Brussels more proof we are losing war on terror

Published 9:17 am Thursday, March 24, 2016

How do you fight a war without borders? How do you defeat an enemy who become martyrs if they fall in battle? How is it possible to achieve victory when, like the mythical hydra, you cut off one head only for it to be replaced by two more?

Those are the challenges facing America and, ultimately, the entire world as the growing power of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) and other extremist groups becomes a legitimate threat to everything we hold dear.

The recent bombings in Brussels that killed at least 31 and injured several hundred more — the sixth major attack in as many weeks for which ISIS has taken credit — is just another example how the world is losing the war on terror and may need to rethink how it is fighting it.

“The Brussels attack illustrates once again the intensity of the Islamic State’s desire to carry out attacks on civilians far beyond the ground under its control. When it first emerged, seizing large areas in Iraq and Syria in 2013 and 2014, ISIS set itself apart from other international jihadist groups, such as al-Qaeda, which never controlled territory even remotely on the same scale,” according to a recent article in Time. “But today, it appears to have two robust prongs — both a proto-state in lands that it has captured in Iraq and Syria; and also an emergent international network, comparable to that of al-Qaeda.”

It isn’t time for hate speech against entire races, religions or ethnic groups. It is time to re-think how serious a threat these groups are and the steps the free countries of the world can take to protect themselves.

What will this 21st Century warfare look like? Someone smarter than me will have to figure that out, but it will most certainly have to be fought on multiple battlefields, most of which won’t include guns or tanks.

It should likely start with focusing on the resources. The old saying is that if you want to get to the bottom of something just “follow the money.” That is what we need to do with ISIS.

Who is funding them? Where do the resources come from and what can the other nations do to remove or freeze those assets? Without infrastructure and dollars, this group will start to crumble.

The second focus has to be on education. ISIS and other extremists operate on the foundation that they are able brainwash many followers by controlling information. Providing free access to information, even some that would be considered propaganda, would give extremists some of their own medicine.

The third component would still be old-fashioned war. We need a global coalition that puts boots on the grounds and simply wipes out these pockets of international criminals and murderers. It cannot be just the U.S., and none of us can be meek in our efforts.

The world mourns for Brussels and the victims of the myriad of other attacks.

Don’t forget, though, that these individuals don’t need our sympathy. They need — and deserve — our resolve and our actions.


Michael Caldwell is the publisher of Leader Publications LLC. He can be reached at (269) 687-7700 or by email at