US Homegrown Terrorism

Very sensible commentary by George Friedman, via John Mauldin.  First he gives detailed explanations for why neither banning guns nor Muslims can work as a strategy to defeat terrorism in the US, then gives us this opinion:

I would propose that the US can prevent terrorist attacks by crushing radical Islamist organizations and intimidating others who might follow. However, the cost in lives, wealth, and time would be staggering.

There are 1.7 billion Muslims. Islam’s jihadist strand is organized into groups like the Islamic State. These groups are capable and sophisticated in both the covert arts and more conventional warfare. They are ruthlessly pursuing their goals. IS is not being defeated, as the White House has claimed. The head of the CIA conceded this last week.

The jihadists are fanatical in their commitment and, therefore, can be defeated only by measures such as those that broke the Germans and the Japanese fanatics. That means accepting a massive increase in American force and possibly even a draft. It also requires the acceptance of many innocent civilian deaths. Believing it can be otherwise is, in my opinion, wishful thinking.

Banning guns and blocking borders is psychologically satisfying but an illusion—a victory of the imagination, not reality. Defeating Islamist terrorism involves defeating the organizations that encourage and enable it.

That will require a mammoth effort. If we are not prepared to make the effort, we must consider leaving the region and perhaps accepting the idea of the caliphate.

We are now in, what is most charitably described as, a “holding action.” One we cannot win. At best, we can maintain a stalemate until we tire… and then we’ll be defeated.

We can commit to all-out war or abandon the field.

I’m not sure I agree with this conclusion, but he is right that the proposed bans would be neither enforceable nor effective.

 

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