August 8, 2022

Death by Thousand Cuts, the Successful Strategy of Jihadists

Islamic jihadists have been waging an asymmetrical warfare against our nation and the West for many years in order to destroy slowly our economy and that of our allies. Unfortunately, they are being successful. Osama bin Laden stated in his October 2004 address to our country that by involving the United States and its allies in draining wars, al Qaeda was destroying them economically. Bin Laden pointed out that al Qaeda (with our help) “bled Russia for 10 years, until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat… We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy.”

The Boston Marathon Russian jihadist brothers built two homemade bombs with two pressure cookers, pipes, nails, and firecrackers that cost them less than $100. The young Islamic terrorists detonated them on April 15, 2013 killing three people and wounding 264. The explosion resulted in around $20 million in medical costs to treat the wounded and property damage. The authorities then shut down the metropolitan area of Boston for one day while looking for the two brothers costing an estimated $333 million in losses.

Jeremiah Jacques wrote an article entitled “Death by Thousand Cuts” in the July 2013 issue of The Philadelphia Trumpet magazine. The author pointed out that “from a simple cost-benefit perspective, even failed terrorist attacks are spectacularly successful at draining America economically.” He explained that the “disparity between the cost of terrorists carrying out attacks and the cost of nations trying to defend against them is staggering.”

Al Qaeda spent approximately $500,000 on the 9/11 attacks while America went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan at a cost of over $3 trillion. The expected future costs of providing medical care and disability payments to wounded veterans from those two wars are expected to be between $2 and $4 trillions. While the United States bled economically, Russia and China increased their spending on their armed forces and modernizing their weapons. China also improved its infrastructure while ours has deteriorated.

Anwar al-Awlaki stated in March 2010 the following: “How much more can the U.S. Treasury handled? 9/11, the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and then operations such as that of our brother Umar Farouk which could not have cost more than a few thousand dollars end up draining the United States Treasury of billions of dollars… For how long can the United States survive this war of attrition?” Al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn stated on the same month that “even failed attacks bring major cities to a halt, cost the enemy billions, and send their corporations into bankruptcy.” A spokesman for al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula said that “attacking the enemy with smaller but more frequent operations will bleed the enemy by death of thousand cuts.”

There is no question that the cost of terrorism is immense. The efforts of our nation to defend against domestic and international jihadist attacks are a tremendous drain on our economy. For example, the estimated annual cost of the full-body scanner program at airports is $1.2 billion and the annual costs for the United States Air Marshall program is the same, $1.2 billion. The estimated amount that our country has spent on homeland security since 9/11 is $1.1 trillion.


Some analysts believe that the success of the Boston bombings in inflicting financial pain to our nation may accelerate the shift from spectacular attacks to smaller strikes executed by domestic terrorists. The difficulty in defending our country from jihadist attacks is that the aggressors seldom strike the same way twice. The War on Terror, like the Cold War, will continue for many years to come and it is a war of attrition. The irresponsible claim by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden during the 2012 presidential campaign that al Qaeda had been decimated did a disservice to our nation. Al Qaeda is alive and getting stronger in the Middle East and Africa.

It is crucial for our nation to quickly improve our economy so that we can endure the drain of financial resources brought about by Islamic terrorists and continue to spend funds to protect Americans. Our nation needs to be strong enough to tolerate the strategy of jihadists of “death by a thousand cuts” and still survive and prosper.

Unfortunately, President Barack Obama´s economic policies have failed miserably in restoring our prosperity and reducing unemployment to an acceptable level. At a time when our nation needs to be united so that we can fight our enemies, the president is dividing us along racial and social class. The president´s  irresponsible annual deficits, that have increased the national debt to almost $17 OBAMA AND THE KINGtrillion, the very devastating budget cuts to the Pentagon, printing money out of thin air by the Federal Reserve that will soon create hyperinflation, and the culture of dependency that he has created have made our nation a weaker superpower. President Obama has allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to infiltrate his government making it more difficult to fight jihadist in our nation and abroad. Barack Obama is not the president needed by the United States in the difficult times that we live in.