Tags: Exclusive Interviews | MidPoint | War on Terrorism | isis | threat | public | support

Military Analyst Espinas: US Has 'No Time' for War Fatigue

By    |   Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 05:28 PM

The spread of Islamist terror groups whose ranks include disaffected Westerners leaves a war-weary United States with no choice but to mobilize for what could be a generation-long conflict, a military analyst told Newsmax TV on Tuesday.

"We're still getting over the war fatigue of the last decade," author and retired U.S. Army Col. Gary Espinas told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner. "But we don't have time to take a strategic pause. If anything we need to be re-energized and continue to press forward on this."

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Espinas praised U.S. airstrikes in Somalia on Monday that targeted leaders of the extremist al-Shabab network as "a clear signal of United States resolve." 

"Yes, we’ve been focused on ISIS for the last several months," said Espinas. "Yes, we've been focused on [President Vladimir] Putin and Russian aggression in eastern and southern Ukraine. 

"But that does not mean the United States government lacks the resolve or the freedom of maneuver to conduct operations elsewhere and to take out targets that threaten regional and global security. And that's what we saw yesterday," he said.

The bigger challenge is getting Americans to embrace a leading U.S. role in a prolonged fight against militants from Somalia to Syria.

"We have to be very clear about what this threat is and what we have to expect over the long-term," said Espinas. "This is not a threat that is going to be defeated in the next week, in the next month in the next year or the next several years.

"What we are really looking at is a generational conflict. As others have said before, this is going to be a long war," he said.

Americans collectively are "not there yet," in terms of accepting the unavoidable confrontation, but could be "galvanized" by events and provocative acts, including the videotaped beheadings of two captured American journalists by ISIS, he said.

Espinas said the effort must be organized around a clearly articulated national security strategy that spells out to Americans in plain language who threatens us, and where, and why a forceful U.S. response is required. 

And it can't be just a military initiative, he said.

Diplomacy "does not have the quick results … that a military strike can accomplish, as we just saw yesterday against al-Shabab, but it's an important tool nonetheless," said Espinas, a former professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Salinas, California.

"We have to look at all of the tools of national power," he said, pointing to political, diplomatic, informational and economic prowess as well as military force.

Espinas said that the U.S. also has to get out of "react mode" and improve at identifying the "root causes" of radicalization, especially among U.S. citizens willing to join violent jihadi movements.

"Is it political disenfranchisement? Is it economic disenfranchisement?" he said. "Until we can address what those root causes are we're not going to be able to develop a long-term and comprehensive and, more importantly, a sustainable approach to prevent this from happening in the first place."

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The spread of Islamist terror groups whose ranks include disaffected Westerners leaves a war-weary United States with no choice but to mobilize for what could be a generation-long conflict, a military analyst told Newsmax TV on Tuesday.
isis, threat, public, support
529
2014-28-02
Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 05:28 PM
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