What’s the ‘most dangerous place on earth’?
Posted On August 5, 2021
By Tom NicholsSeptember 26, 2018In my new book, I argue that we need to reconsider our basic approach to terrorism.
I have long argued that the best way to defeat terrorism is to defeat the fundamental principles that define it.
This includes the idea that terrorism is a moral failure, and that its leaders should be held accountable for the consequences of their actions.
The only way to stop terrorism is for all Americans to accept that the terrorists we have been fighting are not real terrorists.
This means accepting that terrorism must be fought in the face of all people, everywhere, as a matter of national security, and not just as an individual threat.
That means, I contend, accepting that terrorist violence and the consequences it produces must be contained to our own neighborhoods, communities, and workplaces.
That means, by the same token, that the United States must accept that terrorist groups can, and should, win.
The United States is a global power, and it is therefore imperative that we work with our allies and partners to defeat them wherever they may exist.
But the United Kingdom has a different understanding of what it means to defeat a global enemy, and its failure to do so has left us vulnerable to more radical and more effective forms of terrorism.
The United Kingdom is in a position to play a major role in this fight because it has been a leading power in the global anti-terror coalition since the end of the Cold War.
Its foreign policy, which has been dominated by the United Nations since the 1950s, has not only failed to defeat terrorist groups but also left the country open to a variety of terrorist attacks.
The threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) and other foreign fighters poses a new threat to our security and to the security of our citizens.
The UK has a long history of cooperation with other nations and international institutions.
But it has never acted in the same way as it should have in this important global effort.
In the last decade, we have done much to foster international cooperation in countering the threat of terrorism and to develop a more stable and prosperous world.
But our actions in the Middle East have been inconsistent.
We have encouraged regional actors, but we have also played a role in supporting and arming the extremists.
We supported a violent extremist group in Syria, but that group is now an ally of ISIL, and we continue to support the Syrian government and its military.
And we have helped Saudi Arabia and its allies in the region, but they have supported the Syrian opposition.
The British government has been very slow to act against terrorism in its own backyard.
It has failed to identify the root causes of terrorism, and instead has supported and encouraged a range of terrorists.
The lack of progress in the fight against terrorism has created a vacuum that the ISIL has exploited to recruit fighters and conduct attacks against innocent civilians.
The British government’s response has been to take the most dangerous path possible and to abandon efforts to fight terrorism wherever it exists.
This is a recipe for disaster.
The consequences of failing to act on the threat posed to the United Kingdom by terrorists are devastating.
As the British prime minister, David Cameron, put it in September, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Turkey, Egypt, and others have all offered safe havens for ISIL to operate.
These nations have also provided safe havens and training camps for ISIL fighters.
The U.K. has also allowed the smuggling of arms and fighters into the United Middle East through the use of its airports.
The government has failed us all.
We must act decisively to confront the threat.
I am the last British prime minster who would have allowed the United Arabs to become the hub of the global jihad.
But we must do more.
The government must begin working with our partners, including our allies, to create a global coalition that will combat ISIL wherever it is found.
Theresa May must respond to the threat and take effective action to protect British lives and our nation’s security.