We often hear the war against the Enemy described as asymmetrical warfare. By this we usually mean that jihadists do not have the capability to fight what we consider a conventional battle. But there is another way of looking at symmetry. The jihadists fight us on several fronts:
State-to-State: Iran is the chief example of a state enemy. There are others. Still more are potential Enemy states. Many are only a coup or an assassination away from falling into the Enemy.
Non-state actors: Al-Qaeda is the most famous but there are many others all around the globe. You know who they are, from the Philippines to London, from Sweden to South Africa. Some like Hamas are in the process of taking over something that is Not-Quite-a-State. Thus one Enemy front becomes another.
Leaderless Cells / Lone Wolves: From the London bombers to the guy who shot the El Al counter at LAX to that student in North Carolina. They're always described by neighbors after the attack as "nice chaps" and "quiet boys" who were normal, liked football, studied hard. The Enemy is among us, waiting.
Demography: the Enemy grows. In the West and in other "infidel" lands and in its homelands, the Enemy fight with her womb. Each generation more than the one before. The Enemy threatens us with its numbers.
Each of these fronts feeds into another. The Enemy States fund and supply the Non-State Actors who generate the methods and ideology for the Leaderless Cells which get their manpower from the growing Enemy demographics. The Enemy fights us with at least four interlocking, self-reinforcing fronts.
Ask yourself how we fight against all this and you will probably come up with only one answer: the State. The West uses only State-based resources to combat the Enemy, from the military and security services to financial embargoes and diplomatic "pressure". The West does not threaten Islam with its high birth rate. The West doesn't unleash waves of terrorists or fund underground militant groups.
All we have is the State. We treat the Enemy as a military force to be defeated, as an underground terror group to be hunted down, as leaderless cells or lone wolves to be punished after the fact. As a rising demographic group to be co-opted, appeased or ignored.
But no matter how you look at it, the West still only has one front against the Enemy - the State. This is asymmetry. The West does not have terror groups training militants to bomb and kill. The West doesn't have leaderless cells of Christians or Libertarians or cartoonists in Tehran plotting to kill the president or ordinary people. Multiculturalists are not doubling their numbers every two generations, expanding into other lands, demanding accommodation and assistance, changing the societies they enter. The West doesn't even send missionaries in any real numbers. The West sends diplomats and businessmen, not all of whom are on our side.
Can we continue to fight like this? Can the State, with all its limitations and restrictions fight against an Enemy that comes at us from so many different directions, at so many different speeds, with so many different weapons? What can a Stealth Fighter do against terror cells in Hamburg? How can diplomats fight assassins in Virginia? How can we expect spies to combat demography?