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Paris, Terrorism, and the War with the Islamic State

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Once again, civilians are targeted in a Western nation by Islamic terrorist bent on Jihad.  This time, it is the Islamic State taking credit for the bloody attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015.  This comes on the heels of the attacks in January, 2015 on the Paris offices of the controversial magazine Charlie Hebdo, and a Jewish market in Paris by al-Qaida Islamic terrorists.

Without a doubt, the Islamic State, the uber-violent Jihadist organization that has taken over large portions of Syria and Iraq, is the most serious Jihadist threat today.  Many Western nations are already engaged against the Islamic State (which is also known as ISIS or ISIL), though this military engagement is primarily through air attacks and the occasional Special Forces raid.

As seen in the apparent downing of  a Russian civilian airliner in early November, 2015 by the Islamic State, when the terrorist proto-nation cannot engage directly with a Western military power (since most Western militaries only engage via the air), the terrorists go for the “soft targets.”  That means civilian targets, like an airliner over Sinai or a rock concert in Paris.

While French, Russian, and other elected Western leaders are expressing shock and awe at these attacks, they really should not be surprised.  When you are at war with an enemy, and do be fooled: France, Russia, the U.S. and other nations ARE already at war with the Islamic State,  that enemy will find ways to strike back.  These recent attacks may very well be to prod nations like France and Russia to send large numbers of troops to the Middle East to engage in land operations against the Islamic State.  That in turn will allow the Jihadists to claim yet another invasion of Islamic territory by the “Crusaders,” and rally more Muslims to their cause.  Plus, the Islamic State may be able to inflict mass casualties, as we saw when the U.S., France, and Italy sent troops to Beirut, Lebanon in the early 1980s.

The recent attacks in Paris will not be the last terrorist strikes against Western civilian targets in this war against the Islamic State.  The West had better settle in for a very long conflict.

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