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, October 08, 2010

Security depends on global cooperation

(Printed October 8, 2010 in The Washington Times)

Frank Gaffney Jr.'s column headlined "The Peace Through Strength Pledge" (Opinion, Sept. 29) - which calls for a "Bill of National Security Rights" or his preferred "Peace Through Strength Pledge" - represents pre-Sept. 11 thinking and the opposite of the direction in which we need to go if we truly value and want to retain our freedoms and security.
Nearly 60 years ago, Emery Reves stated in his book "The Anatomy of Peace" that "peace is not a function of armament or disarmament - it is a function of justice" and "justice is a function of law." If Mr. Gaffney wants to keep the use of force superior to the rule of law, we will never have security from terrorism, pandemics, global economic instability, international crime or harmful environmental changes.
Our best and brightest military leaders in both Iraq and Afghanistan have said repeatedly that we can't kill our way to victory. They learned the hard way that our soldiers' only real defense against improvised explosive devises is making reliable friends in a lot of remote places.
Eventually, our drone attacks will kill enough innocent people and enrage enough moderates that someone somewhere will develop a biological weapon of mass destruction (WMD) with the killing capacity to end life as we know it. The chance of a WMD attack increases with the exponential growth of affordable, ubiquitous and powerful technologies. No level of U.S. government spending or intrusive inspections can identify and pre-empt every planned attack.
A biological attack with something akin to weaponized smallpox would make Sept. 11 look quaint. Even a police state here in America couldn't stop the chaos from reaching our shores if it were released in Iran, Canada or Mexico.
Our sovereignty won't save a single life or cherished freedom against most global threats. Maximizing our global friends and allies can. The greater the global cooperation, the more threats we can prevent and the better we can respond to those we can't prevent.
Rockville, Md.