Inescapably, clearing territory of entrenched terrorist networks and then holding it takes boots on the ground. The question is — whether in Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Nigeria or Mali — do the bulk of those boots need to be our own or those of local Muslim partners?
I fear that those who demonize and denigrate Islam make it more likely that it will be our own men and women who ultimately have to shoulder more of this fight — at greater cost in dollars and lives.
We should also acknowledge that patriotic Muslim Americans in our intelligence agencies and armed forces — many of them immigrants or children of immigrants — have been vital assets in this fight with radical Islam.
It has also been through building ties of trust and cooperation between law enforcement and Muslim communities in the United States that we form our most effective defense against homegrown radicalization and lone-wolf attacks.