Strategies for terrorism

Danger Room has an interesting take on how to win against terrorism. The crux is this:

  1. Don’t panic and get into a fortress mentality. if you do, they have already won.
  2. Work the odds; statistically, some events are bound to happen. as long as they are not extreme events (nuclear terrorism), learn to live with the risk.
  3. Focus heavily on eliminating chances of extreme events.

The point seems to be that current US response in battening down the storm hatches and huddling in fear is unjustified and counter productive.

So why do they persist with this approach?

The answer appears not only plausible but at some level depressing as well.

Look at the charts that our own Lena Groeger compiled. She tallies $6.6 trillion in defense spending after 9/11. There is nothing that al-Qaida could possibly do to justify such a monster expenditure. Why did it happen?

Former White House counterterrorism chief. Richard Clarke has an answer. “There’s going to be a terrorist strike some day,” Clarke told Frontline for its “Top Secret America” documentary this week. “And when there is, if you’ve reduced the terrorism budget, the other party, whoever the other party is at the time, is going to say that you were responsible for the terrorist strike because you cut back the budget.  And so it’s a very, very risky thing to do.”

In other words, the same fear of limited, near term, pusillanimous political interests seem to outweigh larger national or global interests. At some level, we see similar behavior from Indian politicians on India-Pakistan issues.

The post on Danger Room seems to be down. In case you can catch it, read the whole thing. Insightful and thought provoking.

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