The Western world has been combatting Islamic extremism for decades. And, so far, no expense or effort has been spared. We have launched invasions, built coalitions, dropped bombs, fired missiles, imposed sanctions, engaged in nation building, created no-fly zones, trained and equipped foreign armies and utilized a variety of different diplomatic initiatives. To date, this effort has been a complete failure.
From the collapse of Iraq immediately following our pullout, to the disturbing reports of a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan, to the recent atrocities in France, Islamic terrorism is on the march worldwide.
I humbly suggest that we employ a different approach. To wit, disengage.
Thanks to fracking and other developments in energy production, we can live without imported Middle Eastern oil. Stop buying it. Completely. The proceeds from the sale of oil are used to both directly fund terrorism and to spread its supporting ideology.
And in addition, the following should become our policy:
No more aid of any kind to nations that assist terrorists in any way at all. No diplomatic relations. No tourism. No immigration. No education assistance. No cultural exchanges. No trade. No food. No medicine. No military assistance. No U.S. bases. No shipping. No aircraft. No Internet. No telephone service. No financial assistance. No access to our capital markets. Even, no military intervention beyond what is needed to contain a threat.
Treat those societies that promote Islamic extremism the way we treat North Korea. Isolate and contain.
Ultimately, a firm policy of disengagement will hopefully put enough pressure on those societies that facilitate terrorism for reform movements to assert themselves. We cannot and should not try to change Islam as a faith and we cannot remake its constituent societies. We can, however, exert leverage that might, eventually, convince the people of Islam to reform themselves. Ultimately, it has to come from them or it won’t ever work.