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Declaring War on Islamism

Matt Graham of Graham Tradecraft appeared on the news again recently to opine on the topic of terrorism. He appeared on the Fox Business Network shortly after the Bastille Day murders in Nice, France, to discuss that and similar Islamist attacks. During the course of the discussion Graham suggested that we, the United States, would be better off operating under a formally declared state of war against terrorism. Likening it to the war on drugs, he believes such an act (which is the purview of the United States Congress) would allow us to go after leadership, finances, materiel and other aspects of international terror and extremist organizations (which lets face it are effectively the same thing). A formal declaration of war against a non-state belligerent (like ISIS) would seem to be possible, and might be the only such option available in the face of fourth generation warfare.

Would it have any efficacy against an ideology, though?

Victim of Nice France Bastille Day Attack 1

Photo credit unknown, Vantage News

The Bastille Day attack came shortly after an Islamist suicide bomber killed seven near the Prophet's Mosque in Medina, which itself occurred immediately after bomb attacks killed over 300 and injured another 200 in Sha'ab, in Baghdad. Those murders happened not too long after five men attacked a café in Bangladesh, killing 23, and three others killed 44 people at an airport in Turkey with rifle fire and explosives. Four days after the deaths in Nice (which killed over 80 people and wounded another 300), there have been at least four more attacks we know of as of this writing), an Afghan refugee attacked and wounded five people on a train near Würzburg, Germany with a hatchet. Five days after that two bombs delivered by ISIS militants exploded in Deh Mazang square in Kabul, killing at least 80 and wounding nearly another 300.

Victim of Nice France Bastille Day Attack 2

Photo credit unknown, Reuters

The very next day 15 people were wounded when a Syrian refugee pledged to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (leader of the Islamic State) blew himself up in a wine bar in Ansbach, Germany.

The day after that two Islamists entered the church of Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray while Fr. Jacques Hamel was celebrating Mass. They slit the vicar's throat on the altar and injured three others before members of the Brigade de Recherche et d'Intervention killed them.

Yesterday a VBIED (Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device) blew up near the town of Qamishli, in Syria, killing at least 50 and wounding scores (the exact numbers are not yet known).

It's almost like there's a pattern here, if only we could see it…

Would a declaration of war in accordance with Article One of the Constitution (vs. a congressional authorization) make any difference?


Unknown photo credit, Getty, via CNN

Although US military personnel have fought in Korea, Lebanon, Vietnam, Kuwait, Bosnia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Mali, Libya, Panama, the Philippines, and numerous other countries in the last several decades, none of those troops deployed as part of a formal declaration of war. The last such Congressional action made by the United States was in June of 1942, when war was declared upon Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania during World War II. It is, perhaps, a semantic difference, but there might just be something to what Graham suggests, both domestically and abroad (particularly with our NATO allies).

There will of course be handwringers and apologists and vast numbers of people on the left who discount such an idea out of hand, fearing a label of bigotry or religious intolerance. Those people, however, are either ignorant or willfully obtuse.

For those who are capable of facing reality…who can understand a pragmatic response to violent ideologues is the only way to reduce the body count (nothing is going to make it go away entirely)…would such a declaration make a difference? Or are Matt and realists like him just tilting at windmills?

Declaring War on Islamism – We Need to Kill the Ape

Follow Graham Combat on Instagram, @grahamcombat.

Fore more news of international conflict, check out the Grey Cell Conflict Network (also on Facebook here).

Cover photo from the New York Times.

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