The eighth anniversay of 9/11  just passed a little while ago.  The United States declared a War on Terror because of the events of 9/11.  This is a timely issue because so many of us know people who have been in the armed forces and been deployed overseas in the War on Terror.  Utah has a very high degree of military participation so this war touches all of us and has no real indications of ending any time soon.

Many people called the 9/11 attacks a new Pearl Harbor and in many ways it was.  The American people were united and returned to their religious roots in the days and weeks following 9/11.  There were record breaking numbers of people donating blood and performing community service.  We have since gone to war in two countries and are still in armed conflict in both countries.  We are scheduled to be withdrawing from Iraq but with no real timeline or schedule of goals in Afghanistan.  Support for the war in Afghanistan is eroding.  Ground Zero has yet to be rebuilt and Osama Bin Laden is still unaccounted for.

To compare: after Pearl Harbor we had fought Italy, Germany, and Japan to unconditional surrender in less four years.  Why is it so hard to win a war today?

Part of the problem is that we did not declare war against a nation, but a course of conduct.  The War on Terror will never be won because there are terrorists the world over that will continue to grow and act out.  The War on Drugs is more than 25 years old and there is no sign of that war ending either.

The prevailing doctrine during the Bush years was to go after terrorists wherever we find them and then to go after the countries that harbor and give sanctuary to known terrorist groups.  As a theory this makes sense, similar to going after drug lords and suppliers in other countries when we have the permission of the leaders of those countries.  The United States has not yet declared war on a nation for failing to aid us in the drug war unless you count the invasion of Panama to depose Manuel Noriega which pretty well gave a warning to the rest of the South American nations to cooperate with us or else.

Most wars end with a surrender and a treaty.  Who can surrender on behalf of terror?  Who can surrender on behalf of drugs?  Without an answer to these questions the war should not continue in the way it has.  There must be a change.

The United States needs to get serious about domestic security and not by spending more money on the Department of Homeland Security.  We need to secure our borders with Mexico and Canada without harrassing law abiding citizens any more than absolutely necessary.  We need to start looking for terrorists and allow for profiling.  If a terrorist attack happens to slip through we should find the responsible parties and then take care of them rather than invading an entire nation.

The War on Terror has not worked out too well so far.  We need to get rid of politically correct sensitivities and take a more realistic approach to the problem.

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