As Joe Haldeman wrote:
“The 1143-year-long war had begun on false pretenses and only because the two races were unable to communicate."
So while you can't stop fighting just because you've decised to stop fighting, you can (while the fighting's going on) address yourself to the communication. Or not as this reminder of how limited many spies and spooks are in their thinking:
There may be no end to the war against terrorism that the US is leading, according to former CIA employee Paul R.Pillar. And one of the main reasons would be a misinterpretation of the notion of “terrorism”.
Now this might be true if we take the broadest definition of terrorism but that's not what Pillar is on about. He's speaking specifically about Sunni Islam as if it is inevitable that this particular faith will continue to churn out terrorists so long as it's around. Especially given that, for most of Sunni Islam's history, it hasn't been churning out said terrorists.
So we need to develop two sorts of communication - firstly one with Sunni Islam that doesn't start from the premise that this set of beliefs is culpable in the creation of terrorism, that somehow the prosecution of terror is inherent to Islam. And secondly one with the very small number of Sunni Muslims who are attracted, for whatever reason, by the violent Islamism of Daesh.
There really aren't very many terrorists of any sort but we really don't need very many to have a disproportionate impact on people's feelings of security, on attitudes to Islam and on the policies of governments in the West. The sort of situation that leads to this kind of story:
The National Crime Agency (NCA), which was critical in the operation to arrest the suspects in that case, had reportedly been given new orders amid fears of a Paris-style attack involving terrorists returning from Syria using heavy weaponry.
The unnamed minister was quoted as saying: “We used to plan for three simultaneous attacks but Paris has shown that you need to be ready for more than that.
“We are ready if someone tries with seven, eight, nine, ten.”
This manages to reinforce our worries about terrorism, show a 'tough' government response and suggest that the culprits in these putative attacks will be Muslims. None of this is to suggest that government shouldn't be prepared but rather that the strategy seems incomplete without recognising that Islam is - whether we like it or not - a significant religion in the UK and that nearly all its adherents are not terrorists or ever likely to be terrorists.