The War on Terror Sacrificed Thousands of Lives to Avoid Tough Political Decisions

The infrastructure of Islamic terror is made up of three groups: domestic infrastructure, financial infrastructure, and organizational infrastructure. The domestic infrastructure consists of the populations who are the source of Islamic terrorism, the financial infrastructure comes from the state sponsors and billionaire funders of terrorism, and the organizational infrastructure is represented by the terrorist groups like Al Qaeda that run training camps and plan operations. 

The War on Terror was structured to focus on the least politically difficult targets while avoiding the most politically difficult targets. What initially began as a broad spectrum campaign that detained large numbers of domestic Islamists and went after Islamist billionaires who were funding the terrorists narrowed down to nation building in response to political pressures. 

Spending the lives of thousands of American soldiers was easy compared to the political challenges of rooting out the domestic Muslim Brotherhood operation, its mosques and organizations, or trying to hold Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar accountable. The conviction that Islamic terrorism was the product of a tiny minority of extremists huddling in caves and training camps was a deliberate misunderstanding of how terrorism actually worked.

American leaders spent the first generation of the Bolshevik revolution bailing out the Soviet Union from famine and war, doing business with it, enabling its conquests, and finally letting the Communists take China and all of Eastern Europe before we learned our painful lesson. The lesson was learned not because our leaders grew smarter, but because the ruthlessness and scale of the enemy became inescapable. Even then we spent the Cold War trying to figure out how to live in peace with the big Communists while fighting brushfire wars with the little Communists, leading to lots of lives lost and what looked like a pathway to our defeat. The Soviet Union eventually collapsed while Communist China adapted, leaving us with a new war with an enemy that we keep enabling because it’s politically and economically cheaper.

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