History Proves We Can't Defeat Extremists Long Distance

History Proves We Can't Defeat Extremists Long Distance

History Proves We Can't Defeat Extremists Long Distance

President Obama was elected on a promise to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and avoid new wars. But a funny thing happened on the way to peace – more terror attacks at home and the rapid rise of ISIS abroad. 

No matter how much he’d rather focus on issues like global warming and gun control, the president has to rise to the challenge of this increasing Islamist threat. 

America is in the crosshairs, and Obama’s legacy will depend on what he does about it in 2016. 

He’s certainly not the first president to have to shift priorities on the fly. Many if not all of his predecessors entered office with a clear agenda,only to watch world events scramble their to-do lists. When that happens, great presidents adjust to new challenges -- even if it becomes necessary to break a campaign promise.

Consider our third president, Thomas Jefferson, who took office in 1801. Like Obama, Jefferson was widely considered a pacifist who preferred diplomacy over war. But when Tripoli (now Libya) declared war on us because we refused to pay extortion and ransom to the pirates off the Barbary coast, Jefferson rose to the challenge. 

He started with a display of strength to intimidate our enemies, sending the U.S. Navy’s newest frigates to the region.  When that show of power wasn’t enough to get the Tripoli pirates to stop their attacks and release their hostages, Jefferson ordered bombardment from those powerful new ships.

Unfortunately, then as now, long distance bombing didn’t work. To the Islamic extremists of any generation, surviving against a Western attack is considered as good as winning. That’s why airstrikes and a few ground advisors won’t break the back of ISIS today.  In fact, ISIS just uses our bombings to recruit more terrorists.

 

Read full story: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/01/08/kilmeade-history-going-back-to...