President Obama’s recent decision to grant Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) expanded authorities in the fight against terrorism likely came as welcome news to many. Anything that means we move more quickly and nimbly in hunting the enemy has to be welcome. Here is the reality, however.

We are in this war for the long haul, and JSOC is not the answer.

There have probably never been more capable fighting men and women than those assigned to JSOC. I don’t just mean in the history of our nation. I mean in the history of the world.

We will not win this conflict, however, by hunting down and eliminating targets on a kill list. This is not some giant game of “whack-a-mole.” We are not fighting a finite set of enemies. We are struggling against worldwide movements and economic and demographic forces, which will continue to generate instability and threats for generations.

Islamic extremism is burning its way through what amounts to a coal seam of fuel supplied by factors that are tearing large chunks of the world apart, shredding civil authority and creating large swaths of ungoverned territory. These forces are not dissipating. They are gathering strength.

In 2013 the world’s population reached 7.2 billion. Of that number 5.9 billion lived in the developing world, in those areas least capable of handling an increased population. Almost 1 billion of those lived in the 49 poorest nations on earth.

By 2050 the world’s world population is projected to reach 9.6 billion persons. Almost none of that increase will occur in developed nations. In fact, by 2050 the population of the developing world is expected to be 8.3 billion, larger than the entire population of the planet at present. That means in 2050 86.4% of the people in the world will live in the poorest nations on the planet.

This trend will only accelerate after 2050. The population of Nigeria alone will reach 1 billion. Among the twenty most populous countries in the world, eight will be the least developed countries—the United Republic of Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Uganda, Niger, Bangladesh, Sudan and Mozambique.