Flypaper theory (strategy)
In military strategy
Military strategy
Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organizations to pursue desired strategic goals. Derived from the Greek strategos, strategy when it appeared in use during the 18th century, was seen in its narrow sense as the "art of the general", 'the art of arrangement' of troops...

, the flypaper theory is the idea that it is desirable to draw enemies to a single area where it is easier to kill them and where they are far from one's own vulnerabilities. Perhaps the best description of the benefits of the strategy was given by U.S. Army General Ricardo Sanchez
Ricardo Sanchez
Ricardo Sanchez is a retired United States Army Lieutenant General and a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for the Senate election in 2012 for the seat of retiring Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.-Early life and education:...

, who is commander of U.S. ground forces in Iraq:
This is what I would call a terrorist
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

 magnet, where America, being present here in Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, creates a target of opportunity
Target of opportunity
Target of opportunity is a military term used to describe a target which, in a combat scenario, is presented or presents itself as a possible target in addition to those targets considered to be primary targets of any particular military operation....

... But this is exactly where we want to fight them. ...This will prevent the American people from having to go through their attacks back in the United States.

The desirability of the strategy depends upon how many new enemies are created by using it, how many of them are drawn to the "flytrap," and how easily they are dispatched.

Application to the Iraq War

According to a report from the Washington, DC-based Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS), foreign fighters comprise about 4 to 10 percent of the estimated 30,000 insurgents in Iraq. Other studies dispute that figure.

See also

  • Body count
    Body count
    A body count is the total number of people killed in a particular event. In combat, a body count is often based on the number of confirmed kills, but occasionally only an estimate.-Military use:...

  • Attrition warfare
    Attrition warfare
    Attrition warfare is a military strategy in which a belligerent side attempts to win a war by wearing down its enemy to the point of collapse through continuous losses in personnel and matériel....

  • 2003 war in Iraq
  • War on Terrorism
    War on Terrorism
    The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

  • Honeypot (computing)
    Honeypot (computing)
    In computer terminology, a honeypot is a trap set to detect, deflect, or in some manner counteract attempts at unauthorized use of information systems...

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