It all depends on how you define “existential threat”
Our Idiot-in-Chief recently opined that we shouldn’t take the JV team very seriously because they’re just not an existential threat. Of course when I heard that I had to ruefully shake my head and remind myself that January of next year will be here soon. To paraphrase another yahoo that once occupied the Oval office, it depends on what the meaning of “existential” is.
If we’re doing a hand wave and pretending they’re a conventional force, then yes, they are not an “existential” threat. They have no airforce capable of penetrating American airspace. Certainly they have no navy. And they haven’t any airlift capability or conventional weaponry that poses any threat to the American mainland.
But that’s not the war they’re waging is it?
Of course it isn’t. They are, instead, waging what used to be termed “unconventional warfare”. They’re using guerrilla tactics. They’re targeting soft targets in far away lands. And, according to a new study, they’ve upped the ante by plenty:
The deadly toll of terrorism around the globe has jumped nearly 800 percent in the past five years, according to an exhaustive new report that blames the alarming expansion of Islamist groups across the Middle East and Africa.
The nonprofit Investigative Project on Terrorism found that an average of nearly 30,000 people per year have been killed by terrorists since 2010, when terrorism’s death toll was 3,284. The authors of the study, which tabulated the numbers through the end of 2015, say that the exponential increase shows two troubling trends: More attacks are happening, and they tend to be deadlier than ever.
“Everyone has known that terrorist attacks have generally been increasing yearly since 9/11,” Steven Emerson, executive director of IPT, tells FoxNews.com. “But the magnitude of the increase of the attacks surprised us, especially in the past five years. Even if you look back at the annual reports issued by the most senior analysts in the top five intelligence and counter-terrorism agencies, there is not one report that predicted or forecasted that we would likely see such a massive escalation of attacks.”
The study notes that most of the attacks have been centered in the Middle East and Africa.
In addition to ISIS, groups like Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al Shabaab in Somalia have been on the rise in the last few years. The Taliban has been resurgent in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where it took responsibility for Sunday’s Easter attack on Christians in Lahore; Kurdish-affiliated groups have been blamed for bombings in Turkey; Palestinian terrorists have waged at least two uprisings in Israel and Al Qaeda has continued to be active in Syria and Yemen, among other locations.
The terror groups, particularly those in the Middle East, have new access to deadlier weapons, which they have used to destabilize governments and terrorize citizens, said Emerson.
There is a method to their madness in the regions mentioned. Many of the countries in which they’ve waged their terror campaigns have become failed states. So using their tactics of choice, they’ve certainly shown themselves to be a proven existential threat to weaker nations.
But we’re apparently not in that category according to our Prez. And that’s because we’re big, we’re powerful and we are arrogant. We also apparently don’t think outside the conventional box.
Meanwhile, as we watch and assess conventionally, the enemy moves and executes unconventionally to the point that the kill rate now is 10 times what it was a mere few years ago.
Oh, and it’s moving from the Middle East and Africa … to Europe and Asia:
They also predict that Asia will see more terror attacks as countries like Thailand, The Philippines and India are perceived as soft targets, and that due to the migrant crisis, violence in Europe will increase over the next two years as extremists continue to exploit the immigration system throughout the EU.
Meanwhile, where we are having “conventional” success against them, they are shifting away from there to more amenable soft targets:
“With ISIS losing large swaths of territory as well as key commanders, its center of operational gravity definitely appears to be shifting to Europe, where it can recruit among the more than 30 million Muslims who live in Europe,” Emerson said.
“Add to this mix the fact that thousands of mosques in Europe are controlled by Salfists, Wahabists and the Muslim Brotherhood – which indoctrinate their followers,” he said, “and you have a future recipe for a massive increase in Islamist terrorist violence.”
But remember, we don’t say “Islamic extremists”. And what we won’t say and won’t acknowledge, we can’t defeat. And what we won’t address and thus can’t defeat remains a very real existential threat, simply because we won’t confront them in the reality in which they operate. When a mall or an airport or mass transit station go up in flames here, perhaps Mr. No Existential Threat will finally acknowledge the truth.