Skip to main content.

Back to: >> Terrorism

Stay hidden, hit them when they aren't looking. It worked wonders during the Revolutionary War. But now the shoe seems to be on the other foot. Only the geography and bad guys have changed.

Bruce Hoffman, professor of security studies at Georgetown University, in the Washington Post (2010) makes some key points. Al Qa'ida morphs as needed to stay ahead of barriers we erect. They are adept at training an endless supply of radicalized converts from many different cultures. They are equally adept at devising new twists in the lead-in line. Paraphraing his take on current strategy:

  • Throw out hundreds or thousands of false positives that over saturate intelligence agencies geared for yesterday's wars.
  • Step up economic warfare and propaganda of same. Fact: Keep the US mired in Iraq and Afghanistan as long as possible. Propaganda: Claim credit for inducing US economic ills as well as for the worsening of economic conditions.
  • Divide and conquer by attacking US allies in their homes as well as in the "battlefields" and other places beyond national control as in the Swat Valley.
  • Recruit non-Muslim terrorists who blend in well in western cultures and are more difficult to screen.

Bruce Hoffman concludes:

    "Remarkably, more than eight years after Sept. 11, we still don't fully understand our dynamic and evolutionary enemy. We claim success when it is regrouping and tally killed leaders while more devious plots are being hatched. Al-Qaeda needs to be utterly destroyed. This will be accomplished not just by killing and capturing terrorists -- as we must continue to do -- but by breaking the cycle of radicalization and recruitment that sustains the movement."

Hoffman is right on here. It is our considered opinion that we must attack the roots, not the leaves and branches of the terror tree. Not doing so is to invite endless wars. Now in our tenth year of research, we can find no other viable strategy with any assurance of achieving victory in the usual sense of the meaning. The US will surely have to give up its empire for it is a prime motive for radicalizing the disaffected.


No comments yet

To be able to post comments, please register on the site.