A former CIA agent and top U.S. defence expert has warned that the world is more dangerous than it has ever been due to the rise of heavily armed and well funded terrorist groups.
Although the 21st century has not yet been subjected to the mass carnage and industrial scale slaughter caused by the global conflicts between superpowers in the 20th century, the increased threat of worldwide terrorism ensures that no nation can consider itself truly safe.
The Daily Express reports that governments in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Algeria, Egypt, and Nigeria are just a handful who are battling ISIS in their own countries.
The terrifying spread of ISIS in the Middle East and North Africa, the rise of Boko Haram in Africa, Mexico’s drug cartels, and Russia’s bloody conflict with Ukraine on the doorstep of the E.U has claimed the lives of more than 1000,00 people this year alone.
Over half these deaths took place in Iraq and Syria – two countries riddled with the viral threat of Islamist extremism
Such statistics have alarmed many observers, including former CIA agent and top U.S. defence expert Bruce Riedel.
Riedel, who is a senior fellow at the respected Brookings research institute explained that, “We face more terrorists with more safe havens and more sanctuaries today than we’ve ever faced in the past.”
“At home in the United States we’re probably safer than we were a decade ago but abroad our terrorist enemy is more numerous, more barbaric, more dangerous than ever before.”
A Syrian operative has claimed that more than 4,000 convert ISIS gunmen have already been hidden amongst innocent refugees and smuggled into western nations.
The ISIS smuggler claims that the undercover infiltration is just the beginning of a larger plot in retaliation to the US-led coalition airstrikes, and one which will see the terrorist group carry out mass revenge attacks on the West.
The Syrian operative announced that ISIS harbors ambitions to stamp its mark on the world.
“It’s our dream that there should be a caliphate not only in Syria but in all the world, and we will have it soon, God willing.”
This year alone, security services in America have prevented more than 60 terrorist attacks on home soil by groups associated with ISIS.
The global situation has put the defense budget back in the spotlight for countries world-wide, and it has become a subject of much political contention.
In the U.K. many are alarmed that drastic governmental cuts to the army, navy and air force have left Britain vulnerable to threat from hostile powers.
The former head of MI6, Sir John Sawyers, believes that even at the height of the cold war, the world wasn’t as dangerous as it is now.
“It’s a much flatter world, a much more multi-polar world, and there are real dangers associated with that.”
The European Union President Jean-Claude Juncker is so concerned about Vladimir Putin and the continued concern of Russian expansionism, he has called upon Europe to create its own army and meet the threat head on.
Closer to home, the topic of defense has overshadowed the race for the Republican presidential candidacy.
The downsizing of the U.S. Navy has been fiercely attacked by many politicians and in a keynote address, Jeb Bush pointed out, “The world is a lot more dangerous today than it was the day Obama got elected president.”
Not to be outdone, Donald Trump echoed Bush’s sentiments as did Chris Christie who confessed, “I don’t believe that I have ever lived in a time in my life when the world was a more dangerous and scary place.”
Vietnam veteran John McCain also pointed out that the world is “in greater turmoil than at any time in my lifetime.”
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey added, “I will personally attest to the fact that the world is more dangerous than it has ever been.”
(Picture Credit: Spencer Platt, Gokhan Sahin/Getty Images)