borne back ceaselessly into the past
--The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Breaking Bad, ii:
How and why does the fiction that the U.S. is fighting Terrorism continue? This "New American Century" does not demand a "New American Studies" or a "New American Society". What we face is nothing new. Our citizens were wearying of these senseless wars, but they have rallied following the recent Islamic State beheadings of Westerners, led by the pied pipers of the press to imagine they are viewing some new sort of maleficence.
Citizens of our country may think that relations between our religious sects are more pacific, but all that is gone is that The Crusades (and subsequent edicts) bled off their fervor. Islam, however, suffers from no such restrictions. It may be demode to state the fact that the U.S. finds itself in the middle of a millennial fight between religious groups, but there it is.
Let these Islamic nations drown in a sea of blood and sand, and let the U.S. cease its support of any nation not supporting liberal ideals. The U.S. cannot fight a war when it has no sure friends in the region to whom it may turn.
Our efforts at war are hopelessly hamstrung. We went to "go get 'em", but we fight conventionally and they do not. We have not learned to fight guerrilla war, and perhaps never will, and we lack the stomach or legitimacy for a broader elimination of the threat. What is left if to staunch our national bleeding.
The reality is, more terror attacks may occur, but by putting our full efforts into a protective posture we can hopefully stave them off. Every attack in the U.S. gave off signals: the Boston Marathon bombing and the base shootings by Nidal Hassan in Texas are examples. The Washington Navy Yard shooting, though not terrorist, was another example. The intelligence indicators are there, and there is where we should put our resources.
Using all government agencies to focus on the Homeland imparts legitimacy and more importantly, interior lines of defense. Our defense would become concentric and relevant to the reality of the threat. Intel would coordinate with State and Defense, and would become the outer defense. Homeland Security, FBI and Justice, along with local police and intel functions would be the inner defensive ring.
The goals now should be not having our servicemen serving as bullet magnets in some far-flung danger zone. The United States is the zone we should be protecting with all of our might.