01/14/2007 01:55 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Other Surge

I just read an item in Newsweek that chilled and angered me, and it's not even the one about how Iraq is breeding a new generation of terrorists in its war-torn children ("The Next Jihadists"), or the one wondering "Has Bush Ordered Secret War on Iran?" (which mentions a number of factors but oddly, not this one: "Second US aircraft carrier headed to Persian Gulf region this month"). Both those items are chilling, but here's the one I'm talking about: "Terror: 'We're Going to Get Hit'." According to Newsweek investigative reporter Michael Isikoff, "a worldwide surge in Islamic radicalism has worsened recently, increasing the number of potential terrorists and setting back U.S. efforts in the terror war." This is from outgoing State Department terror coordinator Henry Crumpton, an ex-CIA operative, who told Isikoff that not only had no progress been made, but "In fact, we've lost ground." Crumpton cited the Iraq war as a factor, saying it has "fueled resentment" against the U.S. Wow. Shocker. See above re: The Next Jihadists. Here's the specifically chilling part:

"We don't want to acknowledge we're going to get hit again in the homeland, but we are," he said. "That's a hard, ugly fact. But it's going to happen."

All that stuff about fighting them there instead of here, all that crowing about how safe the country's been since 9/11 (cough Katrina cough) — here's a guy at the top of the State Department saying that it's just a matter of time. Of course, by then most reservists and National Guardsmen will be over in Iraq (or Iran); a scary proposition considering the kind of crisis an attack could trigger. Actually, pretty much everything is scary. But the scariest thing is how it got to this point, and who's making the decisions going forward. (Hint: They're one and the same.)

Crumpton, meanwhile, steps down in two weeks for personal reasons, and so far no one has been nominated to replace him. It's a a top counter-terrorism job. That's the flip side of fighting them over there instead of over here. That's scary, too.