Every day we are bombarded constantly in the media with the words 'war on terror.' However, nobody ever addresses the question of how we can know that the war is won.
The answer, if we dare to be truthful, is that there is no practical victory in a war on terror.
The only way to win such a war would be to incapacitate every fanatic. And fanatics, including those of the suicide martyr variety, are created anew every day.
What military action against terrorist groups has done is exponentially increase the number of terrorists and terrorist sympathizers. How many hearts and minds have we totally lost in Iraq? Sadly, Israel may have committed the same blunder with Hezbolah. Destroying the infrastructure of Lebanon, with the high number of civilian casualties will only make more people inclined to be martyrs.
A military response to terrorism is not the solution, but when such action is warranted there should be a specific goal of destroying the leadership and infrastructure of the terrorist groups that threaten us. In Afghanistan it made sense to go in after 9/11 because the country was essentially a training ground for terrorists, and we could not let that slaughter go unanswered. It was a specific response to an attack.
But where is Osama bin Laden? He is still at large. And, because we have spread out our focus and resources, the Taliban and fanatical warlords are once again building their power base in Afghanistan.
Additionally, what have we done about the Afghan contribution to the world opium supply?
Sadly, with the war on terror a never-ending proposition, all we sacrifice is our civil liberties.
We are constantly being asked to give back freedoms that have always been our way of life. But when will we get them back, if the war on terror will truly never come to an absolute end?
The bottom line; for every civil liberty we agree to part with we give the terrorists a victory. Because they will have found a way to transform our way of life.
And not for the better.