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All quotations are by the author except for the Lewis quotes:
“…unless we grasp the character of this new kind of war, its religious and ideological roots, the passions that have grown from those roots, and our current vulnerabilities to those passions, our chances of prevailing against an adversary with a very different view of the human future – and a willingness, even eagerness, to die for the sake of hastening that future – are weakened.”
In World War II, “We knew who we were, we knew who the enemy was, we knew the dangers and the issues. It is different today. We don’t know who we are. We don’t know the issues, and we still do not understand the nature of the enemy.” –Bernard Lewis, Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University.
“The demographics of the Islamic world, coupled with the staying power of the passions unleashed by jihadist ideology and distorted religious conviction, thus suggest that the current phase of the contest for the human future will last at least two or three generations. This is, indeed, a long war. It is important that we understand that, acknowledge it politically, gird ourselves for it, and plan both strategy and tactics accordingly.”
“The President must insure that, whatever else happens, he leaves the American people, at the end of his term, with a clear understanding of the nature of the threat, and the magnitude of the stakes on the global table. His successor, whoever he or she may be, will quickly learn that there is no escape from the burden of American leadership. That president, whoever he or she may be, ought also to see that burden as an opportunity for national renewal.”
“It should be clear that any deterrence value or dampening of jihadist enthusiasms that we might have expected to gain from Iraq will be lost if the outcome there is widely believed to be an American defeat. Such an outcome would be little short of a catastrophe….the premature abandonment of the effort to prevent that nightmare scenario from playing itself out would be read by global jihadists as a sign of fecklessness that will have untold, but surely awful, consequences.”