The convergence of terrorism and technology may lead to the collapse of air travel, and that will have interesting repurcussions for the global village concept.
Most airlines rely on business passengers for the bulk of their revenues. Business travellers are becoming increasingly unhappy with the difficulties involved in air travel. Given the ability to video conference, the cost of air travel may easily become prohibitive for them. Businessmen without laptops are like fish without water - they get eaten for lunch.
The jihadist goal is to disrupt the economies of their opponents, thereby putting their opposition on the same footing they themselves are on.
In WWI, the Germans attempted to economically disrupt England through U-boat combat, and they very nearly succeeded. True, the Germans often had to target "civilian" ships in order to sink the armaments those unarmed ships carried in their cargo holds, but these attacks on civilians were generally limited. Still, the U-boats sunk enough shipping to put all of England on starvation rations. If Kaiser Wilhelm had built 30 or 40 more subs before the beginning of combat operations, he would have won the war.
In WWII Allied Bomber Command tried to disrupt Germany and Japan from the air. Unfortunately, no one had very precise bombing techniques - analysis demonstrated that bombs fell an average of one mile from their intended industrial targets. But that wasn't a bad thing from the perspective of the airmen. They were killing the factory workers in the suburbs, which they argued would idle the factories nearly as effectively as blowing up the equipment.
Thus, by 1943, American bombers were deliberately targeting civilian populations, arguing that there is no such thing as a civilian when you are waging economic warfare. We burned out entire cities in Germany and Japan. Indeed, the atomic bomb was not desirable for its radiation effects - they took too long to kill the enemy - it was desirable for the marvelous firestorms it created, which rendered the need for precision obsolete.
In the event, the Allied bombing killed enormous numbers of civilians, but did little to affect production. German factories, for instance, steadily increased production in every year of the war, right up through 1945, despite the steadily increased bombing. But it did set a precedent.
Today, jihadists wishing to shut down the Euro-American economy have very wisely chosen to concentrate on air travel. True, a certain number of civilians are killed, but precedent has already established that civilians may be targeted in war as long as you can make the argument that the targeted civilians are part of the economy you intend to disrupt.
When the Allies bombed Dresden, Germany, they did not intend to create a firestorm in the heart of the city. That was just luck. But once the firestorm happened, the Allies were so pleased with the amount of death and destruction that they set out to deliberately replicate the effect elsewhere - work which eventually led to the atomic bomb.
Jihadists pursuing their quest to destroy America's economy may have lucked into a similar situation. They may have figured out how to destroy America's public image and self-image.
If they successfully drive the airlines out of business, or close to it, international travel will become a thing of the past, especially for the United States. Europeans, Asians and Africans will eventually come to believe that every American is a soldier, because they will never see any Americans except soldiers. Whether we are Sparta or not, we will be perceived to be Sparta - that perception is taking hold even as I type this.
From this perspective, the war is going very well for the jihadists. Like Islam, the American ideals will be associated with extreme levels of surveillance and violence as we attempt to make the world safe for those same ideals.
Islam is trying to re-make us in their image. It will be interesting to see if they succeed.