With the terrorist attacks that we have seen over the last 4 days in Beirut, Kenya, Paris and Bagdad, it’s pretty clear that the war on terror is not a war that is being won. In fact it seems like the number of attacks and threats of attack are increasing.
This increase is leading to an increase in calls for more action, and I have heard many people say that we need to attack, to fight back, to bomb the terrorists, that we need to get out our weapons and go to war.
But with whom?
Much of the increase in terrorism seems to be as direct result of the wars that have been fought over the last 25 years, wars that the West believes that they won.
So it doesn’t look like going to war is the solution to the problem, in fact it looks like it actually feeds the problem.
In times of crisis like these leadership becomes tougher, because everyone thinks they know the right solution, everyone knows what we should do, but in reality that’s not the case as has been proven with terrorism.
If we all knew the answer this problem would be solved.
In times like these leaders often have to go against public opinion. They need to hold firm in the face of criticism over their lack of action, which can often lead to them losing credibility, and even their position.
But good leaders are prepared to do that. They know that there is a difference between what is right and what is popular, and good leaders, especially in times of crisis, choose to do what’s right.
Leadership should never be a popularity contest, where leaders pander to the masses just to retain power. Leadership is about moving people forward, improving their position, making the world a better place.
I hope that the leaders in the West have learnt from previous past mistakes and do not plunge us into an unnecessary war.
Wars are easy to win, especially when you have the technological advantages that are available, but we don’t need to win a war, we need a solution.
One definition of madness is to keep doing the same thing over and over in expectation of different results. I believe starting and winning wars falls right into this category.
We need a solution which is going to make the world a better and safer place for everyone.