"We Are Losing the War on Terror"

Today’s Required Reading is from David Rothkopf:

Recent headlines and new studies support the conclusion that global terror trends are heading in an ever more dangerous direction. In early June, the Rand Corporation released a study that detailed the growing threat. It reports that in 2007, there were 28 Salafi-jihadist groups like al Qaeda. As of last year, there were 49. In 2007, these groups conducted 100 attacks. Last year, they conducted 950. The study estimates that there were between 18,000 and 42,000 such terrorists active seven years ago. The low-end estimate for last year, at 44,000, is higher than the top estimate for 2007, and the new high-end estimate is 105,000. The administration rightly argues that “core al Qaeda” has sustained “huge” damage. But “core al Qaeda” no longer poses the principle threat to the U.S. homeland. That comes, according to the Rand report, from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. As Rand summarizes the report: “Since 2010, there has been a 58 percent increase in the number of jihadist groups, a doubling of jihadist fighters and a tripling of attacks by Al Qaeda affiliates. The most significant threat to the United States, the report concludes, comes from terrorist groups operating in Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

Just wait. Yesterday on Twitter I read a report that ISIS forces were just 60 miles from Baghdad, on the heels of the half-billion-dollar sacking of Mosul. A quick look at the map above shows that ISIS is well on its way to controlling the choicest bits of Mesopotamia. Assad might have stopped them from taking Damascus, but it’s up to the feckless Iraqi government to stop them from taking Baghdad and then the rest of the Tigris-Euphrates river valley. From there, it’s easy to imagine a scenario where Saudi and Iranian forces come to blows along the spine of Iraq’s ISIS-riddled corpse.

It’s not just that the West is losing the War on Terror, it’s that civilization is losing the Greater Middle East.