Missing: A Societal Effort to Halt Terror

LIFESETTE — In World War I, Thomas Edison spent most of his time working on naval research. During World War II, Hollywood churned out one propaganda film after another.

During the Cold War, presidents of both parties demonstrated a steely resolve for decades to bring down the “Evil Empire.”

During the war on terror, the president studiously avoids references to America’s adversaries that could be construed as offensive, and the nation’s leading technology companies figure out ways to thwart anti-terrorism investigators.

It’s not your father’s (or your grandfather’s or great-grandfather’s) war effort.

“It’s certainly the case that since 9/11, there has not been a kind of total societal commitment that would have been expected,” said Kyle Shideler, director of threat assessment for the Washington-based Center for Security Policy.

There are some signs that may be starting to change, in Europe at least. Several news organizations in France have announced they no longer will reprint photographs of terrorists in order to avoid “posthumous gratification,” according to the The Guardian of London. Shideler noted that France this month called up 12,000 police reserves to supplement the 120,000 police and soldiers already deployed around the county in response to recent terrorist attacks.

But Sebastian Gorka, the Major General Matthew C. Horner Distinguished Chair of Military Theory Marine Corps University, said he is not so sure. He noted that German Chancellor Angela Merkel, for instance, still opposes placing any caps on Syrian refugees coming into her country despite terrorist attacks that have resulted.

“We still haven’t come to the bottom of the bucket yet,” he said. “The disconnect between the operators … and their political masters is huge.”

Gorka, author of “Defeating Jihad,” said the United States never marshaled an all-out response to Islamic terrorism.


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