An American asked the question at Tigerdroppings and here is my general argument restated as my reply:
You are going to win this one for sure.
But if you pull out of Iraq without a strategy that ALLOWS you to pull out of Iraq….
(Cutting 1.5 trillion off federal non-defense spending and using one quarter of that to build up the big-bag of American whoop-ass would allow you to pull out with your enemies in great fear)
then this will be a disaster like Vietnam.
Ultimately after you won then lost in Vietnam Reagan emerged to win the wider cold war.
And no matter what you will have to win the wider Jihadist war since if you don’t win they will.
At this point your key strategic weaknesses are:
1. Your addiction to non-defense spending and
2. The American left who are out there constantly confusing the issue.
There is a bit of a myth around that you are suffering from some sort of military overstretch. Nothing could be further from the truth.
You face instead financial overstretch. And that means enemies, friends, the naturally two-faced and the merely envious and resentful can see that you aren’t really going to settle this thing and then build up the whoop-ass-in-waiting to make sure she stays settled.
The illusion of overstretch comes from lending sovereignty to regime leadership who has none of its own and from making it known that you are fighting within a constricted area. Meaning the enemy can come and go FROM that area as it wishes, and they can keep the violence of the war off their own turf.
The upshot being they can think, plan, take stress leave, go on holiday, change their plans without telliing you, and so forth…..
But the “Day That Curly Billy Shot Down Crazy Sam MacGee” we are told that all the people were running, jumping, even thumping on my bad neighbours door.
And when you fight it is the regime leadership that must be put in that position and either hunted down and killed outright or made to know that when relief comes for them that you are busy furiously preparing for such and accounting in the near future and only ongoing and ostentatious shows of contrition will stop that bag of whoop-ass from exploding forth to finish what was not finished the last time that regime leadership had to hit the matresses.
Ultimately you have to act as if it is China you are fighting and not these crackers. Since it is the case that all long wars lead to the sly use of proxies we will find China and other bad bastards secretly trying to bleed you.
The idea in ideological wars is to never allow your own soldiers to come under fire as the result of proxy war. And to avoid this you must pin the enemy down with your own series of proxy wars and when it comes time for you to move it is in the nature of an all enemies springloaded vengeance.
It is ulitmately CUTS TO NON-DEFENSE SPENDING which is your key-performance-metric to success in this war and more generally. Once you have a big gleaming surplus the politicians can be relied on to spend some of it on the military if they are somehow unable to waste it on the usual Shiite.
Another thing is that you must take control of the bullshit momentum in enemy countries as well as Muslim countries that accept your aid.
Though this would be a violation of the concept of freedom of speech if practised domestically, this need not concern you when strong-arming the Egyptians or the Jordanians to see if you get to keep your own money and they get to lose their American aid.
Its Sermon and Sword and Sword and Sermon followed by more Sermons and more Sword or at least by A RIDICULOUS OVERCAPACITY TO WEILD THE SWORD in lieu of the actual using of it right away.