Ralph Peters has written a great, straightforward analysis about the purpose and costs to society of terrorism. I don’t know that it says anything we don’t already know, but it ties the threads together so beautifully that I think it’s definitely worth reading. Here’s the intro, which I hope will have you wanting to read the rest:
THE most important consumer good any government supplies to its citizens is security. Consequently, the universal terrorist strategy is to convince the people that their state can no longer protect them.
Thanks to their paramount weapon, the suicide bomber, our enemies have been making progress.
From the relentless attacks on Iraqi innocents, to last week’s blasts in Morocco and Algeria, terrorist masterminds seek to destroy the people’s confidence in their governments, to persuade them that safety lies only in submission to the extremists.
It’s a brilliant approach. Even where it ultimately fails – and terror usually does fail – it succeeds in doing two related things: It costs the victimized government a disproportionate amount of money to respond to could-be-anywhere threats, and it punishes those who decline to see the light.