The past suggests that for the short term ISIS does not represent a significant threat to the strategic security of the First World’s homelands. A few returnees may slip though the intelligence net, but it is unlikely that they will cause anything other than local mayhem. Such acts may cause similar overreactions among the security fanatics, as was the case after 9/11, and undoubtedly will excite the media enormously; but the damage they might inflict will remain limited. The real danger lies in the fact that, if the United States and assorted allies fail to act to support their friends in the Middle East on a long-term basis, ISIS and other assorted groups will destabilize the world’s oil supply. The lessons of Munich are only too clear: those who put off reacting to long-term threats will pay a terrible price.
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