Crumpton���s list (2): What we need to take away from Sun Tzu in the war on terror
Attack the Enemy’s Strategy.
By Henry A. Crumpton
Best Defense guest columnist
2. Attack the Enemy’s Strategy. The ancient Chinese strategist Sun Tzu, in The Art of War, teaches the value of intelligence and the application of precise, often discreet political power to undermine the enemy. Use intelligence to discern and destroy our foes and their strategy, which in part means countering their insidious, false narrative of Islam against the world, which has lured many recruits. The ISIS ideology represents a fallacious, hateful, apocalyptic alternative reality that can be refuted and defeated. Truth is on our side. We must support Muslims, our most important allies, to achieve this victory. Muslims have far more at risk than anyone, but we must also share this risk on the battlefield to rebuild trust and accomplish our specific objectives.
This is not a war of civilizations, but rather a fight of good over evil. It is that basic. Do not be weakened by xenophobic fear, seduced by sophistic dogma, and mired in reactive tactics. Instead, as Sun Tzu emphasized, we must know the enemy and ourselves.
Ambassador Henry A. Crumpton, who led the CIA’s Afghanistan campaign 2001-02, retired from government service in 2007. He is the author of The Art of Intelligence.
(To be continued)
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Thomas E. Ricks is a former contributing editor to Foreign Policy. Twitter: @tomricks1
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