Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” –Sun Tzu, The Art of War

We are in a perpetual, self-declared War on Terror, with no end in sight. North Africa, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Middle East are more unstable now than they were when the U.S. was attacked by terrorists on September 11, 2001. Terrorist recruitment continues, and we’ve given radical leadership plenty of material to feed the Jihad recruit machine.

The U.S. Special Operations war machine has been honed sharp after a decade of fighting, but it is becoming increasingly dull by the day, in large part due to the stresses placed on U.S. Warfighters and their broken families. I’ve spoken with over a dozen junior and senior Special Operations Operators about this, and they have told me that they’re worn out and not sure what they’re fighting for anymore.

Washington owes them this much, in my opinion.

In the book “Tree of Knowledge,” the authors discuss the biological roots of human understanding, and explain how we develop into the individual human beings we are, and the cultures we become a part of. We are who we are today based on the environments and experiences we grew up with. Environments shape us into the human beings we are, for good or bad, and there is a lot of bad going on these days.

This is why prison rehabilitation rarely works. How can you rehabilitate someone when you surround them with hardened criminals with the same, or worse, problems as they have individually? If anything, prisons are factories for worse behavior.

What does this have to do with foreign policy? This will become clearer to you as you read on, and realize that we need to focus on certain environments.

Are We Promoting Good in the World, or Feeding Bad?

A true litmus test of the viability of our foreign policy is to ask three very simple questions.