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Jan 8, 2017

Using Lessons from the Plains Indian Wars to Beat ISIS and the Taliban




We need to remember the lessons learned from our victory over the Plains Indians in the 1870's, 1880's and 1890's. We didn't win by winning hearts and minds. We removed the basic economic support of the Indians, the American bison. We systematically exterminated the huge herds of American bison, almost to the point of extinction. American Indians depended on bison for food, shelter (using hide for tepees), and bedding.

In Afghanistan, this would mean exterminating the opium poppy. We would also need to bomb trucks transporting opium products to market. We need to shut down opium production because opium finances the Taliban and other Islamic terrorist groups.

Please note that ISIS started rapid decline once the coalition started bombing their oil production and the tanker trucks that took ISIS crude to market.  ISIS made somewhere between $600 million and $1.2 billion annually in oil sales before we decided to bomb their oil field, refineries and tanker trucks.  Now they are falling apart because they have no money.

An army, even a guerilla army, marches on its stomach. An army needs money to buy food, ammunition and other supplies. To defeat an insurgency, you need to cut off their source of supplies. For the Taliban, that means stopping their opium sales.

 If it’s a question of preventing starvation, the US is very good at distributing food. If food was only available in Afghan government controlled territory, we would be able to put the Taliban out of business in short order. That's what Indian Reservations were intended to be, places where the US government would distribute food. Unfortunately, the corruption in 19th century politics made many reservations death traps because the Indian Agents stole the food and sold it.


Many of the disasters of the last 8 years were the result of inaction ordered by the Smartest President Ever. The Taliban is enjoying a run of success now because Obama limited the targets coalition aircraft could attack to just Taliban shooting at friendly forces. Attacking Taliban gathering for an attack wasn't allowed. You can't win a war if you fight it with one hand tied behind your back.

We are now wasting the lives of hundreds of highly trained Iraqi Counter-terrorism troops because we are not willing to flatten Mosul in order to take it. The civilians inside Mosul had their chance to resist ISIS. They had more than enough arms and men who knew how to use them. The residents of Mosul welcomed ISIS when they arrived. We should not be sacrificing lives to preserve ISIS sympathizers. If we are getting hostile fire from a building, we should flatten the building. At this point it doesn't matter who ISIS has in there with them. Using human shields is a war crime. ISIS members are war criminals. Hostile fire from any building makes it a military target. Any human shields killed or wounded are the responsibility of ISIS, not the US.

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