I agree with General Sir David Richards that al-Qaeda "cannot be beaten," but not for the same reasons. Clearly, if we are afraid to freely discuss the ideology and motives behind this global war on the West, then surely we cannot beat it. If we dare not speak its name, surely we cannot defeat it. If, instead, those who speak to the religious ideology that compels war against the "non-believers" are the ones demonized, surely it will defeat us.
Rules of engagement, political correctness, foreign aid to our assassins make it impossible to defeat this enemy. Give me The Bush Doctrine -- "you are either with us or against us," as opposed to The Obama Doctrine, "we are against us."
Britain's top soldier says al-Qaeda cannot be beaten Telegraph (hat tip Danielle)
The new head of Britain's armed forces, Gen Sir David Richards, has warned that the West cannot defeat al-Qaeda and militant Islam.
He said defeating Islamist militancy was "unnecessary and would never be achieved".
However, he argued that it could be "contained" to allow Britons to lead secure lives.
Gen Richards, 58, said the threat posed by "al-Qaeda and its affiliates" meant Britain's national security would be at risk for at least 30 years.
The general, who will tomorrow lay a wreath at the Cenotaph in Whitehall in memory of Britain's war dead, said the West's war against what he described as a "pernicious ideology" had parallels with the fight against Nazi Germany in the Second World War.
In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, the general disclosed that Prince William was unlikely to serve in Afghanistan but suggested that his brother Harry, training to be an Apache helicopter pilot, could return to front-line duty in Helmand province.
He said the British military and the Government had been "guilty of not fully understanding what was at stake" in Afghanistan and admitted that the Afghan people were beginning to "tire" of Nato's inability to deliver on its promises.
However, he said the sacrifice being made by the Armed Forces in Afghanistan, where 343 soldiers have been killed since 2001, "has been worth it". Progress was being made and Nato was "in the right parish". He said: "Don't give up folks, it's all to play for."[....]
The general said: "In conventional war, defeat and victory is very clear cut and is symbolised by troops marching into another nation's capital. First of all you have to ask: do we need to defeat it [Islamist militancy] in the sense of a clear cut victory? I would argue that it is unnecessary and would never be achieved.
"But can we contain it to the point that our lives and our children's lives are led securely? I think we can."
"I think we can." Doesn't sound like a rallying cry to me.