In a long and interesting article on global threats, this stuck out for me:
The State Department's Country Reports on Terrorism 2013 showed that incidents rose from less than 300 major incidents a year in the Middle East and North Africa region during 1998 to 2004 to approximately 1,600 in 2008. They increased again from around 1,500 in 2010 to 1,700 in 2011 and jumped to 2,500 in 2012 and 4,650 in 2013. This was a 15-fold increase in annual incidents since 2002 and a 3-fold increase since 2010. It is also brutally clear from virtually daily reporting in 2014 and early 2015 that the situation has gotten much worse.
Is it really relevant to note the increase since 2002 when that year was the last year before we really engaged the jihadis in Iraq?
After all, by the end of 2011 and into 2012, our administration was boasting of our victory over an al Qaeda on their heels.
I think we are doing worse since President Obama became commander-in-chief and leader of the West, but my judgment isn't based on math.
Mind you, I don't blame him for the Arab Spring's aftermath which has added places where terrorists wreak havoc, although I had hoped we'd do a better job at strengthening the option of democracy and rule of law as an alternative to autocracy or mullah rule.
Ultimately, military action is a holding action to hold the jihadis at bay until Islam wins their internal war about how Islam is to be defined. Is it jihadi-based or live-and-let-live tolerance-based? Who wins that fight will determine what "real" Islam is and not our silly pronouncements on what Islam really means for Moslems.
Back to the math. After all, based on the math, Nazi attacks on American troops skyrocketed dramatically beginning on June 6, 1944. Did that mean we were losing the war?
Obviously, no. It meant we engaged the enemy and they resisted.
We can be winning or losing a war whether it is escalating or de-escalating. Attacks are a metric of intensity and not victory.
There probably weren't a lot of terrorist incidents in Afghanistan prior to our offensive there, since the terrorists ran the country. Why plant bombs? The same goes for Iraq when Saddam ran the place and he could kill quietly with an infrastructure of murderous oppression without having to sneak in IEDs to kill his people.
Obviously, once we've won a war on terrorism, the incidents of terrorism will plummet--as they did in Iraq after our surge offensive and Awakening.
I discussed this concept during the earlier Iraq campaign.
So speaking of a time when we were still celebrating the end of history and not recognizing that Islamo-fascists were at war with us can't really be compared to the post-9/11 terrorist environment when we went to war, too, by using terror attacks as the metric.
The statistics show we obviously haven't defeated Islamist terrorists. That's not news.