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April 01, 2005

Al Qaeda's Grand Strategy

TigerHawk attended a lecture on al Qaeda's grand strategy and took copious notes. It makes for interesting reading. Some highlights:

So where does the war stand now, according to al Qaeda? A leading al Qaeda operative has written a book, the title of which translates loosely to “The Management of Chaos.” According to al Qaeda, the current stage of revolution is the stage of “vexation and exhaustion” of the enemy. They have a notion of how to do this to the Americans and to their 'puppets'.

You vex and exhaust the Americans, according to al Qaeda, by making them spend a lot of money. The United States is a materialist society, and if forced to spend too much money it will “cut and run.”

The means to this end is to force the Americans to spread themselves thinly. Al Qaeda wants to strike everywhere, not just spectacular high value attacks. This will cause the Americans to defend a lot of places at high cost.

In addition, al Qaeda wants to force Americans to carry the war into the heartland of the Middle East [We have obliged them in this. - ed.] There are two reasons why al Qaeda sought an American invasion in the Middle East. First, it will be very costly for the United States and will therefore drain our treasury. Second, bringing the war to the heartland will have a polarizing effect within Muslim society. Doran believes that they borrowed this “polarization” idea from Palestinian organizations of the 60s and 70s. Americans striking back “without precision” will polarize Muslim society between supporters and proponents of jihad.

One interesting note on the "vex and exhaust" strategy is that it would almost undoubtedly been brilliantly successful at almost any other time in American history. I believe they (correctly) counted on the short attention span of American politicians, noting their notorious weathervane-like inconstancy. What they failed to account for was a factor not present when they made their plans to bring down the Twin Towers: the sheer stubborness and vision of George Bush. So far, he shows no signs of exhaustion, whereas there are several signs that al Qaeda, by inviting invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan with the ensuing overthrow of despotic government in favor of democratic rule, may have set something in motion that is too big for them to stop.

Posted by Cassandra at April 1, 2005 08:26 AM

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» Good Review of The Core of Al Qaeda from The Command T.O.C.
Great posts by Tigerhawk and Villainous (follow up). I have posted my thoughts. I think some of the conclusions are flawed and, in disagreement with Villainous, I believe the stubbornness of BUSH is EXACTLY what Al Qaeda counted on. [Read More]

Tracked on April 2, 2005 02:31 PM


I wonder if any of those who were waffling with "Buyer's Remorse" earlier will see this as a direct indictment.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at April 1, 2005 09:43 AM

We do a pretty good job of vexing and exhausting ourselves, e.g., the Schiavo case. Come to think of it, we kill our own quite well without AlQ having to lift a finger.

Posted by: Ciggy at April 1, 2005 10:51 AM

Bush has 3 more years. Then what? Vietnam lasted a long time. I'm NOT saying this is Vietnam. I'm just saying that Bush will be gone soon, and that strategy may eventually work. We must replace Bush with an equally vigilent person.

Chant with me now: Rudi, Rudi, Rudi....

Posted by: KJ at April 1, 2005 02:26 PM

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