Friday, August 22, 2008

World Report

I have just found an excellent Canadian international affairs blog: World Report:

Here's a typical snippet:

"Sunday, August 03, 2008
Seth G Jones and Martin C Libicki, 'How Terrorist Groups End: Lessons For Countering Al-Qaeda,'
RAND Corporation, 29 July 2008.

By analyzing 648 groups that existed between 1968 and 2006, this monograph examines how terrorist groups end....most groups have ended because (1) they joined the political process or (2) local police and intelligence agencies arrested or killed key members. Military force has rarely been the primary reason for the end of terrorist groups, and few groups within this time frame achieved victory."

This bears out what I found a couple of years ago, debating terrorism on openDemocracy: the police and intelligence services are more effective at capturing terrorists (by which I mean people who use violence against civilians for political ends) than the military. In face, the military effort just make things worse, by creating and inflaming enemies.

The Guardian yesterday published a secret service psychological profile of UK terrorists: they are remarkably average people, not wild-eyed loner religious fanatics. My guess is that they are just people who share the anger of any thinking person against the stupidities of US and UK military adventurism, but instead of expressing their anger by going on marches, they are culturally pre-conditioned to express their anger using explosives. Which is of course, making themselves part of the problem, not part of the solution.

That's just a guess, mind.

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