The last State of the Union Address of President George Bush must prepare the nation for the future not only state the perceived achievements. It must lay out the grounds upon which the next President would build the future stages of the War on Terror. The conflict with the Jihadi threat cannot be exclusively a matter of personal style, even a Presidential one. There should be national guidelines committing all Presidents to pursue strategies leading toward achieving precise goals. I expect from the President to state in his last Address the following matters:
* Define the enemy, clearly and strategically. For the changes in definitions over the past seven years have left the public in quest for a definitive knowledge about who are we fighting and why. The last year of the Presidency must help the next White House to engage in successful a war of ideas instead of a continuous search for the identity of the enemy.
* A vision as to the future of US role in Iraq and the strategies to follow.
* A vision as to the future of US role in Afghanistan and the campaign against al Qaeda and the Taliban including the measures to be taken regarding Pakistan’s crisis.
* A plan regarding the treats developed by the Iranian and Syrian regimes and guidelines regarding Lebanon and Hezbollah.
* A platform regarding the Homeland Security strategy for the future and the threat of domestic Jihadism.
One of the most important realities we accepted as a society during the past seven years was that the war was a long conflict. Thus the expectation is to hear from the national leadership this year, a long term plan to win this confrontation. That is the hope. We will see..
Dr Walid Phares is the Director of the Future of Terrorism Project at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
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