From Ralph Peters' new book, "When Devils Walk the Earth."
Fighting Terror: Do's and Don'ts for a Superpower:
10. Whenever legal conditions permit, kill terrorists on the spot (do not give them a chance to surrender, if you can help it). Contrary to academic wisdom, the surest way to make a martyr of a terrorist is to capture, convict and imprison him, leading to endless efforts by sympathizers to stage kidnappings, hijacking and other events intended to liberate the imprisoned terrorist(s). This is war, not law enforcement.
11. Never listen to those who warn that ferocity on our part reduces us to the level of the terrorists. That is the argument of the campus, not of the battlefield, and it insults America's service members and the American people. Historically, we have proven, time after time, that we can do a tough, dirty job for our country without any damage to our nation's moral fabric (Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not interfere with American democracy, values or behavior).
12. Spare and protect innocent civilians whenever possible, but: do not let the prospect of civilian casualties interfere with ultimate mission accomplishment. This is a fight to protect the American people, and we must do so whatever the cost, or the price in American lives may be devastating. In a choice between them, and us the choice is always us.
13. Do not allow the terrorists to hide behind religion. Apocalyptic terrorists cite religion as a justification for attacking us; in turn, we cannot let them hide behind religious holidays, taboos, strictures or even sacred terrain. We must establish a consistent reputation for relentless pursuit and destruction of those who kill our citizens. Until we do this, our hesitation will continue to strengthen our enemy's ranks and his resolve.
14. Do not allow third parties to broker a peace, a truce, or any pause in operations. One of the most difficult challenges in fighting terrorism on a global scale is the drag produced by nervous allies. We must be single-minded. The best thing we can do for our allies in the long-term is to be so resolute and so strong that they value their alliance with us all the more. We must recognize the innate strength of our position and stop allowing regional leaders with counterproductive local agendas to subdue or dilute our efforts.
15. Don't flinch. If an operation goes awry and friendly casualties are unexpectedly high, immediately bolster morale and the military's image by striking back swiftly in a manner that inflicts the maximum possible number of casualties on the enemy and his supporters. Hit back as graphically as possible, to impress upon the local and regional players that you weren't badly hurt or deterred in the least.
16. Do not worry about alienating already-hostile populations. --(ED ADDED, "OR ANTI-WAR SENATORS ASPIRING TO BECOME PRESIDENT OF OUR GREAT NATION.")
17. Whenever possible, humiliate your enemy in the eyes of his own people. Do not try to use reasonable arguments against him. Shame him publicly, in any way you can. Create doubt where you cannot excite support. Most apocalyptic terrorists, especially, come from cultures of male vanity. Disgrace them at every opportunity. Done successfully, this both degrades them in the eyes of their followers and supporters, and provokes the terrorist to respond, increasing his vulnerability.
18. If the terrorists hide, strike what they hold dear, using clandestine means and, whenever possible, foreign agents to provoke them to break cover and react. Do not be squeamish. Your enemy is not. Subtlety is not superpower strength but the raw power to do that, which is necessary, is our great advantage. We forget that, while the world may happily chide or accuse us-or complain of our inhumanity-no one can stop us if we maintain our strength of will. Much of the world will complain no matter what we do. Hatred of America is the default position of failed individuals and failing states around the world, in every civilization, and there is nothing we can do to change their minds. We refuse to understand how much of humanity will find excuses for evil, so long as the evil strikes those who are more successful than the apologists themselves. This is as true of American academics, whose eagerness to declare our military efforts a failure is unflagging, or European clerics, who still cannot forgive America's magnanimity at the end of World War II, as it is of unemployed Egyptians or Pakistanis. The psychologically marginalized are at least as dangerous as the physically deprived.
19. Do not allow the terrorists sanctuary in any country, at any time, under any circumstances. Counter-terrorist operations must, above all, be relentless. This does not necessarily mean that military operations will be constantly underway sometimes it will be surveillance efforts, or deception plans, or operations by other agencies. But the overall effort must never pause for breath. We must be faster, more resolute, more resourceful and, ultimately, even more uncompromising than our enemies.
20. Never declare victory. Announce successes and milestones. But never give the terrorists a chance to embarrass you after a public pronouncement that the war is over.
21. Impress upon the minds of terrorists and potential terrorists everywhere, and upon the populations and governments inclined to support them, that American retaliation will be powerful and uncompromising. You will never deter fanatics, but you can frighten those who might support, harbor or attempt to use terrorists for their own ends. Our basic task in the world today is to restore a sense of American power, capabilities and resolve. We must be hard, or we will be struck wherever we are soft. It is folly for charity to precede victory. First win, then unclench your fist.
22. Do everything possible to make terrorists and their active supporters live in terror themselves. Turn the tide psychologically and practically. While this will not deter hard-core apocalyptic terrorists, it will dissipate their energies as they try to defend themselves and fear will deter many less-committed supporters of terror. Do not be distracted by the baggage of the term assassination. This is a war. The enemy, whether a hijacker or a financier, violates the laws of war by his refusal to wear a uniform and by purposely targeting civilians. He is by definition a war criminal. On our soil, he is either a spy or a saboteur, and not entitled to the protections of the U.S. Constitution. Those who abet terrorists must grow afraid to turn out the lights to go to sleep.
23. Never accept the consensus of the Washington intelligentsia, which looks backward to past failures, not forward to future successes.
24. In dealing with Islamic apocalyptic terrorists, remember that their most cherished symbols are fewer and far more vulnerable than are the West's. Ultimately, no potential target can be regarded as off-limits when the United States is threatened with mass casualties. Worry less about offending foreign sensibilities and more about protecting Americans.
25. Do not look for answers in recent history, which is still unclear and subject to personal emotion. Begin with the study of the classical world, specifically Rome, which is the nearest model to the present-day United States. Mild with subject peoples, to whom they brought the rule of ethical law, the Romans in their rise and at their apogee were implacable with their enemies. The utter destruction of Carthage brought centuries of local peace, while the later empire's attempts to appease barbarians consistently failed!