Power And Dollar

Relevance Of Talking To Al Qaeda?

UK’s former Northern Ireland police chief Sir Hugh Orde says “talking and engaging” is the way to end terrorist campaigns.  Having the policing experience against the terrorist campaign by IRA makes his statement a lot more news worthy than some academic or peace activist.  What justifies his argument?  How is his argument relevant to us?  Who should listen to his argument other than the US?  May be China?


What supports the argument?


He pointed out that no terrorist campaign has been ended without negotiation.  Terrorism is very cost effective.  Terrorism takes very little resources to be operational and terrorism consumes a lot of resources to police, be it Afghanistan military operation style or Northern Ireland civilian style of policing.  


This is a result of modern technology.  Technology makes destructions effective.  It took a lot of man power, weapons, management and communication to kill 2,974 lives when you are using swords or even rifles.  However, it took 19 people and other back-end support operation personnel with 4 airliners to kill 2, 974 lives. 


How much does it take to remove Taliban from Afghanistan? 

Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan cost 400 – 800 million USD for its 25 days operation and ½ to 1 billion / month afterwards.  


This is the cost on the US military alone and not including cost by UK and other countries and no including the lives lost at both sides.  Did it achieve the objective of neutralizing Al Qaeda?


That is only the direct cost, the military expenditure.  What about the economic impact?  Increase in fiscal expenditure at that scale will decrease civilian output, create credit crunch, i.e. crowding out effect.  


What is the relevance?


Certainly, terrorists are running in fear of being captured.  But is it about their fear or about our “domestic Tranquility”, “general Welfare”, “Liberty”, and “our Posterity”?  Do we enjoy spending 500 million dollars to make a few hundred or thousands terrorists running and hiding in fear of being captured?  


Religion is blamed for terrorism.  However, religion is only a lighted match thrown to the gasoline, no different than an inspiring political ideology.  The cause is about the living conditions and the social injustice of those participating populations (Remember the quote from Harry Truman?).  That is the brewing ground. 


Negotiating to the terrorists is no different than negotiating to another power broker.  The refusal to negotiate is not about right or wrong, it is about refusing to negotiate to a non-state actor (we already have enough countries in this world.  How many more do we have to deal with?).  One becomes a terrorist when one sees nothing else to lose in life and motivated by ideology for a higher calling.  How can they lose in a war?


Military conflicts are not about winning.  Wars are waged to resolve differences.  

When the US becomes more independent of oil, the US will adopt a foreign policy that is less manipulative in the Middle East.  When that happens, a lot of root causes will slowly move out of the way.  Otherwise, we will just be muddling along. 

That is what China needs to keep in mind when they think of Tibet again.

The $ Relevance

So, what Obama promises will have positive effects to resolve conflicts.  And they are destined to be tactical.  The fundementals cannot be changed during his presidency.  Therefore, the fundementals of security companies (not necessary military, defense type) will not change.  This type of security stocks would be emergency response, monitoring, data encryption, and auditing.  Credit will continue to be expensive, aside from the fact it has been too low for the last decade and many other factors.


May 30, 2008 - Posted by | Barack Obama, Current Affairs, Current Events, Democrats, economics, election, Election 2008, obama, opinion, politics, Thoughts, wordpress-political-blogs

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