I enjoy listening to Andrew Bacevich's opinions and commentary regarding American foreign policy, and have for a few years now, ever since discovering a book of his at a discount store for $1. What a deal that was!
In the aftermath of the events of one week ago, it is clear that things have escalated in the Middle East, particularly in Syria. France has launched strong air raids against ISIS targets, and it is not alone. Both Russia and the United States are also doing the same, and Russia recently stepped up their attacks on ISIS targets specifically since it announced that ISIS was responsible for the bombing of the airliner some weeks ago that killed hundreds of Russians. There is speculation that Britain will soon join these other nations by launching airstrikes against ISIS, as well.
Given these facts, as well as examining history in the past following such tragedies from terrorism, we can assume that we are witnessing yet another war. Indeed, Pope Francis's words that the Paris attacks were just one event in a larger conflict that he called World War III are starting to sound more and more plausible.
Perhaps, then, this is the time to contemplate this impending war, and to ask ourselves questions. The most important being, of course, can it be won? Can we actually eradicate ISIS specifically, and terrorism more generally.
Bacevich examines these questions, and others, from a uniquely qualified perspective, and his answer might surprise a lot of people, because he says that this is actually a war that the West cannot win.
And I wonder, given the relentlessness with which the war is being pursued, if winning is the main point, or if, in the words of George Orwell, the point of the war is not to win it, but to constantly fight it, and use it as the basis for governments to assert ever more control over citizens.
Anyway, here is the link to the Bacevich article:
A war the West cannot win by Andrew Bacevich, November 14, 2015: