It is maddening to hear the universal cacophony of voices talking about "Terrorism" as our enemy. Such misdirection and/or sloppiness is embarrassing.
Terrorism (causing terror) is exactly like "carpet bombing", "gorilla warfare", or "flanking." It is a tactic used by nations, groups and individuals in an attempt to accomplish something; the "something" does not have to be cogent or even sane.
The mass murderer who kills children in a school is using "terror" as a tactic; we don't understand it if he is insane, but it is his chosen tactic instead of standing in the middle of the road and waving a sign. A homeless women engages in an act of Terror when she drives down a sidewalk, killing folks she doesn't even know. A person who snipes at people driving cars by on an Interstate road is combining two tactics: gorilla warfare and terror. I could go on and on, but the point is made: Terror is a tactic...it is a means to do any one or more of many goals. The goal is not particularly important.
Terror, when used by an individual, may have a goal. It may not. A mentally ill person may engage in a terrorist act and have no goal. Mental illness was and remains the enemy.
A bank robber may shoot up, wound and kill many in the robbing of the bank. The terror of multiple wounds and killings is for the purpose of causing fear and confusion and to make escape easier and more certain. The Criminal Act was and remains the enemy.
When an extended group adopts the tactics of Terror for a purpose, it helps to identify the enemy, and the source that created that group as an enemy. It does NOT help to focus on tactics; I remember the focus on the gorilla warfare of the North Vietnamese instead of on the source of their vision of the United States as their enemy. What a waste of effort...and we failed to achieve our goals in that conflict.
Currently we have ISIS (ISIL or whatever other derogatory name is currently in vogue) as our enemy. Their tactics include infiltration, conventional military warfare, psychological warfare, as well as Public Relations efforts in recruitment, terrorist acts, and many others. All of these are tactics.
Why does ISIS see the West in general and the United States in particular as the enemy? They say (and it behooves us to listen to our enemy when the consistently declare why the hate us and avoid trying to re-define it in terms that we find comforting (and, most harmful, misleading), that we are destroying their their way of life, bringing immoral and unacceptable behavior to their countries, interfering with their way of life and trying to erode their lifestyle, indoctrinating their youth with the immoral and wasteful ways of the west and showing them and their brand of civilization no respect. They also will quote the commands of their religion, Islam, as contained in the Qur'an, that they conquer the world and convert all to Islam. Dying in this cause is seen as a guarantee of entry to Paradise, hence the willingness to engage in the terrorist tactic of body bombs and mass killings when death to the perpetrators is all but guaranteed.
Any reasonable person bothering to ask questions, read, and analyse all of this cannot escape the finding that the self-declared enemy attempting to fight, kill, and terrorize the west and the United States is Islamic in nature and most specifically involves devout extremist Muslims who have decided that they need to act now to save their perception of what civilization should be: Islamic.
There are Muslims in name only, just as there are Christians in name only; these folks claim the title and show up on special occasions and actually value the heredity of Islam...but neither group actually is dedicated to live the life that either the Bible or the Qur'an dictates. They are not enemies of anything other than having their lives interfered with by the folks who comprise ISIS. Still others have fully embraced the qualities and practices of the western world for various reasons: women because of the freedom to make their own decisions and dress as they wish, the LGBT community because it avoids being put to death...and others.
The West in general and the United States in particular doesn't want to acknowledge the truth of what is presented here for a variety of reasons. A main one is that the west has become afraid of confrontation and developed a distaste for stress of any sort; I call it the "pc movement." How dare anyone make us feel "uncomfortable." ...or "wrong." ...or put in an unwanted position of having to actually "do" something! Like Neville Chamberlain, they just want to believe that everyone really just wants "to get along." Wanting and acknowledging the truth are often not co-existent.
I wonder if we will ever see our President or any world leader acknowledge, and identify the enemy instead of repeating over and over references to the "behind the lines tactics?" I am starting to doubt it. Even if they called the tactics of terror a form of gorilla warfare it would be an improvement, because it would make everyone consciously aware that we have avoided actually putting a name on, and thus identifying, the real enemy.
That would be the start of what perhaps could become victory.