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.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Counterterrorism

"Would-Be Warriors: Incidents of Jihadist Terrorist Radicalization in the United States Since September 11, 2001, by Brian Michael Jenkins via RAND corporation (Paperback • 32 pages • ISBN: 978-0-8330-4981-0) http://www.rand.org/pubs/occasional_papers/OP292/

is an excellent overview of domestic terrorism including shocking statistics from the 1970s. The only flaw I see from Mr. Jenkins' detailed analysis is his use of the word "prevention" instead of "Preemption" when labeling US law enforcement measures to stop potentially lethal terrorist acts before they occur.

For accuracy sake terrorist 'prevention' measures would have more to do with eliminating the radicalization factors or crazy factors that ultimately lead to plots -- instead of some use of force or intelligence intervention to halt a terrorist plot that is already in play.

President Bush may have left most thoughtful people with a negative view of "preemption" but in fact...it is what he believed he was doing...in wrongly believing that Saddam's WMDs were an imminent threat.
If a terrorist plot is discovered...it should rightfully be preempted... that would be a rational tactic against such a threat. But such tactical actions will not 'prevent' future terrorist attacks. That will require an entirely different strategic approach to counter-terrorism. One that focuses on the global rule of law...not the global law of force.

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