There are many, many historical battles where “overwhelming forces” were taken out by smaller forces. Just the idea of “shock and awe” is not enough to steamroll an opposing force. Even in today’s warfare/tactics, this is still the case. Think about how well we truly “eliminated the enemy” in Iraq and Afghanistan. We did damage and would take them out in a straight up fight, but in all reality we are NOT winning that war.
Add guerrilla warfare and terrorism to that mix and what do you have? You have exactly what we are dealing with now: no idea when or how we will be attacked, environments where nobody is safe, individual acts of violence that are shocking enough to get worldwide media coverage, task forces dedicated to fighting these small groups, million to billion dollar costs in finding ways to neutralize the threats…… What does all this equal? A losing battle for the larger, stronger force.
We would be better off and the world would be much better served if we just segmented these areas off from the rest of the world and let them have at each other. We are not going to be able to “pacify” these groups. Of course it would be cultural, racial and political profiling, but it would force those in the Middle East to actually stand up to their internal oppressors.