_ Gábor Stier, foreign policy analyst, head, Foreign Affairs Desk, Magyar Nemzet. Budapest, 26 August 2017.
Terror in Western Europe has already become a part of everyday life. Nobody feels safe. This means that the terrorists have reached their main symbolic goal – to sow terror in rich countries of the Western Europe. It was not so difficult, because the Muslim population lives compactly there, which is easier to be radicalized, especially the young people.
Since the main goal is achieved, the geography of terror is expanding. The United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Spain are already seized by terrorism … We can expect that Italy will be next, and then, perhaps, terrorists’ aim will be Central Europe. Of course, here it will be much more difficult to organize a number of terrorist attacks, since there are practically no Muslim communities in this region. Moreover, symbolically the Central Europe is not such a popular goal. Nevertheless, one must understand that the terrorist threat in Europe will remain for a long time. This is a new reality, under which we must live now.
However, there is a hope that the wave of terror will weaken. In 1970s there was already a surge of terror in Western Europe, but on the basis of another ideology – leftist, anarchist. This was also a great danger, but it was managed to cope with. And today, if we study deeper the methodology of the new Jihadist terror, there is a chance to defeat it.
First of all, the Western political elite should be concerned about this. Why? Recently, the level of danger has increased dramatically: terrorists became more aggressive, the population lives in fear, and the political elite must respond to this challenge as soon as possible. However, there is no unity in the vision of what should be the answer. Now the countries of the European Union follow mainly their own interests. This is normal for peacetime, but if they do not have solidarity in the fight against terrorism, then it will be harder to give the answer to this challenge.
It is interesting that the population of Western Europe, much earlier than the powerful world elites, realized the danger originated from migrants, mainly from the Middle East, who, like a sponge, absorb the jihadist ideology.
The Western political elite must recognize that there is a war between civilizations. Measures must be tough, especially regarding illegal migration, which is directly related to terrorism. Religion is one of ways to achieve self-identity. Terrorists use the power of ideology to unite people. If Europe looks weaker as a society, then it will not be able to provide an adequate and proportionate response to the challenge of terrorism.
Also, the Western elite should forget about political correctness. However, it still hesitates to do it in full. For example, the construction of fences on the EU borders, limiting the influx of migrants, was criticized for a long time, but now almost all European countries are doing this.
Even if every European state protects its border individually, this will not help to stop the terrorist threat. It is necessary to act as a united front. Today, the European security services are already working together, but this is not enough. It is necessary to create a common army which will protect the external borders of the European Union, with combat weapons.
Finally, the European elite needs to realize that the United States under Trump is not perceived as a kind of force, which can help Europe if something happens. Europe should act independently now, in all spheres. If terrorists are aggressive, then the answer must be strong. This is war, and to win it one must use military methods.