The Futility of Fighting Terrorism the Traditional Way

With the recent Daesh attack in Brussels, the routine talking points and alarm bells are once again being raised here in the western world. So-called “Terrorism Experts” are making the rounds on the Sunday talk shows and the U.S. Presidential Candidates are releasing their plans.

The most recent member of that all too white and all too old group to do so was Hillary Clinton. On Twitter, the former Secretary of State released a three point plan that was rightly criticized.

First up in the idea from the former New York Senator? Take out ISIS’s stronghold in Iraq and Syria. Ok, pretty good start. As long as she keeps in mind that the American public is loath to support a ground invasion and, outside of the Kurds there is no effective fighting force on the ground that western groups can support, she should have this one done in a couple of decades.

Step two, dismantle the global terror network. Because like the War on Drugs, the War on Terrorism can be easily solved with enough U.S. might. Maybe if we drop a few more bombs, we can finally convince all those dastardly brown people to stop having such improper thoughts.

The final step in her micro plan, well, she wants to harden our defenses at home and prevent attacks. Never mind that America is already one of the toughest nations to come to legally as it is and never mind the fact that no matter what one does, people will always slip in if determined.

She’s not alone in this deeply foolish and simplistic thinking, on the website of Republican Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz (A man I virulently dislike.), his national security platform can be summed up in 6 short points (Oh, so different!) and includes things like rebuilding the nations armed forces (He doesn’t really say how.) and differing from President Obama by calling Daesh “Radical Islamic Terrorism”, which the President doesn’t really do the majority of the time.

The problem with both these lines of thinking is that they assume one thing about the people who join militant groups, that they’re all psychotic and religiously motivated nut jobs looking to kill.

Though that’s true of some, it certainly isn’t true of all. In Afghanistan, media has documented members of that troubled nation signing up with the Taliban instead of the ANA because the group once headed by Mullah Omar pays a better salary to its fighters. Those aren’t people motivated by any extremism. Instead, a love of the all mighty dollar reigns supreme for them.

According to Mr. Scott Atran of Oxford, some Daesh fighters who have been captured are even from Christian families. According to him, what motivates a lot of these young men is a perceived lack of opportunity and a desire for an adventure to take them out of their monotonous daily lives.

Bottom line is this dear reader. The candidates for the American Presidency are not fully understanding of how to combat Daesh and the threat it poses to the western world. Sure, you can take out safe havens and psychopaths and that will seem like it’s making a difference, but the problem will remain. The 9/11 attacks were partly organized from an apartment in Hamburg and Saudi Madrassa’s are a primary source for radicalization the world over. So long as we let those continue and don’t work to improve the economic livelihoods of many of these men, Daesh will continue to fester and spread throughout the globe like a sentient and homicidal disease of sorts.

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