General Question

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Is the recent increase in terrorist attacks in Germany another sign that military involvement in foreign countries may be to blame?

Asked by SquirrelEStuff (9189points) July 25th, 2016

Back in December of 2015, Germany signed onto an expanded military role with the US in Syria. Since then, terror attacks have risen drastically in Germany.
Our failure to consider the fact that occupying and bombing up to 7 muslim countries over the past 15–20 years leads to more terrorism and violence, may be a fatal flaw that makes us less safe. What if it is not the religion itself that causes these actions, but the results of our actions in several countries who share this religion? According to, the US and coalition forces have conducted 13,803 airstrikes in Syria and Iraq. These recent terrorists in Germany were in there late teens or early 20’s. What do we expect of someone in this age range when they have been exposed to almost 14 thousand airstrikes during their life?

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22 Answers

NerdyKeith's avatar

It’s a sign that all nations need a very strict boarder control. With relentless background checks.

JeSuisRickSpringfield's avatar

I mean, it’s almost like killing someone’s entirely family and calling it collateral damage might make them hate you or something. ~

Actions have consequences. If you join a war, you become a target (or more of a target if you already were one). By declaring war on an abstract concept like “terror” and by implicitly declaring most of Western Asia the battleground, the US created an overly broad mission for itself. It also reinforced the impression that many people in that region had of it as an enemy and created that impression in many other people. Unfortunately, European countries like Germany signed their people up for the same when they got in on the action. The West declared that thousands of enemies existed, just lurking in the shadows—and unsurprisingly, thousands of people signed up to fill that role.

janbb's avatar

I think, in the case of Germany and Europe in general, it is also a case of a tremendous influx of refugees in recent years and the difficulties they face in being integrated into a previously quite homogeneous society.

funkdaddy's avatar

From looking through a list of attacks in Germany (not sure of the source, but it seems accurate when checked against wikipedia on the same) it seems unfortunately the majority are the result of refugees and asylum seekers living in Germany rather than targeted attacks from outside.

You can argue root causes and why everything involving people from a certain area of the world is labeled “terrorism” while similar attacks are not, but it would seem at least in these cases, the cause is the taking in of refugees rather than any larger political or military action.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Not just refugees, but refugees who may place part of the blame on their countries demise on the opposing forces. These refugees are fleeing their war-torn country and if faced with lack of hope or racism, likely become the perfect candidate to become a terrorist.
Also, who knows if they have had family killed by airstrikes and see it as a form or revenge?

janbb's avatar

@SquirrelEStuff Yes I agree; that was implicit in my comments as part of the difficulties they face. But we also need to remember that the vast majority of refugees do not become terrorists. The vast majority are struggling to support their families and build a life. And I also empathize with countries like Germany who are trying to do right by taking in vast numbers of refugees.

funkdaddy's avatar

It seems like you’re talking about 4 or 5 attacks this year. You could probably find out quite a bit about the people who carried them out with some simple online searching, even if you’re limited to English media.

Unless your mind is made up and this isn’t really a question. It’s been a while, and I’m slipping on Q&A know-how.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I totally agree with @JeSuisRickSpringfield on this one.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Of course the uptick in terrorism is an all too obvious result of the unending disruptions in the Midlle East. I believe we and other Western powers are clearly in large part responsible for the destabilization of the region, though the argument that eruptions were inevitable are difficult to refute. But whether we are responsible or not is irrelevant. What matters is that we are certainly going to take the fall for all the misery and suffering in the eyes of the millions of disaffected and subsuquently displaced hordes swelling the pool of potential terrorist recruits. Guilty or not, we’re going to be blamed, and should brace ourselves accordingly.

MrGrimm888's avatar

It is 100% to blame. The people in the middle east would have simply gone on killing each other, as is the way of things there. The region is incapable of stability. It’s only after the hornet’s nest was kicked that the west was stung.

The wars and conflicts in the region would have led to a similar refugee crisis in Europe, and that would lead to some terrorism. But it wouldn’t be on the scale it currently is.

