I know Ron Paul and his fellow crazies like to blame foreign policy “blowback” for 9/11, but sometimes the blowback comes from doing too little:
The flow of foreign fighters to Syria to join the war against Bashar Assad’s dictatorship is becoming the largest in the history of the global jihad, and the Syrian battleground is on the way to outstripping the 1980s Afghan war against the Soviets as a training ground for Islamic militants. Security services around the world are becoming increasingly alarmed at the implications for the safety of their citizens.
American intelligence officials now put the number of foreign fighters who have gone to Syria since the war began in 2011 at between 8,000 and 10,000. Other sources put the total even higher, up to 12,000. The largest contingent is probably Saudis.
That’s bad news for everybody’s security, but probably mostly ours and Western Europe’s. And just to be clear, when I say “doing too little,” I don’t actually mean that there is much more we could do or should do in Syria. If there was ever a time to move, that time was three years ago — but even then I don’t know there is much we could have accomplished, especially given our current Administration. You go to war (or not) with the President you have.
What I do mean is that blowback is sometimes unavoidable, simply because there are no good actions to take. The best a country can do in those cases is to prepare for the inevitable and try to mitigate it as much as possible. That’s where we find ourselves now.
Of course, Professor Ditherton Wiggleroom chose to do nothing in 2011 when action could perhaps have done some good, then pretended to leap into action last summer when pretense could only do us harm.
So now we’d better be ready to mitigate big time.