Why No New Attacks

The official explanation for the fact that we have not suffered a successful terrorist attack since 9/11 is that our Armed Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan have taken out the enemy’s training bases, disrupted their supply lines, demoralized them and thus kept them at bay. Now, it could well be that official explanation is correct, but it doesn’t seem likely. Al Qaeda and other terrorists groups do not constitute a traditional army with fixed headquarters and a single chain of command. Much like the Russian Mafia, they operates in small, mobile cells, ideological united but strategically disconnected from each other. Capture members of one cell and no amount of interrogation can extract from them reliable information about the other cells. And because their weaponry and methods of combat are so simple—roadside bombs, suicide bomber, hidden in—their fighters could just as readily be trained in anywhere in the world, including right here in the U.S. Recall that the 9/11 hijackers got their scant flight training-all they needed to crash their commandeered jet liners into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon-- in California, Arizona and Florida. And most were citizens of Saudi Arabia, a major trading partner and ally of ours. None were Iraqi or Afghan. Recall also how two homeless misfits terrorized Virginia, Maryland and DC for weeks with nothing more than a deer rifle and an old car.

The enemy could easily have followed up on 9/11 had they wanted to, but at the time they had nothing to gain by it. For all intent and purposes, they were winning the war. They had rendered air travel in the America and the civilized world a painstaking ordeal. They had forced us to squander billions and lose face by sucking us into two mindless nation-building wars. They kept us on edge and made us suspicious of one another and our institutions. And they knew that another 9/11 would only bring the nation together under a common cause, the last thing they wanted. Of late, Al Qaeda and other terrorists groups have attempted a comeback, but in each case it was our national and local law-enforcement agencies, with the collaboration of private citizens, that have thwarted them. It’s unlikely that our military action in Iraq and Afghanistan had anything to do with it.

No comments:

#bookmarks-footer{ display: none; }