Lisa and Jim at RANGERAGAINSTWAR asked me to post this, which I do with great appreciation for their work there and a comment:
"A question came and went in a discussion thread, but I would like someone to address it: Can anyone posit a historical example of military action defeating a terror network?
Further, can anyone provide examples of an occupying military power defeating a terrorist network solely via military means? We can restrict our survey to the 20th-21st centuries.
It is my position that while you can eliminate an externally imposed threat in another country (parachutists), you will never defeat an indigenous insurgent movement. Che in Bolivia and the Chinese guerrillas in Malay might be examples.
An external occupying power will never defeat an indigenous insurgent terrorist network, IMHO."
My comment would be that this would have to be restricted to:
1. Post-1945. The pre-war world was a very different place, both in terms of what people knew about the less-paved parts of the world (almost nothing, in most cases) and how they felt about it. Prior to the end of WW2 there were a LOT of people who felt it was perfectly OK to kill bogloads of brown and black people if it meant good things for Western and/or white people. As far as I can tell the only places left that still think this was are the editorial board of The Weekly Standard and the inside of Charles Krauthammer's head. And,
2. places where the foreigner is not a former colonial power with a large internal colonial population and a taste for ruthlessness - and here I'm thinking Algeria. The French DID pretty much defeat the FLN militarily...but under circumstances I have to consider a "one-off". And they were defeated politically, which counts for something.
Anyway...have at it.