A U.S. military paper warned about losing the "war on terror" to al-Qaida if "traditional allies prefer accommodation" to the terrorists, The Washington Times reported Monday.
U.S. military planners are worried that "Islamic extremists may be supported by 12 million Muslims worldwide," the report quoted a 27-page briefing made by U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff planners as saying.
Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, the document states, "is absolutely committed to his cause. His religious ideology successfully attracts recruits. He has sufficient population base from which to protract the conflict. ... Even support of 1 percent of the Muslim population would equate to over 12 million 'enemies. '"
The unclassified briefing, titled Fighting the Long War -- Military Strategy for the War on Terrorism, is a component of the Pentagon's ongoing campaign to explain that a lengthy struggle requires patience from the American people and Congress.
It holds up the 1930s as an example of how not to respond to extremism, noting Europe's appeasement of German dictator Adolf Hitler.
The briefing was prepared for Rear Adm. William D. Sullivan, vice director for strategic plans and policy within the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which is under Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman.
Bin Laden, the paper says, wants to "expand the Muslim empire to historical significance."
It said Iraq "has become the focus of the enemy's effort. If they win in Iraq, they have a base from which to expand their terror. ... Extremists now have an Emirate in Iraq that serves as a base of operations from which they can revive the Caliphate ( Islamic rule) ... Baghdad becomes the capital of the Caliphate. The revived Caliphate now turns its attention to the destruction of Israel."
The briefing contains a map that shows the bin Laden-style caliphate conquering North and East Africa, the entire Middle East and Central and South Asia.
This dire scenario can only happen if the U.S. is defeated in Iraq and Afghanistan, said the document.
"The United States cannot be defeated militarily," the briefing says. "the enemy knows this. But consider ... terror attacks weaken the world economy. Continued casualties weaken national resolve. Traditional allies prefer accommodation."