The Arab Advantage: “Swifter Horses;” Little Equipment

Posted on December 28, 2009

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has formally emerged as a force today. They have claimed responsibility for the thwarted bombing of a Delta airplane December 25th.  This emergence has has compounded the difficulties for the west and its allies:

  1. This organization’s chosen name mirrors their end game: joining Saudi Arabia and Yemen (al-Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula).  This is a powerful psychological weapon.
  2. Continued success in manipulating the US by actions that keep us on the defensive and that ensure our deepening involvement in a troubled, unstable area.
  3. We are fighting an asymmetric conflict – advantage al-Qaeda.
  4. WE DON’T SEEM ABLE TO CONTAIN THEM. We cannot afford to follow them worldwide.
  5. Our citizens will not stand for prolonged warfare.

The Arab terrorists of today have no standing army; an unending criminal source for funding; and they disappear into the local scene. How can a country such as the US fight an “army” so constituted?  Theirs is a force better equipped to move into a world-wide arena.

All Al-Qaeda have needed for their crusade: A website, a single highly visible target and a few chemicals.  They also need only a few good men. They have lived minimally for centuries.

Yemen will be a turning point both for the West and for militant Islam.  If they rule the Arabian Peninsula, they will control the main source of US oil.  They will have re-instituted the Caliphate and they will have surrounded Israel.  In short, their short-term goals will have been met.

Since 9/11 we have been seen as weak and bungling. We have not done much to disabuse the Arab world of this view.  It does not take a genius to know that the number of US troops has nothing to do with success in this region.

We have not learned anything from conflicts with the Arabs for almost 1,000 years?  We are still in that region with heavy armor.  Our all terrain vehicles have been upgraded to better withstand roadside bombs – the most successful weapon in the opposition’s arsenal.  It seems the Arabs are still outflanking us with their swift horses and moves while we lumber along heavily armed.


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