After 17 years and a series of failed wars, the number of Sunni fundamentalist terrorists is larger than it was in 2001.
By William S. Lind
An article in the November 21 New York Times revealed two aspects of our ongoing strategic failure in Fourth Generation war. First, it quoted a new study by CSIS that found the number of Sunni 4GW fighters has grown, not shrunk, since we began the “war on terror” on 9/11:
Nearly four times as many Sunni Islamic militants are operating around the world today as on Sept. 11, 2001, despite nearly two decades of American-led campaigns to combat Al Qaeda and the Islamic state, a new independent study concludes.
That amounts to as many as 230,000 Salafi jihadist fighters in nearly 70 countries, according to the study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank. . .
. . .the Islamic State remains the predominant threat, with as many as about 40,000 members globally this year, up from 30,200 in 2014, when the group’s fighters seized the northern third of Iraq.
Second, the Times turned to another study to look at what our current strategy has cost:
Last week, Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs released its annual report, the Cost of War study, in which it calculated that the United States will have spent $5.9 trillion on activities related to the global counter terrorism campaign by October 2019.
So, the war of attrition waged largely from the air that is our chosen 4GW strategy has, in seventeen years, cost us almost $6 trillion (not billion) while multiplying our Islamic enemies fourfold. Can we see this as anything other than strategic failure on a grand scale?