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Hegemonic Competition, Hegemonic Disruption and the Current War
Unformatted Document Text:  Newmann: DRAFT: Please do not cite without permission Al-Qaeda’s national security goals are best understood by viewing al-Qaeda and its affiliated networks as a global insurgency 84 or “strategic terrorism.” 85 It is the use of asymmetric warfare towards strategic goals. Its strategy for achieving its goals of creating an Islamic empire is a modified and updated version of classic Maoist guerrilla warfare. 86 In by-the-book insurgent warfare there are three phases (Figure Three). The first two phases lay the political ground work for victory. The prize is the support of the local population. Winning insurgent warfare depends on the ability to make the target government and its allies seem like the enemy of the people. Once this is done, the third phase turns political support for the insurgents into physical control of the government. Phase 1 consists of political mobilization. The insurgent group spreads its propaganda, builds its political and military cell structure, and develops its organization in the territories that are contested. Phase II, guerrilla warfare, begins the violent phase of the conflict, during which the guerrilla cells attacks enemy targets, using hit and run strikes, while avoiding direct head-to-head military confrontation with the forces of the enemy. The purpose is not to defeat the enemy military; this is assumed to be impossible because of the enemy’s overwhelming military superiority. The purpose is to politically undermine the enemy by maintaining the pace of attacks, eliminating any hope of a secure and safe environment for the citizens, highlighting the weakness of the enemy, and inflicting continuous pain in the form of casualties and economic damage on the enemy government and its supporters. It is the guerrilla’s ability to prove that the government cannot defeat it 84 The term itself is used numerous places, such as Richard K. Betts, “The Soft Underbelly of American Primacy,” Political Science Quarterly Vol. 117, No. 1 (Spring 2002), pp. 19-36; Benjamin and Simon, The Age of Sacred Terror, p. 453; Daniel Byman, “The War on Terrorism, So Far,” Current History Vol. 102, No. 668 (December 2003), p. 413; Don Chipman, “Bin-Laden and Guerrilla War,” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism No. 26 (2003), pp. 163-170; Michael Scheuer (writing as Anonymous), Imperial Hubris (Washington DC: Brassey’s, 2004), p. 69; and Fukuyama, “The Neoconservative Moment,” p. 66. it is best analyzed in Mockaitis, “Winning Hearts and Minds in the War on Terrorism;” Kilcullen, “Countering Global Insurgency;” Cassidy, “Feeding Bread to the Luddites;” and Barno, “Challenges in Fighting a Global Insurgency.” 85 Peter Neumann and MLR Smith, “”Strategic Terrorism,” Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol. 28, Issue 4 (August 2005), pp. 571-595. 86 The classic treatises on guerrilla warfare include: Samuel B. Griffith ed., Mao Tse Tung on Guerrilla Warfare (New York: Praeger, 1961); Che Guevara, Guerrilla Warfare (New York: Random House, 1961), pp. 1-12; Vo Nguyen Giap, People’s War People’s Army (New York: Bantam Books, 1968), pp. 22-44; Carlos Marighella, “Minimanual of the Urban Guerrilla,” 1969, Marxist Internet Library. Available at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marighella-carlos/1969/06/minimanual-urban- guerrilla/index.htm . Accessed November 11, 2007. See also David Galula, Pacification in Algeria (Santa Monica: Rand Corporation 2006 (1963)); David Galula, Counterinsurgency Warfare (New York: Prager, 1964); Roger Trinquier, Modern Warfare (Westport, CT: Praeger Security International, 2006 (1964)); Robert Taber, War of the Flea (Washington, DC: Brassey’s, 2002 (1965)); Robert Thompson, Defeating Communist Insurgency (New York: Praeger, 1966); Bard O’Neill, Insurgency and Terrorism (Washington, DC, 1990); Thomas X. Hammes, The Sling and the Stone, pp. 44-55; and Austin Long, On “Other War” (Santa Monica: Rand Corporation, 2006). 30

Authors: Newmann, William.
