In his book Mein Kampf, Adolph Hitler wrote that the means that win the easiest battle over reason are both terror and force.
Ninety years after that book was published, these words have become the standard strategy by terrorist groups around the world, which have enslaved entire nations in recent years.
They have become experts at using brutal force to impose their will against others. Their level of depravity has descended to a point I never thought imaginable.
The execution of a Jordanian air force pilot and the mass beheadings of Christians in Libya at the hands of what can only be described as savages are just a few of the countless, often unrecorded atrocities they've committed. What I find hard to believe is they've slaughtered innocent men, women and children, claiming they were doing God's work.
Uttering the name of God while butchering the lives of others is utterly preposterous. I would've used stronger language at this point, but none of those words were unpublishable.
Having studied many of the religious followings around the world during my 25 years in the Air Force, I've never seen any of them that espouse the wanton destruction of lives in the name of God or other supreme being. Instead, they preach a lesson of tolerance for others and the acceptance of other beliefs, especially those that conflict with their own.
Why these terrorist groups invoke the name of God flies in the face of all logic. I suppose what's equally hard to fathom is the number of people in certain parts of the world that agree with this twisted logic -- that it's OK to kill someone that doesn't agree with you for one reason or another.
It's becoming increasingly harder for me to stomach the news headlines coming out of places like the Middle East and Africa. Just when I think their level of hatred couldn't get any worse, they descend further into depravity and cruelty.
If there was ever a visual depiction of life in Hell, just turn on the nightly news these days.
Like it or not, the United States needs to take a stand against this form of tyranny. Since its creation, our nation has stood as a beacon of hope against the forces of darkness that have repeatedly cast the shadow of war against free nations.
In recent years, however, it appears that we've lost our way. Perhaps it's because we've been at a constant state of conflict since Operation Desert Storm ended in 1991. Since then, we've continued to deploy our forces overseas.
Our nation's military hasn't known a day in more than a generation when it wasn't looking at sending its men and women downrange to either preserve the peace or to engage against hostile forces. I don't think it'll stop anytime soon.
This brings me to my point. To defeat the threat of global terrorism, we need to deal with it head on. From my perspective, terrorists only understand diplomacy if they're staring down the barrel of a rifle or find themselves in the cross hairs of a laser-guided bomb.
I have to compare our battle against terrorism to a exterminator fighting cockroaches. You can apply all the pesticide you want to deal with the immediate threat, but unless you can get to the root of the problem, they keep coming back. Likewise, if you pulverize a vehicle full of terrorists or blast a compound to dust, they will simply regroup and continue to fight.
This is why the president needs to consider the unpleasant reality that to exterminate the terrorist threat once and for all, he needs to give approval to send in ground forces, meaning boots on the ground in active combat.
Those that have ever served in the armed forces know all too well what this means. All of them will have to make tremendous sacrifices to stand in the way of terror and oppression.
It means some of these men and women will never return home. Others will return bearing the scars of war that they'll carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Having been there myself during the six months I spent in Baghdad, it's a decision I would never wish on any elected official. However, this is something we need to expect of our president -- the ability to put all hesitation aside to make the tough call and send our forces into harm's way once again.
Instead, I'm seeing instances where our president seems trapped between his political promises of ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and having to break those promises. If he keeps those promises, we face the reality of watching more senseless violence on the 6 o'clock news with the threat only worsening.
In the end, it's best if he breaks those promises and authorizes "open hunting season" against ISIS, Al Qaeda and the other terrorist groups out there. The war against terrorism is one we can't afford to lose or conduct without the measure of our full military might.
The beheadings of innocent people will remain the top news headlines unless something is done to eliminate the threat. Because in the end, the only thing these thugs will ever understand is terror and force.
-- Brian S. Orban