The recent acts of terrorist in Paris and elsewhere serve as stark reminders that attacks are still possibility here. Since 9/11 America has spent hundreds of billions of dollars on homeland security that have changed the way we live and travel. We no longer feel as safe as before. With our privacy compromised and our freedom to traveled hampered we accept these invasions upon our constitutional freedoms in the name of the Patriot Act and national security. Although we have been by far the most aggressive country against Arab terrorism and actions in the Middle East little has happened here at home since 9/11 more than 14 years later. We are an easy target because of our free society and relatively unguarded boarders. Though we do have quite advanced intelligence here it really isn’t that difficult to get a few determined suicide terrorists across our borders to carry out a crippling attack. The lack of such organized attacks by ISIL or al-Qaeda seems indicative that we are doing something right.
I believe that our relentless pursuit and killing of terrorist leaders from 9/11 is terrorist leader’s greatest fear, their Achilles Heal. The last people to want to blow themselves up as suicide bombs are the terrorist leaders themselves. They don’t want to die. They want to live to plan other terrorist attacks and use others, who feel the only thing left for them do is kill Americans on Arab soil by blowing themselves up, to die for the cause. Their value is in planning and organizing, not fighting and dying. They have personal guards to keep them safe. They seldom stay long in locations that might be targeted by Americans. ISIL is aware of America’s relentless hunt for al-Qaeda leaders, such as Osama bin Laden, responsible for 9/11. Attacking rebel troop locations is no deterrent because troops expect to die for their cause. Terrorist leaders, however, are not expected to die just as our political and military leaders are not expected to sacrifice their lives in combat.
So relentless searching and surgical strikes targeting individual terrorist leaders, who plan terrorist attacks on our homeland, is the most effective deterrent against further terrorist attacks here. These terrorist leaders have a purpose and are not in a state of hopeless despair as are the suicide bombers and fighters they nurture and command. They want to live as much as you and I. So if they are in fear of being relentlessly hunted down and killed by American drones or navy seals or special forces they will think seriously many times before sending suicide terrorist to American soil to kill large numbers of people. They know for a certainty that if they do any mass terrorist activities here we will hunt them down and killed them even if it take decades. Meanwhile they will live in constant fear of the certainty of being killed, unable to effectively lead the fight on their own soil without jeopardizing their location. So in a sense they would be signing their death warrant. They fear us as much as or more so than we fear them. It is much more effective for them to freely lead the fight on their soils than have to hide from us in fear of being hunted down and killed for planning terrorist attacks here. They have little to gain other than the temporary satisfaction of killing Americans and everything to lose.
So our willingness and threat of hunting terrorist leaders down is the best defense we have against terrorism on our homeland. This is their weakness and the primary reason no more terrorist activities have occurred here. You occasionally hear of attempted terrorism being thwarted here but you must stop and wonder how we have been so lucky not to have terrorism strike our soil since 9/11/2001 other than the Boston bombing which was not linked to any major terrorist organization. We have far more to fear from home-grown terrorist than organized Arab terrorist from ISIL.
This post is different from most of my other posts because I am talking about hunting people down and killing them whereas in other posts I oppose non-self defense killing. I do not condone the hunting down and killing of people. But I am trying to make a case for those with concerns that if we withdraw our troops from the Middle East we have little to fear of terrorism continuing here from abroad because the terrorist leaders know that we can still hunt them down.