Two hundred years ago, an escalating series of military interventions in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia drew the United States into the affairs of the “Islamic world.” As the war on terror was extended to Iraq, the limits of conventional warfare and counter-terrorism became clear. The first military operations in Afghanistan severely disrupted Al Qaeda’s ability to operate there, but they managed to provoke a series of military interventions as an act of war that gave even more legitimacy to Osama Bin Laden’s group and targeted the US at home. To study the impact of US military intervention, I compared terror rates in different parts of Europe, North America, Asia, Europe, and North Africa.
Table 2 shows that the number of terrorist attacks increased by an astonishing 1,900% between 2001 and 2008, when the United States invaded seven countries and conducted air strikes, while other Muslim-majority countries saw their terrorist rates decline. As the war on terror expanded, it led to a higher level of terrorism, but the number of Islamist-inspired attacks never decreased. Instead, more Americans died in terrorist attacks, and eight attacks accounted for 88 of those killed. Compared to the same period before, there have been more Islamist-inspired attacks on the homeland, though the number of these Islamist-inspired terrorist groups has increased sharply since the start of the “war on terror.”
By misdiagnosing the underlying problem, the United States pursued an interventionist strategy that focused largely on destroying terrorist organizations, rather than killing individual terrorists. By contrast, strategic management of terrorist threats in the fight against terrorism requires the recognition that some degree of anti-American terrorism is inevitable. Instead of seeking victory in the war on terror and narrowing its counter-terrorism strategy to focus primarily on defending our homeland, it has sought to deal with the threat of terrorism.
We outline a step – a backward strategy against ISIS and Islamists – and conclude by arguing that the United States should step up its war on terror. In particular, it must abandon its focus on destroying al-Qaeda and its allies in Iraq and Syria, rather than eradicating the root causes of terrorism.
First, the war on terror has had little impact on Islamist – inspired – terrorism on US soil. What the Bush and Obama administrations touted is the fact that it was not only the improvement of internal security that prevented acts of terrorism against US soil.
Finally, a third possible interpretation of the data is that the war on terror has inadvertently fueled anti-American terrorism. The third possibility is that it has actually reduced the rate of anti-American terrorism observed after 11 September by up to 20%.
American resolve showed that the war on terror served as a deterrent, as terrorist groups recognized the futility of launching attacks against the United States. At home, it has shown the world, and the US in particular, how dangerous this latest mutation of terrorism is.
As the fight against IS terrorism expands, France and the EU must ensure that their response to terrorism does not weaken democracy, as some supporters argue. The United States has succeeded in eliminating terrorists and destroying terrorist organizations. By exerting sufficient firepower and pressure, it could destroy the Islamist-inspired terror threat, prevent the resurgence of terrorism, promote the development of a peaceful political system, and, in the long run, destroy Islamist ideology and its Islamist-inspired terrorist threats.
Despite the global threat that al-Qaeda and its franchisees may pose, the US view of terrorism remains largely self-centered – especially in the current administration’s rhetoric on the so-called “global war on terrorism.” Islamist-inspired terrorism poses an existential threat to the United States, justified by the need for a global war on terrorism, not just against ISIS, but against all terrorist organizations.
The international media never allow the role of the West to be discussed about terrorism, and whenever a terrorist attack occurs, the radicalization of Islam and Muslims is repeatedly put at the center. This is in stark contrast to India, where much larger terrorism, caused by Hindus on the right and left, is ignored and Muslim terrorism is discussed day and night. Islamic countries, but it is repeatedly stressed that the “war on terrorism” has nothing to do with Islam. Thus we see the attitude of Christian priests in France towards the same persecuted in “Islamic” countries.
French, I will keep you in my prayers after the horrific terrorist attacks on innocent places of worship, ‘Jill wrote in her prayers. French President Francois Hollande blamed the terrorist army Daesh (ISIS), arguing that the attacks were an attack on “the values that France defends around the world” and arguing that France should defend those values. Dozens of Muslims have been killed in other attacks in France and it is up to the whole nation to fight back. We call for a concerted global effort to confront Islamic State, “he said France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who has tabled a resolution at the United Nations against the terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks.