Slate presents its "Real War on Terrorism." Robert Wright's "The Earthling" column for Slate is taking a thoughtful look on how to deal with terrorism, and for foreign policy laymen like myself, it's pretty interesting. He's writing a pieceaday for two weeks, outlining his propositions and prescriptions one by one and asking for the Fray folk (Slate's message board) to try to dismantle the logic of his arguments.
His propositions so far: Al-Qaida and radical Islam are not the problem. For the foreseeable future, smaller and smaller groups of intensely motivated people will have the ability to kill larger and larger numbers of people. The number of intensely aggrieved groups will almost certainly grow in the coming decades of rapid technological, and hence social, change. The amount of discontent in the world is becoming a highly significant national-security variable. His prescriptions: Take your bitter medicine early. The substance of policies should be subjected to a new kind of appraisal, one that explicitly accounts for the discontent and hatred the policies arouse. The ultimate target is memes; killing or arresting people is useful only to the extent that it leads to a net reduction in terrorism memes. In a war on terrorism, applying force inconspicuously makes sense more often than in regular wars.
(I know, I know, what could be more Plasticky than a Slate link, but it's good reading and good discussion fodder.)
posted by blueshammer
on Sep 5, 2002 -
MSNBC's Robert Wright seemes confused in this story about the Global Positioning System. He misinforms the reader about how terrorists can now use the military's encrypted GPS signals for more accurate positioning. (FYI: you are still unable to use the military's encrypted GPS signals, contrary to what Wright claims.) more inside>>
posted by darainwa
on Jun 28, 2000 -