RAND’s Michele Zanini on the new breed of terrorism:
It’s one in which people think they’re fighting a war, and it’s a war between the strong and the weak. The weaker side is rebelling and it understands that there’s no way to defeat the stronger side head on. So it exploits the weaknesses of the stronger side. They do it through terror. They don’t want to play on the standard military playing field because they know they’ll get their butts kicked. So they resort to terrorism and guerrilla tactics. And they see what they do as strategic. Osama bin Laden sees himself as engaged in a long war with the U.S. that’s a sequence of battles and campaigns. The strategic goal is to inflict as much damage as possible.