I have a very nerdy family. Yesterday my brother sent me an email with a link to Wired’s defense blog (what? I said we were nerdy.). And he had the courtesy to basically write this entry for me:
“Seriously?! Somebody finally figured out how to properly “win” in a counterterrorism scenario. What’s scary is that they actually had to research and study this data – it’s common knowledge for anyone who looks at political/military history that military might cannot, and has not, been an effective tool in destroying terrorist organizations!”
Um, yeah. The RAND Corporation is generally acknowledged to be the very first ‘think tank’. As such, I would expect more from them. Having read the research brief for this study, I can say that I didn’t learn anything I didn’t already know just by being a history nerd. I mean, I did go to the “Future Dictators of the World School” as Willa likes to call it, but I knew this crap going into college. My favorite line is the opening one:
“The United States cannot conduct an effective counterterrorism campaign against al Qa’ida or other terrorist groups without understanding how such groups end.”
Thank you RAND corp. I never would have known.
What scares me is everyone thinks this is the first study on counterterrorism. People, I would like you to go watch the movie The Battle of Algiers. Then go watch Bloody Sunday. Even without much more study, I think you’ll understand why military force might win battles, but lose the war. Stop pissing off the general population and making them side with the terrorists.
Why don’t people pay me to do studies like this?