Why can’t France stop this wave of terror?

Published 2:49 PM EDT, Fri July 15, 2016

Story highlights

David Andelman: After third France attack it's clear authorities poorly grasp what's happening in their nation's extremists communities

He says to end cycle of violence, nation must bring extremists into society, give them jobs, education--a stake in France's future

Editor’s Note: David A. Andelman, editor emeritus of World Policy Journal and member of the board of contributors of USA Today, is the author of “A Shattered Peace: Versailles 1919 and the Price We Pay Today.” The views expressed in this commentary are his own.

(CNN) —  

If there is one immediate lesson to be drawn from the third terrorist attack in France in 18 months, it is that little has changed beyond the techniques used to rain death and destruction on a population only barely healing from the last blow.

Sadly, it’s clear that the forces of law and order have developed little or no understanding of what is happening within the vast community of extremists who now seem capable of holding one of Europe’s leading, yet most vulnerable, nations in their thrall. And worse yet, France continues to lack the coordination so desperately needed if the next attack is to be thwarted before it can be unleashed.

David Andelman
Courtesy of David Andelman
David Andelman

Barely 12 hours before a large truck ripped through the throng strung along Nice’s Promenade des Anglais to watch the fireworks marking Bastille Day, France’s military might paraded in force down the Champs-Elysees in Paris, past the viewing stand where President Francois Hollande sat with his cabinet and guests, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. They watched as the French air force flew overhead. Troops of the army and navy, heavy artillery, missile launchers and drones, the foreign legion, gendarmerie and police rolled through the Place de la Concorde. It was meant to be a show of force, military power and accomplishment.