Originally Posted by Torxist
Breaking it down by geography is pointless. The terrorist ideology has transcended borders. They have taken root by using religion as a vehicle to a political end.
If you think about it, this is scary because of the sheer number of Muslims in the world. All it takes is to find the weak lost souls and brain wash them into thinking what the terror leadership wants them to think
Here's the problems I see.
1) Israel is here to stay. The sooner everyone can come to this realization and a peaceful resolution can be reached where a Palestinian nation can be created the better. Unfortunately I don't see the Palestinian side making any compromises (since the whole issue stems from the Palestinians originally not accepting the division of Palestine that was decided by the British at the end of WW2), and Israel really has nothing to lose by maintaining the status quo. So that will continue to be a clusterfuck.
2) The radical Islam faction needs to be eliminated from the inside. No matter what the US does, we will never eliminate radical Islam. Lets say Terrorist A lives in a remote tribal area with his family and neighbors. Terrorist A plans an attack on the US and kills our citizens. The US obviously will retaliate, and a drone blows up Terrorist A who is hiding among his family, so them and a few neighbors get killed. His family and neighbors are collateral. Unfortunately all the neighbors saw Terrorist A as a good guy who helped out the village and don't really understand what he did to the US. Instead, they see us as evil for killing women and children. This leads to other neighbors wanting to get back at the US and then they become radicalized.
The main root of this is that there is a large and vocal portion of Islam that preaches the correct way to deal with your problems is violence. The moderate and liberal Muslims can say they detest this behavior all they want, but THEY need to be the ones to shun the extremists. They are the ones that by standing idly by allow the extremists to be the face and voice of their religion.
I truly think that the oil boom and modernization came to the Middle east too fast. I think a quote from Syriana is a good representation of this: "Twenty years ago you had the highest Gross National Product in the world, now you're tied with Albania. Your second largest export is secondhand goods, closely followed by dates which you're losing five cents a pound on... You know what the business community thinks of you? They think that a hundred years ago you were living in tents out here in the desert chopping each other's heads off and that's where you'll be in another hundred years, so, yes, on behalf of my firm I accept your money." In the 1930's and 40's the majority of the middle east was still under strict Islamic law and fairly isolated from the rest of the world. The industrial revolution and modernization had passed them by. The majority of the world viewed that area as a bunch of guys in the desert with camels.
Then the discovery of oil. All the western nations really cared about was getting access to the oil, not about the religious views or well being of the countries population. So you have ruling classes who became wealthy beyond anyone's wildest dreams while the majority of their population were uneducated and extremely poor. Within a matter of decades you have what was desert being transformed into high rise sky scrappers and islands arranged to look like palm trees. This wealth is concentrated in a few nation (Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait) while others have nothing (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Jordan, Syria, etc.) This new influx of wealth is not used to create better infrastructure for the countries that are lucky enough to be the recipients, but rather it is kept within the ruling classes/dictators and helps pay for lavish lifestyles while the common populace struggles to even put food on the table.
So you have a hugely religious population who still believes in principles that are more appropriate for the middle ages then the modern world clashing with rapid industrialization and modernization. You have one group embracing it and another group detesting it, blaming the west for it, and believing the only way to reverse it is by force. And that is the end game for these extremists. They want not only their countries, but the whole world to go back to the dark ages and live under strict religious law.
So until the moderate Muslims rise up and say enough is enough, and push the extremists out, isolate them so they cannot continue to recruit, and instill principles of tolerance and understanding, things will never change.