The Economics of the War against Jihad

Remember the Tehran hostages, Terry Anderson, Beirut, the Achille Lauro, the Berlin disco bombing, Lockerbie, the World Trade Center bombing, Khobar Towers, the Kenya and Tanzania attacks, the USS Cole, 9/11, Shanksville, Karachi, Riyadh, Amman, Algeria, Yemen, Little Rock, Richard Reed, Jose Padilla, Ft. Hood, Fort Dix, Times Square, Benghazi, Boston Marathon, James Foley, and others?

Despite this sea of evidence, many American’s, as well as the Obama administration, seem hesitant to realize what is happening and fight back. Some may not want to battle due to war fatigue, apathy, or ignorance. Still others are so politically correct that any atrocity can be explained away as “cultural.”

If we fight the war against radical Islamic extremism, can we win? Based on the economics of our enemy, a look at the U.S. and Israel versus Iran, Iraq, and Syria provides us a gauge as to the ability to wage war. The data shows our enemy as less than weak, and the ability for America to prevail a foregone conclusion.

Actually, if we wanted a “fair” fight with Iran, we would have to pit the cities of Houston/Dallas with a GDP of $964 billion against Iran’s GDP of $945 billion. The odds would be on the “cowboys” as they are over 5 times more productive than Iranians per capita, $66,595 versus $12,264.

What about a matchup against Syria and Iraq? The good news is that Boston (GDP $323 billion) is on equal footing economically with Iraq/Syria (combined GDP, $330 billion). As far as being efficient fighters, Boston’s per capita GDP is $74,643, while Iraq/Syria averages $5,015. Since Bostonians are 14 times more productive than Iraq/Syria, the money is on the “patriots” over the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

What about the Iranian threat to Israel? Israel’s GDP is $273 billion while Iran’s is $945 billion. That’s a big difference. The good news is that Israel per capita GDP is $34,770 while Iran’s is $12,264, meaning that Israel citizens are 2.5 times more productive than Iranians. This matchup is why our long-time ally needs the support of the U.S.

If the U.S. wants to defeat radical Islamic extremism, there is no fight we can’t win. As far as Israel’s threats from all fronts, especially Iran, they can more than take care of themselves as long as the U.S. has their back.

Maybe this is the reason President Obama is hesitant to fight? No doubt the opponent is so weak it could legitimately be called the JV, so underplaying or ignoring Islamic radicalism keeps from exaggerating the threat’s credibility. It’s also understandable that some simply lash out and use America as a scapegoat as an excuse for their failed institutions. Realizing the need for economic development and jobs or focusing on the “root cause” of terrorism does shows a compassionate and hopeful State Department.

But here is the thing, and there is really no way around it.

Radical Islamists want to bring more terror and death to America and Israel. Any ideological extremist who would fly jet airliners into office buildings, burn humans alive in cages, and line up Christians and behead them have no problem with violence and in fact revel in the idea of slaughtering millions. This is a religious war for the Jihadists, and they view dying as winning, as long as it takes some of the enemy infidels with them.

The terrorists may be weak by every metric in the ability to win a conventional war, but for Islamic extremists and the nations that support them, losing is winning as long as the loss brings with it the annihilation of Western civilization. With this understood, getting their hands on a nuclear device actually feeds into their narrative.

If a terrorist detonated in Manhattan a small nuclear device similar to that used in Hiroshima, nearly 700,000 people in a four-mile radius would die directly from the blast, and tens of thousands of others would have their lives cut short because of the fallout and other effects. That is the equivalent of two-hundred thirty-three 9/11s happening in an instant.

A nuclear bomb dropped on Tel-Aviv would kill over 84,000 people instantaneously and many thousands of other lives would be cut short. This unfortunately would not be the last atomic attack on that fateful day. Israel would unleash a nuclear counterstrike on Iran that would make Nagasaki look like a pillow fight. The destabilization of the region would unleash a prolonged period of war with death and suffering for millions.

These costs are unacceptable. Moreover, this type of attack is not only possible, it is closing in on probable the longer we sit around discussing cultural sensitivity and treaties instead of accepting human nature and history.

Economic sanctions could disrupt society to the point where citizens would rise up and overthrow the regimes, but when you hold all the firepower it’s unlikely. And Jihadists don’t care about economic well-being, they care about serving Allah.

A negotiated peace would be great, but we no longer have the time to “hope” we can “change” evil’s central core within the fallible human spirit.

We are faced with some serious questions and decisions. Are we facing an enemy that will commit any brutal murderous slaughter in the name of a twisted religious ideology? Yes. Can the enemy be defeated? Yes. Will we realize our responsibilities? Time will tell.

We must defend civilization against barbarism and a retreat into the dark ages. We must defend the natural laws of morality including life, liberty, and property. We must be willing to do anything and everything to establish peace, stability, and order to Earth. If that means eradicating evil’s ability to function through force, so be it. It’s time to fight. War may be evil, but it is not the worst evil. The alternative is so unspeakable that crushing its possibility is humanities only choice.