The answer lies in the organizational structure of Al-Qeada and the hieratical command structure
An excellent question. The organization is extremely de-centralized, with limited chain of command. Indeed, the vast majority of terrorists who have been arrested throughout Western Europe and in the United States seemed to have no contact with higher leadership, only with one other cell, and so forth. Their tactics are often planned and orchestrated within countries without their knowledge or consent, and thus is seems to have all of the qualities of law enforcement, rather than military. In other words, it is more closely aligned with the war on drugs than with WWI or WWII.
2) “Isn’t a law enforcement approach likely to result in what Clinton described when Sudan offered us Bin Laden(though he now says he was misquoted, but there is a tape of him saying it)”
I do not care to comment on the Clinton record and terrorism, although I would be happy to if pressed on the issue. To answer your question directly however, no, law enforcement approach would not likely result in anything like that. In fact, the event you described was the exact opposite of law enforcement- it was no enforcement. Law enforcement would treat terrorists like former Nazis: outlaws everywhere, and subject to the arrest and extradition (if possible) to the United States or some other appropriate jurisdiction.
Military reactions, while necessary at times, is no substitute and will only exacerbate the problem in ways I described before (increased recruitment, more domestic pressure not to cooperate with the United States, growing sympathy, if not cooperation, with terrorist organizations that oppose the United States, and so on).
3) “I agree that cultural, political, and economic reform in the mid-east could stop terrorism. Why do you think a peaceful approach would cause this, when as far as I can see, a 30 year long peaceful approach has resulted in a deteriorating situation?”
If, over the past 30 years, we have been trying to change the situation in title loans in Indiana the Middle East, than I would agree, it has been fruitless, but this has not been the case (quite the opposite, in fact). To his credit, Bush is the first president to seriously demand reform from the Arab world and thus far, it has been the most successful in countries that we have not invaded. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan in particular have done more in the past 3 years than in the prior 30 to change their cultural allegiance to terror and fanaticism. Do they still have a long, LONG way to go? Certainly, but attacking them would do nothing to assist in our struggle that non-military coercion can do.
John H. Lederer – 6/
What do you see as the critical differences between a military and law enforcement approach that would make the latter work and the former not? Isn’t a law enfrocement approach likely to result in what Clinton described when Sudan offered us Bin Laden(though he now says he was misquoted, but there is a tape of him saying it):
“At the time, 1996, he had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here because we had no basis on which to hold him, though we knew he wanted to commit crimes against America,”
I agree that cultural, political, and economic reform in the mid-east could stop terrorism. Why do you think a peaceful approach would cause this, when as far as I can see, a 30 year long peaceful approach has resulted in a deteriorating situation?
Richard Henry Morgan – 6/
I post this not in dispute with anything you wrote, but just in relation to Krugman’s assertion (and by implication, similar assertions by Alterman, etc.,). I haven’t done a thorough check of the methodology of this paper, but since neither Krugman nor Alterman offered any methodology at all, there it is.