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background image
Newmann: DRAFT: Please do not cite without permission
Al-Qaeda’s national security goals are best understood by viewing al-Qaeda and its affiliated
networks as a global insurgency
or “strategic terrorism.
It is the use of asymmetric warfare towards
strategic goals. Its strategy for achieving its goals of creating an Islamic empire is a modified and updated
version of classic Maoist guerrilla warfare.
In by-the-book insurgent warfare there are three phases
(Figure Three). The first two phases lay the political ground work for victory. The prize is the support of
the local population. Winning insurgent warfare depends on the ability to make the target government
and its allies seem like the enemy of the people. Once this is done, the third phase turns political support
for the insurgents into physical control of the government. Phase 1 consists of political mobilization. The
insurgent group spreads its propaganda, builds its political and military cell structure, and develops its
organization in the territories that are contested. Phase II, guerrilla warfare, begins the violent phase of
the conflict, during which the guerrilla cells attacks enemy targets, using hit and run strikes, while
avoiding direct head-to-head military confrontation with the forces of the enemy. The purpose is not to
defeat the enemy military; this is assumed to be impossible because of the enemy’s overwhelming
military superiority. The purpose is to politically undermine the enemy by maintaining the pace of
attacks, eliminating any hope of a secure and safe environment for the citizens, highlighting the weakness
of the enemy, and inflicting continuous pain in the form of casualties and economic damage on the enemy
government and its supporters. It is the guerrilla’s ability to prove that the government cannot defeat it
84
The term itself is used numerous places, such as Richard K. Betts, “The Soft Underbelly of American Primacy,” Political
Science Quarterly Vol. 117, No. 1 (Spring 2002), pp. 19-36; Benjamin and Simon, The Age of Sacred Terror, p. 453; Daniel
Byman, “The War on Terrorism, So Far,” Current History Vol. 102, No. 668 (December 2003), p. 413; Don Chipman, “Bin-
Laden and Guerrilla War,” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism No. 26 (2003), pp. 163-170; Michael Scheuer (writing as
Anonymous), Imperial Hubris (Washington DC: Brassey’s, 2004), p. 69; and Fukuyama, “The Neoconservative Moment,” p. 66.
it is best analyzed in Mockaitis, “Winning Hearts and Minds in the War on Terrorism;” Kilcullen, “Countering Global
Insurgency;” Cassidy, “Feeding Bread to the Luddites;” and Barno, “Challenges in Fighting a Global Insurgency.”
85
Peter Neumann and MLR Smith, “”Strategic Terrorism,” Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol. 28, Issue 4 (August 2005), pp.
571-595.
86
The classic treatises on guerrilla warfare include: Samuel B. Griffith ed., Mao Tse Tung on Guerrilla Warfare (New York:
Praeger, 1961); Che Guevara, Guerrilla Warfare (New York: Random House, 1961), pp. 1-12; Vo Nguyen Giap, People’s War
People’s Army
(New York: Bantam Books, 1968), pp. 22-44; Carlos Marighella, “Minimanual of the Urban Guerrilla,” 1969,
Marxist Internet Library. Available at:
. Accessed November 11, 2007. See also David Galula, Pacification in Algeria (Santa Monica: Rand
Corporation 2006 (1963)); David Galula, Counterinsurgency Warfare (New York: Prager, 1964); Roger Trinquier, Modern
Warfare
(Westport, CT: Praeger Security International, 2006 (1964)); Robert Taber, War of the Flea (Washington, DC:
Brassey’s, 2002 (1965)); Robert Thompson, Defeating Communist Insurgency (New York: Praeger, 1966); Bard O’Neill,
Insurgency and Terrorism (Washington, DC, 1990); Thomas X. Hammes, The Sling and the Stone, pp. 44-55; and Austin Long,
On “Other War” (Santa Monica: Rand Corporation, 2006).
30


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