After the initial shock over the carnage in Belgium the question is whether the attack could have been prevented and, most importantly, what should be done from now moving forward to prevent something similar in the future.
First, the information that has emerged so far leaves no doubt that the authorities in Belgium are so weak that they cannot do their job effectively.
And, unfortunately, they are not the only ones. The reason is that in recent decades Europe cultivated the mentality that the risk of war had been eliminated, and that security services and armed forces are a too expensive, a kind of luxury.
But the message was apparently not received by either Russian President Vladimir Putin or ISIS. With the known results.
Nonetheless it is not Europe alone in the awkward way it is confronting the ISIS terrorists.
US President Barack Obama – whose foreign policy thinking was presented in detail in the interview that appeared in the magazine The Atlantic – considers further US involvement in Middle East conflicts contrary to the vital interests of the country.
He is basing his legacy on the doctrine that the US’s invasions of countries that few Americans are even aware of, and where it is easy to invade, but very difficult to leave, and where it costs thousands of American lives and billions of dollars, should be avoided at all costs.
That is contrary to what America did after 9/11, but Obama believes that tackling ISIS is primarily a European problem and all the US can offer is intelligence.
In principle Obama could be right. America must look to its own people and its own problems. It cannot, and must not, be the policeman of the world.
But the fact is that America invaded these countries where the terrorist problem has arisen.
How can it walk away from it?
And the truth is that to solve any international problem America’s leadership is indispensable. Look what happened in Libya when America played a secondary role.
There is only one solution, unfortunately, to the ISIS problem. The US must act on the model it used after 9/11.
It must take away from the terrorists what attracts thousands of young people to become members.
And it must wage a relentless war against them.
As for Greece, anything it does in the security realm will not be enough.
The Wall Street Journal stated that, “Authorities have confirmed that two of the Paris attackers entered Europe by pretending to be refugees and followed the so-called Balkan route to Austria from Greece before reaching Belgium and France.”
The problem is serious. Very serious. And already the travel advisory issued by the State Department may be having an adverse impact on tourism in Greece.