What does it take to start a war?
Back in September of 2001, we were attacked by Islamic terrorists on a scale that we never before believed was possible. Using our own technology and abilities, these terrorists attacked and killed innocents– something that we could not comprehend. In our society, we are striving more and more to wage “perfect” warfare where only combatants are killed and the innocents are left alone.
However, we are engaged in conflict with a people that do not view the struggle the same way. They see the people as a whole– as much as has been the case throughout history. A brief study of Western civ would see that in battle, everyone was a target because you could be fighting against that very “civilian” the next day. In a battle where it’s you or them, you want it to be you!
I think that the first question I asked can vary depending on who you ask. To some, it has to start with a declaration of war– either by a President or Congress, or some aggressor. For others, it’s something declared before it’s waged.
We are, and have been, at war with Fundamental Islamic terrorists for much longer than we have been aware of it. The foe has been planning for years, has been fighting and raising troops, and to some extent has time on their side. So, when Ayman al-Zawahri gets up and says that he views “all the world as a battlefield open before us” he didn’t just come to think of it as such.
There was no formal declaration of war from this foe, because they realized that they could not win against our military might. There were no tanks and formal troops, because they knew that sneaking in amongst civilians would be the easiest way to gain the world’s condemnation on anyone that attacked them. Do not, for a moment, believe these people to be ignorant of who we are and what we do when we are the most prolific in talking about everything from our culture to our defenses to the world.
They declared war on us and our allies long ago. It would be foolish to leave this fight without winning.