In a week like this, you might expect me to give my insights on Charlie Hebdo and everything surrounding it. But I won’t. I assume that for regular readers it isn’t difficult to guess what my views are, and either way, the topic has been discussed so much that at this stage I have little news to add. This video, and this and this post from the past, should sum it up quite well. Instead, what I would like to talk about this week is a comment from a book called THE NEXT 100 YEARS: A FORECAST FOR THE 21ST CENTURY, by George Friedmann. In this book, he suggests not only that the US will dominate the rest of the century, but also that the war between Jihadists and the West has already reached its final stages. So, could it be that the war by the West in the Middle East is about to end?
There are several ways in which wars can end. My personal favourite is through rational peace talks, either between the parties themselves or possibly with help from organisations such as the United Nations. A second is when one side wins, making peace emerge simply because there is no more war to fight, and a final option is when both sides run out of resources or get tired of the constant warfare.
Judging from the way things are right now, the latter is rather unlikely. It is, after all, not a war between two states, but a war between certain individuals and an outside state. Those people who fare war against the West are not going to get bored or “run out of resources”, because in their view, it is a struggle for freedom and justice, and those are not things people tend to give up on so easily. More likely, the West would be the side to run out of resources, causing a retreat and taking away the reasons for terrorist attacks. That, however, seems equally distant, considering the fact that the West has changed its tactic in such a way that the costs have become minimalised, with drones doing the work and thus only worsening the war, as drones don’t always act justly and thus fuel anti-Western sentiments even further.
The same thing goes for the scenario in which the war would end up with a winner. The West cannot possibly win, because they only fuel the popularity of the terrorists whenever they intensify their war efforts. The terrorists are unlikely to win as well, and either way, that is certainly not a scenario which George Friedmann imagined, seeing as he assumed that the 21st century would be the age of the US.
The final option, peace talks, might be more possible. That, however, appears to be just as far away, because at this stage, particularly with IS, there are no efforts made to create peace through talks, and there doesn’t seem to be any point to it anymore either. Organisations like Hamas could be pacified if only they were dealt with as a legitimate political party, but we have long moved on from the point where that would solve all the issues the Middle East faces.
All in all, then, I cannot think of any scenario in which this war is about to come to an end. It would require a Western retreat, as the terrorists can hardly be expected to retreat from their own lands, but that scenario appears more remote than it has ever been before. Of course, politics can be surprising, and I certainly do have hope, but to suggest so easily with little explanation that this war is about to come to an end, seems unlikely to say the least.
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