One of the largest problems with fighting terrorists is determining who they are. Just as importantly, who supports them? Maybe it would help to be more specific when defining terrorist. In reference to Islamic terrorists, most if not all appear to be deeply religious. ‘Koran bangers’ if you will. Many speak of jihad. In Jihad, you can kill the ones who are not Muslim. (Supposed to avoid killing women and children.) You may also kill those who have left Islam. (Apostates) You must honor all truces. You must kill ‘occupiers’ of Muslim lands. They view the world as being in the House of Islam or the House of War.
Jihad is an important part of Islam. Pulling its teeth would gut Islam enough to trigger any war. An additional problem is that Jihad is not the only concept that Islam must change. The main reason that people become soldiers is to protect the way of life that they understand. This is a large part of the reason why it appears that we are creating ‘new’ terrorists. Another way of looking at it: The vast majority of Germans and Japanese were good people in 1944. The fact was that the way of life that they knew had to change. Concerning Islam, the United States is demanding that they change. NOW.
The strategic problem is that this change must occur as soon as possible. The threat of WMD only becomes more likely as time passes. Historically, wars have increased the speed of these types of changes. The U.S. Civil War is an excellent example of how this type of change is increased by warfare. Changes were occurring long before Lee's surrender, although the aftermath triggered even more rapid changes.