The war on terror is having a huge impact.
Unfortunately that impact is entirely bad.
Since the US and Britain have declared war on terrorism, it has really blossomed. Declaring war on a problem seems to work like fertilizer instead of weed killer. Getting all worked up about it and paranoid and cowboy makes the idea of it kind of materialize in a more full way. There are better, more intelligent ways to approach problems - but those are easy to sell against and less profitable for certain sectors of our economy.
One of those more intelligent methods is trying to understand first why people turn to terrorism. Hmmm.
"A June MI5 "operational briefing note", circulated within the security services, warns that, unless they understand the varied backgrounds of those drawn to terrorism in Britain, the security services will fail to counter their activities in the short term and fail to prevent violent radicalisation continuing in the long term."
According to an MI5 report, most of the popular perceptions about terrorists are off-base. Most British terrorists are British-born religious novices with wives, families, jobs, and an average education. They are not mentally imbalanced. They are not pathological. They are not disenfranchised young men. If anything, they're underpaid.
Finding out why these men turn to violence against their own society is fundamental to stopping it from happening. Trying to kill or stop them all, as I said above, has had the reverse effect of making terrorist groups grow and multiply.
Frankly, I think it makes the whole thing more appealing and sexy to these guys.