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Top US Think Tank Stating The Obvious-U.S. “War On Terror” Wrong Way To Combat Terrorism

July 30th, 2008 | by Ken Grandlund |

Take a look at the following headlines:

Foiling Terror Plots Doesn’t Take An Army (August 10, 2006)

Law Enforcement Continuing To Succeed Where War Fails (October 4, 2006)

New Alleged Terror Plot Thwarted-Again Without Destroying A Foreign Country (June 2, 2007)

U.S. Should Rethink “War On Terrorism” Strategy to Deal with Resurgent Al Qaida (July 29, 2008)

These articles, covering a span of about two years, are all saying the same thing: fighting terrorism is better done through law enforcement than through war. Interesting enough, the first three articles were written by me and posted here at Bring It On. The final article was published yesterday by the Rand Corporation, a think tank developed by the US Air Force after WWII and today a major supplier of policy advice to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the unified commands and other defense agencies. Seems like the Rand Corporation is a little behind the “obvious curve.”

In it’s newly released report, the Rand Corporation says:

“Terrorists should be perceived and described as criminals, not holy warriors, and our analysis suggests that there is no battlefield solution to terrorism.” -Seth Jones, the study’s lead author and a political scientist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization.

Hmmmmm….sounds an awful lot like this:

“There are terrorists who want to harm the west, specifically killing as many civilians as they can. If they are determined enough, some will succeed. But through the application of solid investigative work and application of the rule of law, many of these folks have been stopped before reaching their murderous intentions.” - Ken Grandlund, 8-10-06

And this:

“Law enforcement, including cooperation with intelligence agencies and other countries, is more effective in breaking up terror cells than going to war.” - Ken Grandlund, 6-2-07

I’m not trying to brag here. I’m just pointing out that for over two years, I’ve been saying publically what the Rand Corporation (and presumably the folks who rely on its reports to craft policy) is only now figuring out. I’m no genius, but then again, it doesn’t take a genius to state the obvious. Apparently it just takes waiting for an idiot president who has squandered untold billions of dollars, thousands of American lives, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, soiled the reputation of the United States of America and garnered the disgust of people everywhere to enter his final months in office for someone (in a position to be really heard) to finally stand up and state the obvious.

(Sarcastic) Kudos to the Rand Corporation and every other asshat politician, corporate executive, and neo-con ass-licker for finally facing the facts- namely that massive military action is a stupid way to deal with terrorists.

(cross posted at Common Sense)

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  1. 2 Responses to “Top US Think Tank Stating The Obvious-U.S. “War On Terror” Wrong Way To Combat Terrorism”

  2. By Paul Merda on Jul 31, 2008 | Reply

    You are the man!!! And yes it is true that you can;t kill an idea with bullets which is what Islamic Terrorism is…

  3. By Liberal Jarhead on Aug 1, 2008 | Reply

    An absolutely excellent book, one of the best I’ve read in years, that dissects and demolishes what the author terms the “so-called War on Terror”: The Utility of Force, by retired British General Rupert Smith.

    General Smith is a brilliant thinker and analyst as well as someone with the command experience to back up what he says: he was the commanding general who got things under control in Northern Ireland, and was the commander of the UN force for several years in the former Yugoslavia, which was a deeply frustrating experience.

    Smith makes the points that you can’t come up with a coherent military force or strategy unless you first figure out a clear political goal, a desired end situation, then design a strategy, then tailor your force to that strategy - but the typical Western practice since World War II has been the opposite, to start with the forces available, and make the strategy whatever those forces are best at doing. In the case of an insurgency or terrorist threat, the real target is the minds of the decision-makers and population they’re trying to influence, and the use of heavy firepower plays into their hands more often than it improves the situation.

    In Northern Ireland he enforced a strategy of minimal force and making sure his troops treated the local population better than the IRA did, and that’s how they persuaded enough of the people to quit supporting the IRA to get them to give up their paramilitary campaign.

    That’s what General Petraeus is trying, with some success now, to do in Iraq. The difference, though, is that the IRA had no significant sources of outside support, but the Shi’ite insurgents in Iraq may be able to keep getting support from Iran, and if they look like getting the upper hand the Saudis and other Sunni governments may intervene to help that sect. Nobody seems to support the Kurds that way, but they seem better at defending themselves than anyone else in the picture.

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