J.D. Hall
United States
Oklahoma
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I know a lot of you don't think much of Peter Bergen, because he's not really liberal about much. So don't read it...

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/09/09/opinions/terrorism-16-year...

It certainly does gloss over a great deal, but unless you want to plow through 700 or so pages of analysis, charts, and whatnot, this is a nice summation.
 
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Andre
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remorseless1 wrote:
I know a lot of you don't think much of Peter Bergen, because he's not really liberal about much. So don't read it...

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/09/09/opinions/terrorism-16-year...

It certainly does gloss over a great deal, but unless you want to plow through 700 or so pages of analysis, charts, and whatnot, this is a nice summation.


Military pursuit of the terrorists by the U.S. has most certainly put a strain on terrorist groups, forcing them to fight for territory and forcing them to go underground, but we are attacking the symptom, and not curing the disease. Terroris by its nature is both random and ideological. The random cannot be prevented, the ideology, however, can be swayed.

I am not sure it is benefiting the U.S. in the long term, to be involved in expensive overseas military conflicts with these groups. The hard truth is, as the article indicates, the radicals that would do us harm are already here now. Save the money from those overseas operations, and dedicate them to the home front. Taking the battle to them,on their own territory, will never be successful in the long term. Vietnam should have taught us that.
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fightcitymayor
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Pennsylvania
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So much of what constitutes "fighting terrorism" happens in the shadows, so pontificating about "where we are" tends to be stabbing in the dark by we puny mortals in the non-intelligence community. But as the generals tried to tell us once: There isn't a military solution for this problem. If entire regions of the world have no economic opportunities for young men, then the siren song of radical Islam will always be a welcoming alternative as a place to feed their rage, soothe their egos, and pin their misfortunes on "the great satan of the west."

As we've seen, all it takes is one ticked-off young dude with a rented truck and you've got jihadist violence. You have to take away the young man's reasons for joining jihad before the threat goes away. Look at many Western Muslims: They are too busy working jobs, raising bratty kids, wondering if their husbands changed the oil in the family car, and hoping it doesn't rain this weekend so they can get the lawn mowed to bother with running white vans into innocent people. Give these young men a life & no one runs off to join the holy war against the West.

All of the tanks and bombs & guns in the world can't cure that socio-economic condition.
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Andre
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fightcitymayor wrote:
So much of what constitutes "fighting terrorism" happens in the shadows, so pontificating about "where we are" tends to be stabbing in the dark by we puny mortals in the non-intelligence community. But as the generals tried to tell us once: There isn't a military solution for this problem. If entire regions of the world have no economic opportunities for young men, then the siren song of radical Islam will always be a welcoming alternative as a place to feed their rage, soothe their egos, and pin their misfortunes on "the great satan of the west."

As we've seen, all it takes is one ticked-off young dude with a rented truck and you've got jihadist violence. You have to take away the young man's reasons for joining jihad before the threat goes away. Look at many Western Muslims: They are too busy working jobs, raising bratty kids, wondering if their husbands changed the oil in the family car, and hoping it doesn't rain this weekend so they can get the lawn mowed to bother with running white vans into innocent people. Give these young men a life & no one runs off to join the holy war against the West.

All of the tanks and bombs & guns in the world can't cure that socio-economic condition.


Agreed, as in most every aspect of life, education is the key to success, and creating economic opportunities for those kids that might be attracted to the life of terrorism. Well said, man, well said.
 
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J.D. Hall
United States
Oklahoma
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fightcitymayor wrote:
So much of what constitutes "fighting terrorism" happens in the shadows, so pontificating about "where we are" tends to be stabbing in the dark by we puny mortals in the non-intelligence community. But as the generals tried to tell us once: There isn't a military solution for this problem. If entire regions of the world have no economic opportunities for young men, then the siren song of radical Islam will always be a welcoming alternative as a place to feed their rage, soothe their egos, and pin their misfortunes on "the great satan of the west."

As we've seen, all it takes is one ticked-off young dude with a rented truck and you've got jihadist violence. You have to take away the young man's reasons for joining jihad before the threat goes away. Look at many Western Muslims: They are too busy working jobs, raising bratty kids, wondering if their husbands changed the oil in the family car, and hoping it doesn't rain this weekend so they can get the lawn mowed to bother with running white vans into innocent people. Give these young men a life & no one runs off to join the holy war against the West.

All of the tanks and bombs & guns in the world can't cure that socio-economic condition.


With all sincere due respect, that's as generalized as what Bergen wrote. Certainly, economic factors enter into it. So do political factors. ISIS, Al-Qaeda et al are also nurtured by the lack of political freedom as much as economic freedom. Dictators and kings are basically the only type of governments that exist in most Muslim-majority countries. The inability to express oneself on political and social matters coupled with the lack of economic opportunity and rampant, almost blatant corruption, represents a witch's brew for potential terrorists.

If that isn't enough, the European colonial period (as opposed to the Ottoman colonial period) is still fresh enough that many Arabs have a built-in resentment towards Christendom. And let's not forget the Battle of Marathon -- the Asian-European conflict stretches back thousands of years.

That's why I put the Bergen piece here -- it's a nice, quick and dirty overview of what is an incredibly complex, indeed murky, issue.
 
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Adrien Boyeldieu
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remorseless1 wrote:
The inability to express oneself on political and social matters coupled with the lack of economic opportunity and rampant, almost blatant corruption, represents a witch's brew for potential terrorists.


Doesn't that explain home-grown terrorists too? I mean, it isn't just people in Muslim-majority countries carrying out attacks.
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J.D. Hall
United States
Oklahoma
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theweefrenchman wrote:
remorseless1 wrote:
The inability to express oneself on political and social matters coupled with the lack of economic opportunity and rampant, almost blatant corruption, represents a witch's brew for potential terrorists.


Doesn't that explain home-grown terrorists too? I mean, it isn't just people in Muslim-majority countries carrying out attacks.

I can't speak on European "lone wolves," but here in the States, the home-grown version tend to be isolated, loner-types who use that ISIS nonsense to do some good, old-fashioned American mass murders. Recall the guy in the Orlando tragedy -- a deeply-closeted homosexual who went out and vented his inner rage on 50 people at a night club.
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