With entire communities radicalised into militancy, there is no longer a line between civilian and militant; case in point: a mother with an AK-47 shouting allahu akbar is an insurgent. From a cultural-relativist point of view, the war against terror becomes a war against culture, against a society. War would hardly be an accurate term since the there is little jus ad belli to justify armed action against civilian populations of non-state actors however geographically and culturally divorced. It would instead be cultural cleansing with the moralistic dimension of an enlightened coalition of Western troops and media outlets armed with the so-called universal declaration of human rights against heathen and radical Jihadism.
It sounds like the white man’s burden of the 21st century, doesn’t it?
Disclaimer: I am neither condoning Jihadism nor condemning coalition efforts to fight the IS, but merely exploring a half-baked perspective.