In 2004, William Lind, working in a loose affiliation with the United States Marine Corps, set out to analyze what the future of warfare held for well-heeled Western nations. You can read his brief/update (post-Iraq) on that work here:
It’s a bit of a read, but the section I want to underscore reads thus:
“Fourth Generation war is also marked by a return to a world of cultures, not merely states, in conflict. We now find ourselves facing the Christian West’s oldest and most steadfast opponent, Islam. After about three centuries on the strategic defensive, following the failure of the second Turkish siege of Vienna in 1683, Islam has resumed the strategic offensive, expanding outward in every direction.
“In Third Generation war, invasion by immigration can be at least as dangerous as invasion by a state army.”
Remember, he wrote this in 2004.
Fast-forward 11 years to the present.
Before I whip out my eggbeater for the rudimentary analysis I have time for, I’ll say this: Islam and the West have a long history of detente. There is nothing inherent in either Western culture or Islam that makes them necessarily incompatible. In fact, there was a lively theological give-and-take between European Christianity and Islam in the 16th century that is well-documented; some of the debates should be required reading for Christians. Islam is not necessarily a religion of blind, unthinking hate. That faction is now the squeakiest wheel in Islam, but it wasn’t always so. Honest.
The modern problem of Islam can be traced to several factors:
1. The cultural vacuum left in the West as Christianity dies. There exists no intellectual rigor in Western Christianity, especially in Europe. Modern Europeans reject religion, generally, and have no religious vocabulary with which to engage Muslims or, really, counter Islam’s theological claims. All Europe really has at present is a sort of petulant, general “religion is all bullshit” rejoinder that Islamic fanatics simply sidestep as the juvenile contrarianism that it is.
The Imams of Islam are opportunistic, conversion-minded people and religious Muslims take it as a sign from God that Europeans are rejecting Christ en masse just as the European attitude towards immigration are at their most limp-wristed in history.
Until the late 1960s, enough of Europe was still churched enough (barely) that Islamic thinkers would not have intuited that they would be able to grab for ascendance they way they do now. Now Europeans are empty vessels, faith-wise, and Islam knows it.
2. The Middle East is a social and economic toilet. Rich families have all of the power, the economies of the region are hampered by the dominance of oil (which is controlled by those families), and free primary education–especially in Saudi Arabia–is unfailingly heavy on Jihad. This has become such a problem that the Saudi Ministry of Education has tried to clamp down, with limited success so far.
3. Europe is militarily weak and the United States is militarily tired. Opposing religious terrorism is a long-term affair, and there is never a treaty signed to signal such a conflict’s end. Too, an enemy like ISIS doesn’t respond in the normal way to even major military defeats. ISIS merely uses them to recruit more fighters. No nation in the West–except maybe Russia (if you consider them Western)–has the will of leadership to kill as many ISIS fighters as it would take to really end the threat…and they probably don’t have the money.
All of this brings me to the point I want to make:
ISIS knows that mass migration is a viable military strategy, just as William Lind predicted in 2004.
ISIS–the leadership of which has a clear, workable understanding of Western politics and psychology–knows that rushing millions of people into an area the size of Europe allows them to bury a few trained soldiers in the mix. Even if the dangerous fanatics are only 3% of the influx, that could mean Germany alone has more than 20,000 Jihadists on its soil right now.
Any politician who denies this or pretends it isn’t possible is a danger to the people he or she serves.
It’s probably possible for the U.S. to accept some Syrian refugees, but we have to be realistic and proactive about it. The strategy needed would mean PHOTO REGISTRATION or EVERY refugee with Homeland Security (not NGOs or charities), a sharing of that registration list with EVERY state government, and a quarantine of the refugees in demarcated areas–call them concentration camps if you must–until EVERY refugee is vetted.
The only other approach that is acceptable is outright refusal of entry.