Free Course of Action Essay Sample

To begin with, Enemy Document Captured in Iraq, with respect to the variables of the Operational Environment (OE) as defined by PMESII+PT in 007  has a lot to do with the way Al-Qaida plans to operate with efficacy. The letter is believed to be from al-Zawahiri (second in command of Al-Qaeda) to al-Zaqawi (former head of Al-Qaeda in Iraq) in which Al-Zawahiri provides guidance to al-Zaqawi on the conduct of Al-Qaeda operations in Irag. In this connection, this paper will be dedicated to analyze the letter and identify at least three different variables of the OE/COE referenced in the letter and their impact on Al-Qaeda and coalition operations. In line with this, the letter exposes the fact that al-Qaeda has realized and in actual sense seeks to exploit the possible variables of the contemporary operating environment abbreviated COE.

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As a start off point, there is the variable of sociological demographics and information. These two have the greatest potential ever to bring a great impact to the coalition and all Al-Qaeda forces. When the word sociological demographics is mentioned in this context, it means the inclusion of the cultural, religious, nation , ethnic makeup of a particular place and as well the non-state actor. Along with this, Al-Qaeda's extreme devotion to their religion cause would make them unshakable. Particularly, under the leadership of Osama bin Laden, the Sunni Muslim dominated extremist group supposes to make Iraq a Muslim state whereby they would expel Americans from it. Also, they would establish a Muslim authority or emirate. At the same time, the letter reveals the extension of Jihad wave to the neighboring secular countries. Above and beyond, there is the very plan to war with Israel.  

Apart from the aspect of the devotion to the religion even at the point of death, the letter reveals the use of information. This would be accomplished by use of information to win the very support as well as attention of the public. In fact, the letter says "we must maintain the strongest weapon which the mujahedeen enjoy-after the help and granting of success by God-is popular support from the Muslim masses in Iraq, and the surrounding Muslim countries.

In addition, he says, "in the absence of this popular support, the Islamic mujahed movement would be crushed...." and "...our planning must strive to involve the Muslim masses in the battle, and to bring the mujahedeen movement to the masses and not conduct the struggle far from them. From a broader point of view, the use of the variables of devotion to religion to the point of death will enable the Al-Qaeda to die for their cause. On the other hand, United States-led coalition will fight the enemy without surrendering to a point of death. Thus, the devotion of Al-Qaeda to their religion and the United States-led coalition forces to theirs will make the battle to continue for both to the point of death.

In the same line of thought, the use of information is geared towards suppressing the Al-Qaeda violent acts and disseminating of coalition mistakes will make the Al-Qaeda to go on with their plan as they win the support of the Iraq public. The use of media by the group makes it to become a media battle in the sense that the coalition forces led by US would seek to counter the Al-Qaeda's messages as they try to expose the brutality and fanaticism of the terrorist group's efforts. This will make both the Al-Qaeda group to advance in their terrorist activities while on the other hand the coalition forces seeking to counter the group will advance in battle.

Therefore, the use of religion, sociological demographics and information through media and other means of communication will make it impact both Al-Qaeda and US-led coalition forces to continually engage in battles of brutality. The enemy anticipates maximizing destruction by making random attacks, identifying and targeting critical components. The COE/OE variables used by Al-Qaeda in the letter is the use of devotion to religious beliefs, use of information, media and sociological demographics have effects to the terrorist group and the coalition forces.

In summation, the COE variables revealed in this letter are the use of information; win the support of the public, use of the media as a battle field and the greater use of the sociological demographics. As such, devotion to the extreme Islam doctrine making them to die sacrificially make them to fight so long as they live giving the coalition much work to fight the enemy without surrendering even at the point of death. To both the terrorist group and the coalition forces, the battle will continue employing all means.


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