Wednesday, March 11, 2015

We’re 13 years into the war on terrorism and terrorism is stronger than ever

The end of last week produced yet another head-against-table moment in the war on terrorism. Boko Haram, the Islamist group spreading mayhem across Nigeria, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, the terrorist group spreading mayhem across the Middle East and Northern Africa.

If these reports hold up and Boko Haram proves to be an amenable collaborator, ISIS will expand its presence from western Syria through Iraq, Yemen, Libya, and into northeastern Africa.

They’ll meet resistance, of course. Chad, Benin, Cameroon, and Niger have all teamed up with Nigeria to repel the Boko Haram threat. Recently their coalition secured two towns under jihadist control and killed 200 enemy fighters in the process. There’s also hope on the Mesopotamian front, where the Iraqi army and Shiite militias are pushing into ISIS-controlled Tikrit.

But the point is that this wasn’t supposed to happen. When George W. Bush officially declared the war on terrorism on September 20, 2001, he said: “Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.” That was always too lofty, but it was a lofty time.

What progress have we made towards that objective today? The strongest Islamist franchise in modern history controls a swath of land the size of Britain and just allied with another death cult that controls a swath of land the size of Belgium. Libya and Yemen are in chaos with Sunni jihadists well-established in both countries. Turkey is slouching towards Islamism. 2013 had the most terrorist attacks of any year since 2000—and only because the figures for 2014 don’t seem to have been compiled yet.

Full article: … -stronger-than-ever/