ISIS predicts that its black flag will one day fly over the London Bridge, the White House and the Vatican. Those are silly claims, even considering recent patterns of Muslim immigration into Western countries. Such victories would have to be won on conventional battlefields, where the West—and especially the United States—has an overwhelming advantage. Much more serious is the prospect that embedded terrorists could launch relatively isolated attacks that do enormous damage to life or property. In that sense, September 11 will likely remain the model for future terrorist attacks in the West for the foreseeable future.
Mark Gordon is a partner at PathTree, a consulting firm focused on organizational resilience and strategy. He also serves as president of both the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Diocese of Providence, and a local homeless shelter and soup kitchen. Mark is the author of Forty Days, Forty Graces: Essays By a Grateful Pilgrim. He and his wife Camila have been married for 30 years and they have two adult children.