There is a major problem with political rhetoric today and that is the use of the term, war. We’ve had the war on poverty, the war on drugs, and now, the war on terrorism. It is a fallacious premise, this notion that any problem can be most-quickly solved by declaring war on it. The term as currently used implies some kind of all-out effort, hearkening perhaps back to the last “good” war, WW II, but the concept is misleading because in modern times it fails to demand commitment and sacrifice of all the citizens. Wars, so-called, are now fought on credit and by a professional military. Most people like the idea of war just so long as they don’t have to be a part of it themselves and the thought of ordinary citizens being actually drafted is, well, laughable. Paying for it? Same thing.
Terrorism is not a war problem, even though weapons of war may be needed. ISIL is not a
country that can be defeated, nor could it even surrender in any meaningful way. It is an ideological organization founded on a perverted view of religion. You cannot carpet-bomb an ideology or a religion out of existence. Terrorism is an international police problem and
the sooner we accept that, the sooner we’ll make progress. Language matters because it directs our thinking about how to approach a problem. Our allies need to understand that as well – this is obviously a global problem. It might help too if our own leaders understood it.
Well, what we have to stop and think about is that we have weakened ourselves militarily to such an extent that it affects all of our military policies. — Presidential candidate Ben Carson