This is another response to comments under the topics "Nation state of Islam" and "Islamic nationalism and warfare". Thanks to all for their contributions.
Yes, I do not believe that we will end the war without massive assistance from the Islamic world. In particular, Islamic governments will need to make an important contribution. This is where much of the conflict between the sovereign state of Islam and modern governance is taking place. We are on the side of the modern nation-state.
The thing to keep in mind is that time is NOT on our side. It is only a matter of time before one of these groups obtains an effective weapon of mass destruction. This will most likely come from a government sponsored source. At that point, effective terror attacks will not kill 100 or 150 people. They will kill 100,000 plus. The war can be won conventionally before we reach this point, but we will need to force the issues. To do otherwise is just to allow things to continue as they are going today.
The Islamic groups that are such a threat are spread out and numerous. One example is Hezbollah. Estimates range at between 5,000 and 10,000 armed ‘soldiers’. Hezbollah lost more than 1,000 back in 2006 when they fought Israel in August of that year. The losses have been replaced. In Iraq, our enemies took far more losses. The groups in Afghanistan took losses at the same time and have been able to continue operations. In other words, the attrition rate of our enemy is not high enough to prevent them from replacing losses. This must change.
Look at it from another direction: Attempting to defeat Islamic terrorism by using the police is a losing strategy. Not that this should be ignored. However, these ‘terror’ groups are much more effective attacking shopping malls and schools than they are at attacking our military. The attrition rate is far higher and success is far more difficult when the target is armed and trained as our military is. The trick is to find places where we can engage them in the open. Iraq was an ideal place, as was subsequently demonstrated.
I chose Syria and Iran simply because these two governments are known to support these groups. I know that politically, this is probably not possible. However, the war will be manageable and Islamic terrorism contained only by the support of ALL Muslim governments. Those governments who are supporting the enemy must be toppled. To do otherwise will allow these terror groups to keep their government support and potentially allow for the eventual acquisition of WMD.
Iran is not known to have nuclear weapons, yet. Once they have them, any potential war against Iran will become far more dangerous and expensive. The time to act was last year. Even today is better than waiting, but our current leadership will NOT do this. So we must focus upon Syria. I doubt we will be doing this either. In other words, we are not winning like we were a few years ago.
It must be remembered that Pakistan already has nuclear weapons and delivery systems for them. Even though the Pakistani government appears to have them under control, the issue has not yet been decided in Pakistan. The government could lose control of them and we all would be in a world of hurt.
In conclusion, I would like to say that by forcing the issues, the United States would in fact create more enemies. This happens in ALL wars. However, by doing so, we stand a much better chance of keeping the war conventional. The more time goes by without our doing so only increases the odds that weapons of mass destruction will be deployed. At that point, the war will by necessity become far more deadly and massive. And we will be reacting to an attack, not initiating it. These two points are far too important to NOT act upon.