By Jon Keller

ASHLAND (CBS) – So, after Paris, what do we do now?

The initial reaction of French authorities is understandable and familiar to those of us who lived through the 9/11 atrocities: they want to do whatever it takes to capture or kill the bloodthirsty thugs who did this and may be planning more, wherever they are.

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But as Boston University Prof. Andrew Bacevich points out in a column for the Globe, the track record of massive military responses to this kind of savagery isn’t reassuring.

We got rid of Saddam and Gaddafi, and while their demise was gratifying and well-deserved, ISIS has happily rushed into the vacuum of the failed states in Iraq and Libya.

Doing nothing – or continuing the Obama administration approach of drone strikes and fantasy spin about how everything is under control – seem like poor options. So what else?

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Bacevich argues that “rather than assuming an offensive posture, the West should revert to a defensive one. Instead of attempting to impose its will on the Greater Middle East, it should erect barriers to protect itself from the violence emanating from that quarter…. Rather than vainly attempting to police or control, this revised strategy should seek to contain.”

But the professor acknowledges that approach puts the onus on regional leaders who’ve proven incapable of policing their turf in the past.

Perhaps the first step is for the free world to acknowledge its failures and start from scratch, choking off the savages’ access to money and the internet, and dropping any lingering restrictions on identifying and interfering with homegrown terrorists.

Easier said than done, but we do know one thing – whatever we’ve done since 9/11 simply hasn’t been enough.

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Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Jon Keller