IMO , Islamic extremists are a side effect of sorts of the Muslim religion. Where there are many normal, ‘good’ Muslims, there will inevitably be a small number of extremists who will commit acts of terrorism.
So wherever they go, they will inadvertently spread terrorism with them.

Europe finally let that stray cat in, but it has fleas.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I believe that disruption in the region was inevitable. Whether or not we are responsible can be debated ad nausem. The one fact beyond dispute is that the stupidity of our invasion of the region guarantees that in the minds of the millions of disrupted and displaced composing the pool of future volunteers, we’re going to be held responsible.

flutherother's avatar

It is human nature to respond if you are attacked and we have invaded Iraq and Afghanistan and we are continuing to bomb Syria, Iraq and Pakistan for dubious political motives and with the inevitable collateral damage. All we have succeeded in doing is destabilising these countries and we shouldn’t be too surprised that this has caused some resentment.

kritiper's avatar

No, just another sign that the boxful of rats is imploding.

Setanta's avatar

Fourteen thousand air strikes? Really . . . once a day for more than 35 years? Check your math.

funkdaddy's avatar

According to The Department of Defense, who coordinates the airstrikes.

As of 4:59 p.m. EST July 12, the U.S. and coalition have conducted a total of 13,803 strikes (9,273 Iraq / 4,530 Syria).

U.S. has 10,577 strikes in Iraq and Syria (6,294 Iraq / 4,283 Syria)

Rest of Coalition has 3,226 strikes in Iraq and Syria (2,979 Iraq / 247 Syria)

As of Apr. 16, U.S. and partner nation aircraft have flown an estimated 91,821 sorties in support of operations in Iraq and Syria.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

It is very important to realize that our media is not doing its job and informing the public on both sides of the story.
They have no problem showing us over and over, the civilians being killed by ISIS, but never show or report on the civilians being killed by coalition forces.
We can not make informed decisions if we are not being informed.

Setanta's avatar

It is very important to realize that Iraq and Syria are two different countries. It is also important to realize that Islamic State kills people just because they are Shi’ites, and that Shi’ites are the majority of the population of Iraq. I seriously doubt that the people of Iraq automatically hate the U.S. led coalition because of the air strikes. In fact, the odds that Iraqis welcome the coalition air strikes are high. The currently popular meme that they all hate us because we bomb them is simple-minded twaddle. The world is not that simple, nor are the reactions of Muslims to western actions.

What the U.S. media do is demonstrate time and again that they are shallow clowns who treat news as fodder for ratings wars. One can inform oneself well enough on-line by reviewing a wide variety of sources. The recent popularity of the pro-Putin propaganda about Russian air strikes in Syria is a wonderful example of media distortions which result from witless and uncritical reporting.

flutherother's avatar

@Setanta Things are horribly complicated out there which is one very good reason for not getting involved. Some Iraqis may welcome the airstrikes others will not and if we are seen as participants in the conflict we then become a target.

Setanta's avatar

Which has what to do with a totally erroneous claim that any individual in the middle east has been exposed to 14,000 air strikes by the time he or she is in his or her early 20s?

The situation is not so complicated that it cannot be understood, and the bruality and murderous cruelty of Islamic State are simplicity itself to understand.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar


Just curious, because I can’t find the numbers anywhere, but would you happen to know how many people, or even more importantly, civilians have been killed by US or coalition forces?
How are defense department numbers erroneous?

funkdaddy's avatar

@Setanta – how many attacks from the murderous Islamic State have you been exposed to?

Remember, they apparently need to be within about 200 miles for them to “count”.

Setanta's avatar

I’d say that anyone here is as capable of looking up numbers for how many people have been killed by air strikes as i am. Then there is the question of who did the air strike. Was if the American-led coalition, the French-led coalition, the Russo-Syrian coalition or the Islamic Nations coalition? The latter poses a problem for the thesis here—34 nations from Africa and Asia with Muslim population have participated in that Saudi-led coalition.

Asking me how many attacks i have been exposed to is foolish in the extreme, because i’m not making any claims about air strikes and possible motives for terrorism.

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