Thursday, August 6, 2009

Real men of genius - II

A Washington Post article, Obama's Battle Against Terrorism To Go Beyond Bombs and Bullets, reports that John O. Brennan, President Obama's senior counterterrorism adviser says that "The U.S. government must fundamentally redefine the struggle against terrorism, replacing the "war on terror" with a campaign combining all facets of national power to defeat the enemy..." Apparently the elements of the "new" approach will be "calmer discussion" and "a holistic approach."

Further from Brennan, "It needs to be much more than a kinetic effort, an intelligence, law enforcement effort. It has to be much more comprehensive. This is not a 'war on terror.' . . . We cannot let the terror prism guide how we're going to interact and be involved in different parts of the world."

Well... that's taken long enough! Re "calmer discussion" the 'language' being used had been wrong for so long, until finally in June 2008, the State Department's Counterterrorism Center in an about face advised U.S. diplomats to change the language used while discussing terrorists and terrorist acts (and to avoid other language). This led this blogger to pen the "Real men of genius..." entry, celebrating the government finally catching on to something that had been blindingly obvious since day one (or at least obvious enough for this blogger to essentially have said the same thing in November 2001).

Re "a holistic approach," in April 2002 this blogger had the "A Framework against Terrorism" entry, that started "The struggle against terrorism is not 'a war.' While the war metaphor might seem apt given the magnitude of the endeavor, it is counter-productive in the longer run. First, although military action is a significant and integral component, a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy will also have intelligence, diplomatic, civil defense or homeland security, economic, financial, law enforcement, and human rights components in addition to the military component..." As with the 'language' change it is good to see the administration finally catching up...

Note: charts below from "A Framework against Terrorism."

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