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    Smoke rises from the Syrian city of Kobani, following airstrikes by the US led coalition, seen from a hilltop outside Suruc, on the Turkey-Syria border Monday, Nov. 17, 2014

    'Frankly, We Are Losing': Why the US 'Fixation' on Daesh Will Fail

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    As the US continues to bomb Daesh, also known as IS/Islamic State, it refuses to accept that its Syrian operations are a losing campaign. As Breaking Defense points out, this failure relates to the Pentagon’s limited – and outdated – idea of its technological and moral superiority.

    "Americans are technical rationalists, and our devotion to this philosophical outlook is part of the reason why we continue to move towards military failure and not success," Ben Zweibelson writes for the military commentary website.

    As defined by Zweibelson, technical rationalism refers to military strategies that can be "objectively and analytically measured and controlled within universal principles and techniques." Namely, that any conflict can be solved by simple technological superiority over an enemy.

    This viewpoint, according to the pundit, is severely limiting, especially given that much of the Pentagon’s strategy is designed for traditional warfare against rival nation states.

    "We develop greater technological processes, tighten our military methodologies and rapidly cultivate any tactical success into mass-manufactured applications for all war theaters," Zweibelson suggests.

    But relying on traditional strategies in dealing with modern militant groups with online savvy, like Daesh, have proven remarkably ineffective.

    "Much of what gives the Islamic State great advantage comes precisely from the decentralized and nonlinear structures freely operating across the global social media commons," he writes.

    Defeating such groups requires "different ways of thinking and organizing, with dissimilar strategies that make rigid hierarchies uncomfortable."

    According to Zweibelson, given the rigid nature of military institutions like the Pentagon, a fight against Daesh is doomed to fail.

    "The western defense apparatus and subordinate military organizations are largely fixated on single linear approaches to military strategy and foreign policy objectives. Any adjustment at a fundamental level would cause a catastrophic 'tipping of apple carts' across all levels of the towering centralized hierarchies," Zweibelson asserts.

    "In order to defeat unexpected and confusingly new rivals such as the Islamic State, our defense apparatuses need to transition into hybrids where the centralized hierarchical form is tempered," the writer remarked.

    Until the US abandons its dependence on traditional forms of warfare, defeating Daesh will remain impossible.

    "We must transform the way we think, the way we form strategies, and the way our US military educates and trains," Zweibelson states. "Frankly, we are losing, and we may continue to lose as we pursue the new rising star of radical Islam, the Islamic State, through our own imposed state of confusion."

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    Tags:
    military strategy, technical rationalists, airstrike, Pentagon, Daesh, Ben Zweibelson, Iraq, Syria, United States
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