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Facing Terror, America Must Not Lead From Behind

An interesting thing happened this weekend – two diverse voices came in violent agreement on the threats America faces today. First, CBS reporter Laura Logan, a renowned Middle East war correspondent; then, Governor Mitt Romney, in a foreign policy speech at the Virginia Military Institute this past weekend.

Logan, taking a stand against the weak responses of the Obama Administration, stated in a lunch address in Chicago that there is a lie coming out of Washington driven by Taliban apologists. She said, “they (Taliban and Al Qaeda) still hate us, now more than ever.” With these remarks, Logan laid out that the danger the United States faces is in the fact that it does not recognize that these groups are still driven by their ideology to destroy the West. They have not given up the quest. Governor Romney made the identical point in his VMI address.

Both Logan and Romney emphasized that only by showing strength to these radical elements will we ever hope to have a degree of safety. Logan even went so far as to call for retribution for the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens and the three Americans slain with him. Speaking grimly, she said that in the absence of action, the Benghazi attacks are a harbinger of our vulnerability. Governor Romney also pointed out that President Obama’s contention that the tide of war is receding is an inaccurate assessment based on hope, and that it will only lead to a higher risk of conflict, not less.

America has faced and stopped at least 52 terrorist plots against the homeland since September 11, 2001. We must continue that effort, but to truly mitigate the danger, we must remove as much of the overseas threat as possible. This can only be done by showing our enemies that we will not allow them to get away with attacking the United States or its representatives and friends.

The world is a dangerous place, and it is far more dangerous when you are perceived to be weak or feckless. The United States must act with strength and consistency.

Dr. Steven Bucci is director of the Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. He was previously a lead consultant to IBM on cyber security policy. Bucci’s military and government service make him a recognized expert in the interagency process and defense of U.S. interests, particularly with regard to critical infrastructure and what he calls the productive interplay of government and the private sector. Read More