*Last weekend there was another apparent terrorist attack in London. If the ISIS communication is to be taken at face value, they are responsible. But really the people behind the attack is not the most significant element in this situation.
It is impossible to keep a military force, intelligence gathering force, or law enforcement agents at high alert indefinitely. So there will always be opportunities for more incidents. Secondly there will always be another reason to be attacked as long as the foreign policy of the leading Western nations revolves around extracting resources and unequal trade relationships from others.
Since 1898 the United States has been looking beyond the continent of North America for markets to sell stuff and resources to improve upon. Western European countries have been at this game even longer. Usually these countries have been able to implement Christianity in the places they target. But in the case of countries in the Middle East and Asia a difference of religion remains an issue. In Christianity one can convince those at the bottom of the socio-economic hierarchy that they are there because of some failing on their part. I will not claim to be an expert on Islam, but the Muslims who are attacking Western countries do not seem to accept that explanation of their situation. Furthermore they might actually believe that they are called to fight back because of their religion.
So ISIS if behind these attacks, then isn’t the answer as simple as destroying that organization? In a word: no. First it is a tricky proposition to eliminate ISIS because it is fundamentally a decentralized entity. Secondly eliminating ISIS completely would only leave a vacuum to allow a different fundamental organization to take its place. That is what happened when the United States declared victory over Al-Qaeda.
The real solution is for Western nations to change their policies toward Middle Eastern countries to make themselves less of a target. The real solution is to come to an understanding with Middle Eastern countries so that they can feel invested in a future where they are not playing supporting roles to the Western countries lead. Until then the new normal will be retaliatory attacks that we can’t see coming and will very infrequently be able to prevent.
Trevor Brookins is a free lance writer in Rockland County, New York. He is currently working on a book about American culture during the Cold War. His writing has appeared in The Journal News. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @historictrev.