Unending war with Islamists?

Almost a decade ago, I stated that the jihadist wars, battles, skirmishes, and terrorism, ordered by clerics and warlords, would last a long time. Perhaps several more years, a decade or two, off and on, but generally somewhere in the world there will be an attack.

The Islamists think in centuries; whereas, the West thinks in days, months, and years. Patience vs impatience. If it wasn't for political correctness and collateral damage — such as death of citizens, many innocent — the wars would end much sooner. Then there would just be the odd lone-wolf or resurgence of the Caliph and/or Saladin.

Following, is an interesting viewpoint by Christopher Hitchins, who I do not agree with on many issues. However, he seems to understand a bit about time and war. For the entire article read the link.

In defence of unending war – Christopher Hitchins

…one might ask how long we have been at war with al-Qaeda or its equivalents. Since the attack on the World Trade Center in 1993? Since the destruction of the U.S. embassies in Africa? Since the near-sinking of the USS Cole in Aden harbor in 2000? Even to invite these questions is to arouse the unnerving suspicion that there was quite a long period during which al-Qaeda was at war with us, but we did not understand that we were at war with it. It was precisely that queasy feeling that was beginning to creep over some of us a while before the events of a decade ago dispelled most doubts. And it would have been just as true to say “no end in sight” on Sept. 12, 2001, as it would be to say it today — more true, if anything. So once again, those who want to set the clock must be crystal clear about when they think the confrontation started running.

Attitudes toward length are often a good clue to attitudes toward outcome…

A final objection to the dogma of brief engagements is more commonsensical. On the whole, perhaps it is best not to tell your opponent in advance of the date when you plan to withdraw your forces. Many American generals, we understand, were critical of the president’s original decision to announce a deadline for the endgame in Afghanistan. Certainly, there seem to be upsetting signs of Afghan national army units, in particular, basing their calculations on who can be counted on to be still present as the months go by. Difficult to blame people for consulting their own self-interest in this blunt way.

Human history seems to register many more years of conflict than of tranquillity. In one sense, then, it is fatuous to whine that war is endless. We do have certain permanent enemies—the totalitarian state; the nihilist/terrorist cell—with which “peace” is neither possible nor desirable. Acknowledging this, and preparing for it, might give us some advantages in a war that seems destined to last as long as civilization is willing to defend itself.