There is a real reformation going on in Islam- one that is only tangential to "post communist" global politics and we're not even the primary enemy by any stretch of the imagination.
Most of you have probably never heard of the Muwahiddun sub sect of Islam. Their enemies call them Wahhabis, after the primary preacher of their sect, but the name they prefer translates more as "Unitarian", after the primary theology they assert. Oddly enough, I consider them a dangerous sect for the same reason I consider Unitarian Christians a dangerous sect, because of their anarchy. In fact, the only real differences I can see is which books they consider scripture and of course the violence of the pillar of Jihad (Unitarian Christians, in the United States, have a tendency to be deistic agnostics in comparison, because they lack this tradition of jihad).
Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab was a contemporary of our own Thomas Jefferson, in theology as well as politics. He's the Islamic version of Thomas Jefferson as well. Thomas Jefferson was a Deist who considered the church to have corrupted the Bible (he even wrote The Jefferson Bible, a cut and paste job from several Bibles, that attempted to remove the religion from the philosophy of Christ) who considered God to be directly reachable- and within Islam, so did Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab. The problem is, he took this to extremes- and what he did, started what I am calling the Islamic Reformation.
99% of the so-called terrorism, is Islamic-on-Islamic violence as they start (well, only about 200 years in now- but look how long the Reformation in Christianity took to stop being violent) to fight their reformation. It's only very recently that this violence has turned against invaders, only in the last century or so.
The cause of the violence is similar to the heresy of Fr. Feeney in the American Roman Catholic Church, that Outside the Church There Is No Salvation (Extra Ecclesiam, Nullas Salus)- but far narrower in it's fundamentalism. The central theological concept is Tawhid- the uniqueness of God as the ONLY Lord of man. Not even secular civil governments are allowed in between God and Man, not even scholars in the mosque are between Allah and the individual's interpretation of what Allah wants for his life. And of course, the standard Sunni theology of There is no God But Allah, and Mohammed is His Prophet.
The result of this, when combined with the Five Pillars of Islam and certain verses of the Koran taken out of context, is an extreme form of anarchy where the duty of Jihad becomes supreme, violent, and individualistic. And the enemy is anybody who doesn't agree with that individual- including OTHER al Qaida members.
Looking back at what the Five Solas did to Christianity, it is easy to extrapolate what is happening today in the Muwahiddun community due to the removal of any sort of ecclesiastical authority.
And that, in short, is why I'm conflicted about the so-called War on Terror. It's clear that the Muwahiddun present a danger to themselves and others. It is equally clear that we can't fight them without losing our own soul. Their pure anarchy without a state and willingness to attack those we'd see as civilians puts them completely outside of both Augustinian and modern just war theory from a Christian standpoint, or even the historical state-based form of Jihad declared by a secular ruler from traditional Islam.
I just know that Afghanistan, as the place empires have gone to die since the Macedonians got really tired of war there, turned around, and went home, is probably the wrong place to do battle against them, if one can do battle against a loose group of people all believing different things at all.
And I wonder, 200 years into this Reformation, if some day al Qaida will be the name on every little house-mosque with less than 6 members worldwide.