[FoRK] Why We Are Losing The War on Terrorism
Contempt for Meatheads
jbone at place.org
Mon May 3 14:18:36 PDT 2004
On May 3, 2004, at 4:08 PM, Paul Sholtz wrote:
> We're losing the "war" on terrorism b/c it's a horrible way to define
> the scope of a conflict. Common nouns like "terrorism" (or drugs or
> crime or poverty, for that matter) can't surrender and promise never
> to attack again the way that proper nouns like Germany or Japan can.
While I actually tend to agree w/ that in principle, it misses Jrobb's
whole point: it's precisely because the notions of "war" in the
conventional sense and "terrorism" in its generic, literal sense are
incompatible that we're doomed to failure. You can't wage war on
terrorism --- you can only (a) seek to prevent particular incidents,
(b) seek to disrupt the networks, and (c) eliminate the motivations for
terrorists to wage asymmetric war in the long term. Both (a) and (b)
are ultimately losing battles, and (c) requires a broader
macroeconomic, political, and diplomatic approach. Otherwise, we're
> How exactly would propose fixing the intelligence system? (so as to
> win the war on terrorism)?
Not wanting to speak for John and his colleagues --- go read his blog
and Global Guerillas and chase the links, it's truly fascinating stuff
if you're into the topic, a very clueful network- and systems-centric
view of the problem and possible ways to address it on various
dimensions... but one great start would be simply improving our
acquisition capability by hiring more speakers of the languages in
question. A second start would be to reinvest in field intel.
We need ears in the madrassas, for example.
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