearms safety course is Donald Trump’s fault.

Of course, in the wake of the Soleimani takedown — one that is no less justified than the takedowns of Isoroku Yamamoto, Osama bin Laden, and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — Iran has been spouting its usual “Death to America” nonsense. Some of the leaders also reiterated their desire to wipe Israel off the map, and threats were made to the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa.

Iran’s actions show why we still need to fight the War on Terror. Countries will sponsor terrorist groups as a way to land blows against the United States — and even hit Americans on American soil. Or, failing that, they will lash out at American allies. If you want a sustainable long-term peace, Jihadistan must be fought.

Saying that, of course, is the easy part. The actual takedown of the bad guys isn’t hard, relatively speaking, either. The very hard part when it comes to winning the Global War on Terror comes after that. America has to somehow find and keep friendly governments in the region, and that takes long-term commitment. That, though, is arguably the biggest question America needs to answer, and America’s biggest difficulty. Just look at the situation in Afghanistan.

To see just how America’s commitment to winning fades, consider the dishonorable treatment of the Patriots who interrogated Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Aby Zubaydah, and other hard-core al-Qaida terrorists. America asked people like Gina Haspel, Jose Rodriguez, Bruce Jessen, and James Mitchell to find ways to get that information. When enhanced interrogation techniques were proposed, they were reviewed and found to be legal. Yet instead of being honored for accomplishing this difficult task and saving lives, these Patriots were left to fend for themselves. Then, grandstanding politicians proceeded to stab them in the back again with new restrictions.

It’s ironic that many of those who demand we believe the “intelligence community” about Trump-Russia collusion have been dismissive at best when that same “intelligence community” told the truth about what it took to get hardened terrorists to talk.

In any case, if America wants to win the Long War, it needs to find the long-term commitment needed for victory.

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