Friday, April 7, 2017

Who's Next?

When the US battled fascism in World War II we had to take that fight to a lot of countries all around the world.  Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Italy, France, Holland, Belgium, Austria, Germany, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Burma, French Indochina, China, Japan and hundreds of small islands scattered throughout the South Pacific Ocean.  Our allies fought in additional countries like Finland, Poland, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Korea, Thailand and Laos.  Once the fighting started, it seemed like it would never stop spreading.

Now that the US is battling militant Islam and Islamic terrorism, where do we expect that fight to end?  That fight has taken us to Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, the Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Kuwait and now Syria.  I'll grant you, many of those countries have made it very easy to justify our actions.  Iraq invaded Kuwait.  Iran took Americans hostage.  The Taliban running Afghanistan harbored Al Qaeda in the planning of the 9/11 attacks.  The leader of Al Qaeda--Osama Bin Laden--was able to hide out in Pakistan, Muammar Gadaffi of Libya backed terrorists that bombed commercial airliners and Syria's Bashar al-Assad gassed his own people.

As if the fight that has engaged us for more than 25-years now wasn't straining enough, Syria presents an incredibly complicated situation where not only are we fighting the dictator running the county, but ISIS (the second "S" stands for "Syria") is also fighting and killing people there--and we have no idea what are the affiliations of the third militant group known simply as "the rebels".  It will likely be a three-way fight with no one really on our side.

But then who will be next?  If we were to sweep into this new battlefield and wipe out everyone, the "next ISIS" is waiting to spring up in another country.  Does anyone even know if Al Qaeda is still operating somewhere?  Remember when "wiping them out" was going to assure world peace? 

And we aren't even fighting the biggest Islamic countries yet.  Indonesia--which has seen plenty of terrorism over the past couple of decades--has 209-million people.  Pakistan's population is on pace for 273-million by the year 2050.  And India is actually on its way to being the most-populous Muslim country by that same year--with 310-million--some of whom likely aren't keen on being ruled by Hindus--and who would find plenty of support from their Muslim neighbors, Pakistan--who's already been fighting India for decades.

The pace that we are on, the War on Terror may become the Hundred Years War before we realize it.

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