What Fresh Hell Is This?

July 31, 2008

RAND Corporation's View

This is from last night's Countdown:

Well, this is the all-time winner. The all-time low low. For seven years, we have heard about how terrorism hit this country, 20 percent of the way into Mr. Bush‘s first term, by the way, because of the, quote, “law enforcement approach employed by President Clinton, Max Cleland, the Democratic Party, John Kerry, Europe, England, France, Barack Obama, me, you.”

Let me just read this verbatim by the study done by the conservative Rand Corporation which concluded that, quote, “Current U.S. strategy against the terrorist group al Qaeda has not been successful in significantly undermining the group‘s capabilities.” So the Rand people go on to write, “In looking at how other terrorist groups have ended, the Rand study found that most terrorist groups end either because they join the political process, or because local police and intelligence efforts arrest or kill key members.

Police and intelligence agencies rather than the military, should be the tip of the spear against al Qaeda in most of the world, and the United States should abandon the use of the phrase ‘war on terrorism.‘”

So, one of the think tanks the Pentagon loves best, has deduced that President Bush has done it exactly wrong, that the war on terror is a bunch of crap, that local authorities have the best chance of stopping al Qaeda, that what John McCain is still quoting as if it were the revealed word is exactly the opposite of what we need to do if we want to put terror groups out of business, that the correct strategy is—the law enforcement approach.

Again, please note that this is not from some "committed to defeat" anti-war group. It's the frickin RAND Corporation.

So let's flesh out Keith's quotations a bit.

If you want to play at home, here's the RAND report. On page 110, in a section called The Return of al Qa'ida there's this:

Indeed, the evidence since September 11, 2001, strongly suggests that the U.S. strategy was not successful in undermining al Qa’ida’s capabilities in the long run. Al Qa’ida remained a strong and competent organization. Its goals were the same: uniting Muslims to fight the United States and its allies (the far enemy) and overthrowing westfriendly regimes in the Middle East (the near enemy) to establish a pan-Islamic caliphate.

Al Qa’ida was involved in more terrorist attacks in the first six years after September 11, 2001, than it had been during the previous six years. It averaged fewer than two attacks per year between 1995 and 2001, but it averaged more than ten attacks per year between 2002 and 2007.

So even after the war in Iraq began, al Qaeda has gotten stronger and committed more terrorist attacks? And what does it say about the war that in pursuing it, we've actually made the group that attacked us on 9/11 stronger and more successful?

And this is found in the Summary (page xiii):
All terrorist groups eventually end. But how do they end? Answers tothis question have enormous implications for counterterrorism efforts. The evidence since 1968 indicates that most groups have ended because (1) they joined the political process or (2) local police and intelligence agencies arrested or killed key members. Military force has rarely been the primary reason for the end of terrorist groups, and few groups within this time frame achieved victory. This has significant implications for dealing with al Qa’ida and suggests fundamentally rethinking post–September 11 U.S. counterterrorism strategy.
Again, from the RAND Corporation.

Anyone remember this? It's from a rally of some sort on March 20, 2004:

THE PRESIDENT: Some are skeptical that the war on terror is really a war at all. Senator Kerry said, and I quote, "The war on terror is far less of a military operation and far more of an intelligence-gathering law enforcement operation."


THE PRESIDENT: I disagree. I disagree. Our nation followed this approach after the World Trade Center was bombed in 1993. The matter was handled in the courts and thought by some to be settled. The terrorists were still training in Afghanistan. They're still plotting in other nations. They're still drawing up more ambitious plans. After the chaos and carnage of September the 11th, it is not enough to serve our enemies with legal papers. (Applause.) With those attacks, the terrorists and supporters declared war on the United States of America -- and war is what they got. (Applause.)

But according to the RAND Corporation, he was wrong. And there's 4 thousand American troops dead because of it.


John K. said...

John K: Uh we tried this doctrine from 1985 till 9-11. Didn't work. Read some Victor David Hansen for the historical roots of why it did not work. Or ask me and I will give you the cliff notes version.

Sherry said...

cliff notes! now we know why you say the things that you do! geeezzz

Anonymous said...

Cliff Notes? I thought John would be reading the Complete Idiot's Guide. ;)

John K. said...

John K: Well I thought about offerring the full version but considering the attention span of most liberals I figured the cliff notes version was all you could absorb.
None the less, Victor David Hansen has a well written column explaining why the legal approach won't work. I also use the historical analogy. And of course, we have the immediate past from 1985 (Reagan years to 9-11) of why pursuing these guys thru legal means is a huge waste of time.
But Bush struck and struck back hard and we are winning. Much to the chagrin of the left. LMAO

John K. said...

John K: So other than saying it won't work, provide some evidence of why it won't work. I notice liberals are saying stuff then never providing the evidence of why I should believe them.

dayvoe said...

John K;

Do you mean Victor DAVIS HANSON?

If you're going to quote an authority, don't you think you should get his name right?

John K. said...

John K: Yep, take some time and read him or just me for the cliff notes. Pursuing terrorists thru legal means never works.

Carl Davidson said...

The RAND approach is the only one that has worked.

The most recent case in point is the Brits in Ireland. They refused to give anyone 'prisoner of war' status, and eventually got a wider political political settlement by drawing one wing of the IRA into the political process, while putting the other, the Provos, out of business.

The problem with our "it doesn't work" crowd is they have the attention span of a six-year-old. Real solutions to these things take time.