Only with “Enormous Political and Cultural Change” Can Europe Start Fighting Terror Effectively

Sept. 6 2017

The past few weeks have seen terrorist attacks from Finland to Spain, and such attacks are becoming increasingly common across the Continent. Drawing on the Israeli experience, Yaakov Amidror argues that European countries must fundamentally change their approach in order to confront the threat properly.

There are three areas that must be addressed to see major gains in the ability to battle terrorism. First, how the legal system views terrorism—particularly that it treats terrorism [as a kind of] crime, which plays into terrorists’ hands—must change. This is an enormous political and cultural change. . . . Implementing [it] is conditional on the political echelon telling itself and its citizens the truth, even [if this change] gives up a small part of citizens’ personal freedom.

The second effort needed is to focus intelligence work on the relevant communities. It appears that a lot has already been done in this field in recent years, but international cooperation must be improved and more aggressive interrogations must be permitted based on intelligence, before an [attack] is carried out. . . .

The third effort is more complicated and centers on [encouraging] ordinary citizens to respond quickly and aggressively when any terrorist action takes place. Israel has a clear advantage when it comes to this, because there are many citizens who are licensed to carry firearms and who can take action even before the police and the security forces arrive. Civilians carrying firearms are extremely unusual in many countries, so it will be difficult for these civilians to respond quickly, thus containing the damage of a terrorist act under way, whether it is a stabbing or drivers who use their vehicles as weapons of mass murder.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Europe, Israeli Security, Politics & Current Affairs, Terrorism

In Dealing with Iran, the U.S. Can Learn from Ronald Reagan

When Ronald Reagan arrived at the White House in 1981, the consensus was that, with regard to the Soviet Union, two responsible policy choices presented themselves: détente, or a return to the Truman-era policy of containment. Reagan, however, insisted that the USSR’s influence could not just be checked but rolled back, and without massive bloodshed. A decade later, the Soviet empire collapsed entirely. In crafting a policy toward the Islamic Republic today, David Ignatius urges the current president to draw on Reagan’s success:

A serious strategy to roll back Iran would begin with Syria. The U.S. would maintain the strong military position it has established east of the Euphrates and enhance its garrison at Tanf and other points in southern Syria. Trump’s public comments suggest, however, that he wants to pull these troops out, the sooner the better. This would all but assure continued Iranian power in Syria.

Iraq is another key pressure point. The victory of militant Iraqi nationalist Moqtada al-Sadr in [last week’s] elections should worry Tehran as much as Washington. Sadr has quietly developed good relations with Saudi Arabia, and his movement may offer the best chance of maintaining an Arab Iraq as opposed to a Persian-dominated one. But again, that’s assuming that Washington is serious about backing the Saudis in checking Iran’s regional ambitions. . . .

The Arabs, [however], want the U.S. (or Israel) to do the fighting this time. That’s a bad idea for America, for many reasons, but the biggest is that there’s no U.S. political support for a war against Iran. . . .

Rolling back an aggressive rival seems impossible, until someone dares to try it.

Read more at RealClear Politics

More about: Cold War, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs, Ronald Reagan, U.S. Foreign policy