I recently finished reading Thomas P.M. Barnett's The Pentagon's New Map
It was a great explanation of the current political, military, and economic forces at work in the world today and why we need to continue to exercise our military muscles in places like Afghanistan and Iraq.
One of the main premises of the book is that there is a Core of countries we will never fight a war with, and there is a Gap in which regions of the world are disconnected from the rest of us. It is in this Gap that most of the violence and terror in the world is grown. In the Gap, a small group of people seek to control the rest of the population through fear, intimidation, and keeping them disconnected.
Today, I saw a great example of who these thugs are and how they try to keep the Gap disconnected from the world. The Al-Qaeda torture manual
found in Iraq really illustrates the enemy in the GWOT and why they need to be defeated. If we don't have the courage to fight, what you see in these pictures will be more than just drawings in a book.