Pablo at Kiwipolitico has another interesting post on terrorism. Following is the comment I posted over there. I think the war against the jihadists is far from won even though it appears we are winning the battle in Iraq and are pressing forward in Afghanistan and Waziristan.
In that measure I would say that the jihadists are losing, which is what prompted me to open the post with the quote from a veteran SOLIC professional. However, when it comes to the likes of Pakistan, the Sudan or Afghanistan, then the issue remains very much open.
A fascinating post and discussion as usual. I wish I had more time to consider and post more appropriate and well thought responses.
I disagree with the last gasp of a dying man quote but understand why you included it. Gavrip Principio, Eire, Israel, the Boer and any number of other examples during the retreat of the British empire are sufficient to demonstrate the effectiveness of terrorism as a weapon. The point is well made by the Tamils & Al Qaeda in Iraq that when the terrorists turn on their own population rather than the ruling class they are losing.
Andrew W makes a good point that politically weak governments are prone to manipulate the spectre of terrorism for their own ends.
And weak politicians simply choose appeasement over hard decisions. That is what we are seeing with Obama.
I am interested in peoples views on the Clash of Civilisations. This post is an interesting contextual first chapter but it must be leading somewhere. Personally I see jihadist terrorism as being a multi generational conflict. Until those Islamic nations have developed and educated and prosperous middle class living reasonably democratically there will be no sustained peace. Iraq represented a country much further along that path than Afghanistan which is why it was chosen. Oil and Bush unfinished business with Saddam were not sufficient reasons in and of themselves to justify war. The possibility of WMD being provided to and used by terrorists and the opportunity to provide an example democracy to the rest of the Arab world were the reasons for going into Iraq.
Leaving Afghanistan as the sole front in the war against Jihadist terrorism would mean inevitable defeat due to the nature and backwardness of the country.
imho the jihadists are trying to overthrow our Western democracy and it is legitimate for us to take the fight into countries that are not ruled democratically or at least with popular support.
So I look forward to the next chapter where Pablo develops the clash of civilisations theme, either agreeing or disagreeing or in a different direction.