Maybe we should think the quieter it is the more imminent the attack. We would like to think that each terrorist event, successful or not, will bring a pause. It never does!
The terrorist see the West as a threat that will not go away. It is not that the West has been overtly provocative. There is scant evidence of that! It is simply our presence in a technologically shrinking world. They see us proselytizing their youth. Technologically, we are disturbing their culture, however tacit or without purpose — that is why we get called “the great Satan”.
We are engaged in a war for the ages. No matter what conflicts occur concurrently with this terrorist war it will remain and it’s nature and goals are unlikely to change or be effected by world wars and events. Much of the sizing up of the conflict has to do with the disparity in population growth. The Muslim world is growing rapidly and infiltrating Western countries. France is 30% Muslim. By contrast, the West is near even or negative in growth. Germany is a good example of an ageing country.
The terrorist are now recruiting into the non-Muslim world. They know our security agents are profiling, so they have to find recruits that will “blend in”. Many of these recruits don’t join terrorist organizations because they share some deep religious belief with the organization. They commonly join because it is an organization that provides them with a sense of security and belonging. So, many of these recruits may not inhibit a deep hostility to the West. They just have psychological needs and are vulnerable. Not everyone who joined the Ku Klux Klan hated Catholics and blacks, but that association or any association, lifted their feeling about themselves.
We cannot afford to fight a defensive war. We must be on the march. Wars will be started, fought, and concluded while this terrorist war with the West rages on. We must let the terrorist know we are here for the long haul. And, we are teaching our grandchildren they must fight the same war we fight.