U.S. Intelligence concerned by ISIS in Libya todd dnt_00003508.jpg
U.S. Intelligence concerned ISIS is building a base in Libya
02:31 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Attacks in Paris on Friday claimed at least 129 lives

Commentators weigh on how to respond to threat posed by ISIS

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Fareed Zakaria: What does ISIS want?

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The barbarism of the attacks in Paris mark a new low in terror. The attacks were not directed against national symbols or government targets, but designed simply to kill innocent men, women and children. The murderers did not even bother to issue demands. 

French President Francois Hollande has called Friday’s attacks an act of war. They were worse. War has a goal. It’s fought by soldiers against soldiers. This is nihilism – violence as an end in and of itself. 

That doesn’t, however, answer the question what to do. In the wake of the attacks, people rightly ask, what could France have done better? What could the United States have done better? And people are offering up various solutions regarding borders, visas, police procedures and the battle against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. 

Read more: UK to bomb ISIS in Syria

Would this really have prevented this kind of attacks?

As The New York Times has noted, France already has in place very tough anti-terrorism policies at home. The United States has been expanding its war against the terror group for a year. It has spent about $5 billion and launched over 8,000 airstrikes against ISIS with its coalition partners. Would more strikes have resulted in fewer terrorist responses by ISIS? Would the various policies that people have advocated – no fly zones, safe havens, special operations forces – have stopped the Paris attacks?