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News RAND statistical study on how terrorism stops

  1. Jun 23, 2010 #1


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    More on http://www.rand.org/news/press/2008/07/29/

    Free e-document: http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG741-1/ (at the bottom of the page). "RAND makes an electronic version of this document available for free as a public service. If you find this information valuable, please consider purchasing a paper copy of the full document to help support RAND research."
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  3. Jun 23, 2010 #2


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    Very interesting, thank you!
  4. Jun 25, 2010 #3


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    Long paper so I haven't gotten through it yet, but from the intro:
    I see several problems with this analysis:

    1. Afghanistan is not stable enough for the miltiary portion of the war to end. Even if the US military ends its counterterrorism mission, it would still need to be active as an occupying force. 6 of one, half dozen of the other.

    2. The US military is more sophisticated than Rand gives them credit for and is acting in the way that Rand suggests. It is acting as the intelligence agencies would, as the intelligence agencies simply aren't big enough for this. It is also acting as a police force, which I am against:

    3. The military is not a police force and foreign terrorists do not have the rights of criminals. Using the military to kill them is the appropriate action. What is the alternative? Should we send the NYPD into Pakistan to serve arrest warrents?

    4. The American people would not accept a vast increase in the size of the CIA to take over the war on terror. Simply put, it trusts the military more. And since many of the tools (such as drones) are military in nature, I think they should be controlled by the military.
  5. Jun 25, 2010 #4


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    An intelligent analysis. And note that it stresses local policing - that is policing from within the system, not imposed as an external agency. Policing works where it broadly has the support of those being policed.

    Unless of course we are talking about police states. Which could be an approach here - it works for US interests in Saudi after all. Find a strongman in Afghanistan to back, equip him with the training, technology and blessing to run a repressive state. Of course, to avoid offending wider sensibilities, it would be wise to create the appearance that the new regime came about via democratic elections.

    The alternative solution should also be considered. If terrorist organisations represent valid political goals, such as ending regional colonialism, then a way ought to be found to assimilate them to a political process. Give them the opportunity to achieve by politics what they have failed to do via violence.
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