And I agree precisely with your thought about thinking outside of the box, but not in the same way your thinking. Outside of all the flaws I pointed out in the strategy above, there is one that more significant; that once we leave these areas, we will be in the very same position needing to go back in there inside of 20 years. It happened with Afghanistan in the 1980's after all. We backed the rebel fighters in their campaign against the Soviet Union, but once the enemy was defeated, we left the country to it's fate. That fate wound up crashing through three buildings, and one field on September 11.
However, you're right that simply deploying large numbers of forces to secure the area and allowing the yocals to get a government together isn't the solution either. If anything the past ten years have demonstrated, it's that they neither have the will nor capacity to get the job done. That's why there really is only one solution: annexing these countries for ourselves (or at the least, some coalition of nations). Now hear me out on this before you start pounding on the keyboard. First off, I don't believe this is an option that we should initiate at this time. After all, I'll be the first to stand up on a pedestal and cry out due to reckless spending. And I'd also be the first to recognize that this endeavor would be very expensive (though I believe we could make the money back from exploiting the resources of said country in the long run). Finally, this sort of strategy could only be undertaken with the public's support, as it would have to be a decade long endeavor (at minimum). But I do think this is an eventuality.
At some point we need to start to attack the root cause of these conditions that allow these radicals to spring out of nowhere. There are some who would argue that if we only became isolationist and stopped supporting Israel, all the bad feelings would suddenly go away. Did you know that the majority of victims to Islamic Terrorism are Muslims themselves? Heck, ISIS' goal isn't to destroy America like Al Qaeda's but to form and Islamic Caliphate. There might of been a point in time where our foreign policy was the sole driver, but at this point, the problem is much bigger than that. There is no place where this is more evident than Iraq. After trillions spent and thousands of lives lost, the country that we fought a died for has degenerated into sectarian struggle once more as ISIS (Sunni as well) pushed through much of Iraq, due in no small part to the way Maliki's government have treated the Sunnis, and the fact that many would rather join with ISIS than stay with Iraq.
If you recall, back six or seven years ago, we underwent a similar crisis in Iraq. It was a full blown civil war and the blood filled the street as it was Sunni against Shia. You had Shia death squads that would march the streets, looking for Sunni victims to kidnap and torture, if not outright kill. Eventually the violence died down to the point that when the final troops left, Obama could actually proclaim victory in Iraq. The reason for this was due in no small part to the fact that the US played the role as power broker, and made it clear that they weren't going to tolerate the Shia running rough shod over the Sunnis. Knowing that they had an ally in the US to watch out for their needs and support them, the Sunnis finally kicked Al Qaeda out of the Sunni Triangle in what would be known as the Sunni Awakening. But what happened after those last troops left? Maliki's Shia government went back to being the bullies they are, rounding up Sunnis, denying them access to government among other things. And if that wasn't bad enough, utilities is still a mess there.
And it's not just Iraq that can't manage their own government; we all known the legend that is the corruption of Karzi's regime. Just how much money has been wasted from bribes or kickbacks in that country? It's bad enough that the national government is inept, but as you would know, the local governments aren't any better at keeping a handle on the situation. In fact, every time we've seen the Arabs go to the polls, all they seem to want to elect is groups or individuals that just want to blow each other up? These governments that come to power only want to continue violence, not seek to better their societies.
What's needed in these societies to finally end the War on Terror, is to bring their societies into the 21st century in terms of utilities, basic amenities and the like, is to actually take over in these situations. And by the way, it's not like we haven't done this in one form of another before. After WW2, we did this sort of thing in both Germany and Japan, where we enforced Martial Law and rebuilt those countries from the ground up through initiatives like the Marshall Plan. It won't be easy, but it's only way to finally bring an end to the cycle of violence.
Like I said in the beginning, this isn't a plan that we can, or should implement at this time. For one thing, the cost of such a plan isn't justified by the current level of the threat. We can stream line these types of operations you are talking about to the point where they can be fairly cost effective. But there will be a day when we will realize that this strategy wasn't enough to contain the threat. When will that day occur? The day a mushroom cloud forms over a major western city. To me, it's not a question of if this will occur, but when.
I've gone on for quite a long time, and probably didn't make as strong a case for this plan as I wanted to, but I'm getting kind of tired, so I'll let you respond anyways.