War on Terrorism – Everything Must Change

War on Terrorism – Everything Must Change

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By Arie Egozi

As long as these were isolated and relatively rare terrorism attacks, the global war on terrorism could still use the same old tools and methods used twenty and thirty years ago, but no more. All the experts are united in saying that a change of perspective is needed – and fast, both in countries who are suffering terrorism for years as well as those who are new to the phenomenon.

All this is because of the planning of modern terrorism. Whoever thinks Islamic terror is basic or borderline primitive is completely wrong. Whoever thought this terror will keep using knives, IEDs and light weapons is completely wrong.

The Islamic terror is aspiring to be much more, and whoever remains with the same way of thinking will lose the battle and the war.

Every large terror organization – ISIS and Al-Qaeda – have been going to great lengths to acquire more advanced weapon systems. I don’t mean necessarily dirty atom bombs or chemical materials, but most certainly sniper rifles with a range of over 1.5 km and explosives – and that’s not all. Every intelligence informations points towards these organizations keeping close ties with criminal arms dealers, trying to obtain the most effective lethal weapons. What does this mean for the other side?

For many years now, counter-terrorism units in the US and Europe are designed to fight criminal events such as hostages scenarios, for instance by bank robbers. This fixation which drives the US government and many European states mostly causes these counter-terrorism units to remain unchanged.

This must be fixed immediately. We’re talking mostly about equipment, such as an independent real-time intelligence capability freeing these units, in the US’ case, from needing to wait for the FBI.

Modern terrorism does not offer local police departments the privilege of waiting around for the federal units. Response must be immediate, like that of a trained military unit with tools to handle almost every situation. It’s true that even a military unit may need air or artillery reinforcement, but for counter-terrorism units, this applies much less. Every delay may cause the number of civilian casualties to double if not more. This isn’t just about budgets, but a change in the whole attitude towards terrorism, to its extent and to the need to treat it on a local level – not a police force sealing off the parameter and waiting for the FBI, but a police force that can at least create a halt in the event until the big guns arrive.

Israel has understood it for some time now, and changes are being made, though more will be required.

The rest of the world is behind, first because it doesn’t understand the extent of the war declared on it, and second because of politicians who don’t wish to appear too aggressive.

Whoever fails to realize the need for an immediate change will pay the price.