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14 November 2015


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Will Reks

Agreed. The usual suspects are wrapping this into our domestic politics. This won't work if we're not united with a clear plan of attack.

We need to expand our targets as well. Daesh and other jihadist groups are getting funds from people in KSA and the Gulf States. These people are actively working against us and we need to identify and eliminate them.


Sounds like a repeat of the post-9/11 scene.

Respectfully, I think there should be no declaration of anything until the emotional level cools.

Daesh, halfway between fundamentalist-revolutionary-group and proto-state, has been around for long enough, and has made hundreds of attacks, that one more added to the pile isn't reason to throw what little sanity is left out the window, even if the victims are european instead of middle eastern.

Enforcing existing laws against "supporters of terror" would be a nice start, and would represent a huge radical about-face for the "international community". Start there.

My heart goes out to the victims and families. If we care for them, let's go out of our way to discourage others from replaying the rhetoric of post-9/11.

Medicine Man

TTG: Agreed.


Amen TTG but we are breaking new ground here by declaring war on a non-state actor.

My understanding is that the rules of war were formulated to apply to nation states. Any insurrection inside a nation state was defined as a civil war. What we are facing now is perhaps a new/old formulation of war between defined nation states and an amorphous organisation made up of self defined religious radicals of multiple races and nationalities.

Perhaps the closest comparison might be the conflict between Protestants and the Catholic Church during the reformation, except that the Protestants weren't necessarily trying to impose their worldview on the Church.

The Twisted Genius


My point is that we should not make the same post-9/11 mistakes of open-ended and ambiguous declarations. The terms terror and supporters of terror are too open to interpretation. It's my opinion that a specific declaration of war will force us to get beyond our emotionalism. We should have done this long ago.

The Twisted Genius


Yes, this is new ground. That is why specificity is needed rather than a GWOT or AUFM open to interpretation. A specific declaration of war on IS would force us to view this not as a war against Islam, but against a specific group.



Respectfully, but I'ld like to say that I really don't get your idea.

AFAIK, there is already an AUMF for the fight against Al Qaeda, and ISIS is regarded as belonging to Al Qaeda in that context. Just what Al Qaeda really is not clear. POTUS can't declare war and Congress doesn't seem to be in the mood to do anything about it. Well, and here start the problems...

IMHO, if you REALLY want to do something about the jihadi horror, you should demand that the US declares war on Saudi Arabia, and it's main protector, Israel. Well, and here the political problems inside the US start to get worse... There won't be such a declaration, because AIPAC is doing well to take care of Israel's interst in Congress.


what is the cause of war wrt the USA?

J Villain

"Saudi Arabia to continue support Syrian rebels if Assad does not leave"


Will Reks


Non-state actor? Perhaps because no one will grant them the legitimacy bestowed on a nation-state.

They control large swathes of territory. They have a capital. They have an army, police forces, and sources of revenue. They are capable of projecting force.

Now.. declaring war on Daesh doesn't mean an another attack like the one in Paris can't happen again. It will likely happen again and soon. There are just too many soft targets available and we cannot protect everybody.

There will have to be national policies to counter domestic threats. Some of these will be unsavory.

Omo Naija

Whats the point of declaring war on ISIS (or any incarnations that might emerge) without taking on their sponsors who happen to be our client states?

We've acknowledge on this forum countless times the state and private support these jihadist enjoy from the Saudis and their acolytes. Until we confront that elephant in the room, any action is bound to fail. We will be plucking leaves (as we know they grow again) as opposed to destroying the root.

I don't hold out much hope that we will get it right.

The Twisted Genius


Yes, there is an AUMF that is being invoked whenever the Executive fells like invoking it. This is open ended bullshit and a grievous shirking of duty by Congress. POTUS wants a specific AUMF for IS, but Congress won't even do that. I guess they hate Obama more than they hate the liver eaters. That's a sorry state of affairs. So I guess you're right. There won't be such a declaration.


You might have a hard time getting the current US military flag ranks to go along with this.
Careerists (dressed up like doormen) who need lawyers to tell how to do their jobs.

The Twisted Genius

Oma Naija,

In my post I said "we will deal with any efforts to provide aid and comfort to our enemies quickly and harshly." I was referring to the IS supporters like the Saudis, Qataris and others like Erdogan and the Israelis. Unfortunately, as Bandoleer said, this won't happen... unless we can shame the shameless Congress critters into action.

The Twisted Genius


Luckily, declaring war is not up those dandified fops in the Pentagon. Too bad the Congress critter, whose job it is, are even worse.



I agree. A regional holy war has started. Our enemy are the radical non-state Islamists who are receiving aid by states and non-government organizations. They must be declared to be the enemy and the support stopped.

There has to be a mobilization of America with the goals of peace, justice and rebuilding. An alliance with Russia is required. If not, the world at war is just to make a very few wealthy sociopaths richer.

The Twisted Genius

Declaration of war does not require a specific list of grievances.

r whitman

I am very much in favor of your proposal but it must contain a defined end point. You need to define when we have won and all the elements of victory.


Thanks for your response. I agree completely about the mistaken ambiguity of post 9/11, and that the term terror and supporting terror are dangerously ambiguous.

I misunderstood what you were saying in your post, so thanks for clarifying.

I still have some reservations though. Given the ambiguity of the goal set that was established post 9/11, it is absolutely right to learn from what happened there.

But that brings you back to the original provocative question, "Who/what do you declare war against"?

So you put the entire IS/Daesh org chart on the wall, and like good proper guerillas, after they start dying, the rest would vanish, and return later under a different brand name, like the AQ of old, coming back as new variants, "unpleasant allies" in the next geopolitical situation 5 years from now...

By "supporters of terror" I mean whoever is bankrolling the whole thing. Will we get a declaration of war against them?

I really really hate to say it, but the appropriate declaration of war would, in significant part, be against a "noun" -- and not even a physical noun. It would be, in part, against an ideology, against a badly conflicted system of alliances, against the dishonesty that brought this situation about in the first place, and of course against a physical fighting force as well.

I guess my motivation is to try to convince anyone within earshot to slow down and make a patient, deliberate effort to sort out this mess, and I am wary of this moment when there are calls for righteous revenge. Hopefully we dont disagree too deeply over that?

All the best

Patrick Bahzad


tough words from the French prime-minister today:
"We will strike and destroy the enemy, in France, in Europe, but also in syria and Iraq. We need to expect other attacks, but we will hit back, and annihilate this army of terror"
Well, if we can back this up with actions, not just words, then so be it ...

ex-PFC Chuck

The Thirty Years War of the 17th century comes to mind. God help us if it proves to be anything like that.


Babak mentioned rectification of names.

The S common to ISIS and ISIL might more accurately stand for Syndicate. Where's the "there" of a state on which to declare war. How would you declare war on the old [mythical, nonexistent, entirely ficticious] Sicilian Mafia.

Hope this is not a major pain in the ass question.


Worth a look. A rant, but a pointed one.


The Twisted Genius


My condolences to you and your countrymen. I am most impressed and moved by the many instances of "La Marseillaise" I've heard in the last 24 hours, from the Stade de France to the National Assembly to the Metropolitan Opera and to the streets of New York City. I teared up several time today.


Is not a "declaration of war" what they want and seek? Are we not falling into a trap?
I ask sincerely, and I do not know the answer.

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