Who knows how much the war on terror is costing but it is huge, not only financially but also in human lives. The real problem is the mindset. Since it started the approach to the war on terror has been to deploy military assets and lock down the citizens of the target countries. As it has constantly been de rigeur to refer to it as asymmetric warfare, maybe it is time to deploy some asymmetric thinking.
One of the main keys to the war on terror are not the weapons and the training camps but the money that funds it. It all hinges on the money. One of the first things that happened after September 11th was the work to identify Al Qaeda's financial assets and freeze them.. For me they were right with this back then and it is key that anyone serious about winning this battle with these groups, causes the cogs that turn the wheels to lock up. To do that you need to remove the flow of money. Take that away and these groups are dead in the water.
Most of that cash is widely believed to come from the oil rich nations. The oil they hold creates an excess of cash that can be thrown around like confetti. It is the oil and our dependency on it which is helping to perpetuate the problem. So my proposal for driving a wedge between the groups and their money is this:
I'm not talking about some save the planet scheme here to reduce oil reliance. For me, reducing demand reduces the price stranglehold, which in turn reduces the cash available for certain individuals to splash on those who wish to attack our way of life. As an added bonus, those who wish to return to a way of life in line with the 12th Century and before, will achieve their aims. Faced with that choice over their cash they are more likely to ensure that they continue to fund their own private luxury because they have become so conditioned to it. We then jump into the driving seat on this issue.
Hardly rocket science.