Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Preemption is murderous act. Not prevention.

Louis Rene Beres clearly frames the American predicament by stating “We might now be perfectly capable of warding off any tangible defeat of our military forces and perhaps even of winning identifiable victories, but we still may have to face extraordinary harms.” (Deterrence and modern aggressors: Transforming developments in military strategy. 4-13-07).

Unfortunately, his logic fails murderously in concluding that ‘in the absence of enemy rationality, we would have no practical alternative to expanding assorted plans for pre-emption”

Any pre-emptive military strike is an act of war. And, war by its very nature is murderous of innocent lives. Pre-emption is not a recipe for prevention. It is a provocation of yet more violence in the future. If you have any doubt of this reality look no further than Iraq…or the inevitable global lethal consequences of any US pre-emptive strike against Iran.

Mr. Beres just doesn’t get it. We need to be making more friends in the world, not making more enemies with unilateral bombing or invasions that inevitably kill hundreds if not thousands of innocent people -- even when all attempts are made to avoid such deaths. Just two months ago in another Washington Time opinion piece Mr. Beres correctly stated “There is no more sacred principle of law and justice than the imperative to protect the innocent’ (“Just cause, just means.” Feb. 15, 2007 ). Thus preemptive strikes by his own definition would be a violation of this most sacred principle. Such murderous acts of war won’t gain us favor in any nation’s capital or rural village.

Our best hope for improving our future security and reducing the growing risks we face is by advancing our military’s current counter-terrorism measures now being implemented in the Horn of African and elsewhere on that troubled continent. Our nation’s best intelligence and military minds have finally realized that we can get out ahead of the Al Qaida curve of mass murder by occupying the chaotic and impoverished lethal conditions in advance of their arrival. Digging water wells, building non-jihadist schools, assisting local farmers, and arresting local bandits -- in other words – making friends with the locals – is the most effective means of earning the friendships we now need to help us find and bring to justice those who mean us harm…harm that they can now deliver by the truck load.

Our increasing vulnerability is, as Beres says “the natural consequence of constantly evolving military and terrorists technologies” a "frightful evolution" that can never "be stopped or reversed”. This is the reality of a world of ever increasingly powerful, affordable, ubiquitous, stealth, and anonymous technologies. And it is by the transformation of our military into a development machine that we will ensure our greatest future security. It is this new ‘peace corps’ that now deserves the American public’s attention and tax payer funding instead of additional war making capabilities for preemption.

Pre-emption is the path to Armageddon. Global development is the path improving our own security and maintaining our most valued freedoms and ideals.
It's not too late to take the civilized path.

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