by Ryan Mauro
Can the “war on terror” be won? That’s the crux of the entire national security debate today. Terrorism is a vague tactic, and declaring war on it is as akin to the colonists declaring war on bows and arrows when they fought Native American tribes.
The mantra that this is a “war without end” drives the debate over whether the U.S. should devote so many resources to extinguishing terrorism, or whether we should, as Fareed Zakaria has said, “learn to live with radical Islam.” If it’s a never-ending conflict, then temporary powers given to the executive branch and national security apparatus are now permanent. If this war cannot be won, then a law enforcement approach is more suitable.