continued In the meantime, we might lean on the Saudis to quit using our oil money to finance the hate-filled madrasas and their equally hate-filled TV broadcasts. They have been double-dealing us from the beginning, and to pretend that 9/11 was not a result of that makes the U.S. truly the Queen of Denial.
In the near term, two things are absolute requirements. We must have a restored human-intelligence capability. When we quit using spies and depended entirely on satellite technology for intelligence, we left ourselves wide open for terrorism. Then we must have the capability to put a commando raid on the ground and get it back off again, anywhere on the planet. If we do these two things, we can raid their hideouts and we can raid their training camps. We can close off their funds and we can wipe them out.
3. Analysis of Opposing Courses of Action. Well, my premise seems to be falling apart here, because these aren't really opposing but complementary courses of action. Improved security, closing off the money, improved intelligence, and the ability to raid anywhere -- these are the things we need in the short term.
In the long term we need to bolster our relationship with the enlightened elements of Islam and hopefully help lead the Arab world out of the Dark Ages. In a sense, from a historical perspective, we'd be returning a favor. But in the end, it may be just as bloody as the favor they did us 500 years ago.
4. Comparison of our own Courses of Action: Maybe this format isn't the best one to form a plan for such a large and complex issue. Mostly it's designed to help a platoon or company or battalion commander decide whether to attack around to the left, around to the right, or hi-diddle-diddle, right down the middle. Aside from some good background, the only real contribution here is the emphasis on a renewed "Humint" (human intelligence) capability and an expanded commando capability. In the short term, though, that should be plenty.
5. Decision: Task the CIA to spare no effort or expense to get a capable corps of spies on the ground in the Mosques in the U.S. and into the Arab and Muslim worlds. This will be hard, because we haven't laid the groundwork. And those spies will be taking a terrible risk. But it must be done.
Then USSOCOM (U.S. Special Operations Command) must be tasked to develop the capability to stage a raid anywhere in the world. What that means is that we must have the capability to put a force of about 200 commandos on the ground and pick them up in about two hours. This will require advance bases, and/or aircraft that don't need runways, with greater range and cargo capability than anything currently in the inventory, and the political will to use them.
The heroes we already have.