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Dan Gilmore / December 8, 2015

An Effective War on Terror Requires Decades

Obama’s procrastination threatens U.S. security.

Despite delivering his Sunday speech seemingly punching up his effort, Barack Obama’s limp resolve to defeat and ultimately destroy the Islamic State is not keeping terrorism at bay. The whole goal of the war on terror is to thwart attacks by aspirational jihadists, yet Islamic State-linked terrorists were able to leave their mark on Paris and San Bernardino. As commentator Charles Krauthammer said, Obama wants to do “as little as possible” in order to avoid provoking the death cult.

But the U.S. can do more against terror than simply a limited air campaign and a Twitter war, according to the American Enterprise Institute report, “A global strategy for combating al Qaeda and the Islamic State.” AEI said Obama’s merry little war is too limited. Al-Qaida operates in 20 countries across the world. In each place, the U.S. should be working with Middle Eastern governments to provide domestic stability and a counter-insurgent campaign. This requires the U.S. to focus on four areas: military, diplomatic, ideological and political action. Contrary to Obama’s simple, dualistic thinking, an increased effort in combatting terrorism will not result in another troop surge. In fact, AEI said “the deployment of large numbers of American military forces into combat [is] both unnecessary and inadvisable.” As the Islamic State and al-Qaida incurs losses, their violent brand of Islam will be discredited.

It won’t be easy, as AEI predicts such a strategy will take decades to reduce the terrorist cells to the power they held in the 1980s. But it’s riskier to do nothing. The Washington Free Beacon noted that the report said Obama’s current strategy leaves room for the Islamic State to double its territory and get its grimy hands on a weapon of mass destruction — a threat made more real by Obama’s foolish deal with Iran.

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