By General Mirza Aslam Beg
During the last thirty five years, a new paradigm of human conflict has emerged as a result of continuous aggression on the Muslims of the world by the non-Muslims. The Muslims are weak and the non-Muslims are strong, thus creating the asymmetric conflict syndrome. Yet, the weak have developed such sinews of war that defy the very logic of victory to the strong. This phenomenon can be understood by analyzing the “approach to battle” of the opposing forces.
The Soviets occupied Afghanistan, through a process of politico-military maneuver but got involved in a long-drawn-out war with the Afghans, employing conventional forces to achieve the war aims, but failed. Some twelve years later, the Americans, their NATO and Pakistani allies found Afghans guilty of 9/11 attack on the twin towers of New York and declared open war, using air power with full furry of ‘Shock and Awe’. Taliban fell back and Afghanistan was occupied. Gradually resistance developed momentum and the occupation forces soon realized that man to man, they could not match the Taliban, and therefore lifted the conflict threshold high, for the air power to break the resistance. Combined with high altitude bombings, drones were used extensively, targeting the resistance leaders, yet they could not break the will of the defenders. And now after fifteen years of a brutal war, as the draw-down is coming to an end. “Uncertainty and defeat is staring into the faces of the occupation forces.
The ‘Shock and Awe’ strategy failed to deliver, yet it was adopted in Iraq by the Americans in 2003 with no tangible results. Three years later the Israelis experimented the Shock and Awe Strategy against Hezbollah in 2006 and against Hammas in 2008 but faced defeat, because they had no answer to the free flight rocket attacks, which degraded Israeli National Air Defense System. And now the American Alliance is trying to stem the rise of Dāesh, in the Syrian-Iraqi region, by extensive bombings, but of no avail. Similarly, the Saudi Alliance is carrying out massive air strikes on the Houthis in Yemen, but have failed to check their advance. In fact the repeated use of air power by the powerful adversaries, amounts to ‘reinforcing defeat.’
On the other hand, the weak and the defenseless, have invented new sinews of war, new tactics and original techniques of fighting, with devastating results. Faced with powerful adversaries in Afghanistan and Iraq, the freedom fighters dispersed in the rugged vastness of the conflict zone, gaining time and space, to tire-out the enemy. The “Hezbollah and Hammas, used free-flight rockets to degrade Israeli national air defense system and developed ‘positional defense tactical fighting technique” to defeat the Israeli army on ground. And now the “Dāesh in Syria and Iraq, have developed a new assault technique to capture Ramadi” and Palmyra. How they did it, is amazing.
For the capture of Ramadi, Dāesh assembled ‘a composite suicide squad’ hiding in the desert for a couple of days before the assault. The suicide squad “comprised twenty five suicide car bombs of armoured cars, vehicles and bulldozers, all laden with explosives, attacked enmasse,” creating such ‘Shock and Awe’ on the defending troops that they panicked and fled. Then followed “the thirty suicide bombers” lobbing grenades and firing from their rocket launchers and machine guns, creating havoc and rout of the defenders. Central Command Advisor, Ali Khadery says that “Ramadi did not fall to thousands of ISIS fighters, but surprisingly to only 150 fighters in the face of an army of 6000.” The Iraqi Garrison Commander says: “The retreating Iraqi Army left behind over three dozen (MIAI Abraham) tanks, guns and large quantity of ammunition and military hardware. The Iraqi forces were in such a defeated morale that we could neither control them nor organize them.” The Defence Secretary Mr. Carter commented: “The Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight. They vastly out-numbered the opposing forces, yet they withdrew in panic.” Day after taking Ramadi, the Dāesh defeated Syrian forces, defending Palmyra.
(The Dāesh captured Ramadi, with only 150 fighters, but they have yet to beat the record of Bakhtiar Khilji, who in the year 1203, captured Bengal, with only seventeen warriors, riding Arabian horses).
Threat to capital Baghdad now is eminent, because, Baghdadi, the settlement, north-west of Ramadi controls access to a major Iraqi air base, and could serve as the spring-board for developing offensive towards Baghdad. Baghdadi was attacked with seven suicide car bombs, followed by suicide bombers. It may have fallen by now.
The emergence of Dāesh is a phenomenon by itself. Fawaz Turki explains: “It is propelled by an inescapable drive towards war, towards a supreme assertion of identity at the cost of self-destruction.” The assertion of identity of the Arab youth grew with the Arab Spring, but their revolutionary hopes collapsed with the demolition of political Islam in countries like Egypt and elsewhere. Thus, by joining the Dāesh, they achieve the “sensation of ecstasy, associated with forms of spiritual experience,” which is also common with the Jews, Christians, Hindus and even the Buddhists. For example the Crusaders stormed Jerusalem July 1099 and after the massacre, reveled:
“Piles of heads, hands and feet were to be seen. It was necessary to pick one’s way over the bodies of men and horses. Men rode in blood, upto their knees and bridle reins. Indeed it was a just and splendid judgment of God, that this land should be filled with the blood of the unbelievers, since it had long suffered from their blasphemies.”
The Devine Dispensation, in its just and splendid design, now “provides the sensation of ecstasy associated with the forms of spiritual experiences” to the oppressed of the world, from Kashmir to Palestine, from Afghanistan to Iraq, from Syria to Somalia and from Yemen to Libya. The world at large is aghast, at this raging storm of change, sweeping the world:
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