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Strong opinions, weakly held

Terrorism doesn’t work

Bruce Schneier posts a link to a paper that shows that terrorists fail to achieve their political objectives almost entirely. Terrorists succeed in killing people, scaring people, and pissing people off, but they don’t succeed in achieving the political change that they hope for. Clausewitz famously said that war is politics by other means, and I’d add that terrorism is war by other means. The obvious joke is that terrorists should read academic papers concerning their field of endeavor, or at least read blogs on the same subject, but I suspect that for most terrorists the violence is more attractive than the achievement of political aims.

1 Comment

  1. Of course, Osama’s ends were to engage the US in a hopeless and expensive war, and to foment more opposition to our imperialism. That seems to have worked pretty well, given W’s knee-jerk reactivism.

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