A must-read

Christopher Harmon has written the must-read of the month "The Myth of the Invincible Terrorist". In this invaluable essay for Policy Review, Harmon seeks to explode the myth that terror cannot be defeated. Among the tactics that have proved successful:

1) Decapitation: sine so many of these terror groups are reliant on the leadership of a charismatic figure, neutralizing the leaders can lead to the group being weakened. Israel has learned this lesson quite well. Unfortunately, post-Watergate reforms have restricted the ability of America to employ assassination as a weapon in its arsenal. How much easier life in Iraq would be had America sought to neutralize Sadr? The hub and spoke system of many terror groups must be disrupted.

2) The natural evolution of terror groups. Lives of terrorists are miserable. Lonely, poor, wretched. Eventually terror fatigue takes hold. When terror attacks are prevented, terrorists grow bored and leave the terror group.

3) Internal strife besets terror groups. Power struggles, ideological splits, offers of amnesty-all can weaken terror groups from within.Personal foibles can gnaw at the sense of group solidarity,

4) Sabotage from without: Governments battling terror groups can plant moles within the organization to boost the paranoia that often effects these groups-effecting internal cohesion. Acts of sabotage can be used to create a sense of impotency and doubt-leading to disaffiliation and demoralization. Governments and the media can ridicule the leaders of these groups for cowardice or for being self-serving egoists.

5) Eroding the base of support: Terrorists can be their own worst enemies. Preying on "support groups" is not a winning strategy. If supporters feel the brunt of pressure from offering refuge to terrorists they will be less likely to support them and more likely to turn on them. This is particularly true if the terrorists attacks harm their supporters. We have seen this nihilism have these effects in Jordan and , recently, in Iraq. native populations are working against terrorists in their midst.

The whole essay is an insightful, very readable antidote to the defeatism which effects so many in the media and in the Halls of Congress. Terror does not have to be treated as a "criminal" issue or treated as an annoyance (the John Kerry approach). It can be defeated if our goals are clear, we are patient, and we choose to use the power we have been so reluctant to employ.
Christopher Harmon has written the must-read of the month "The Myth of the Invincible Terrorist". In this invaluable essay for Policy Review, Harmon seeks to explode the myth that terror cannot be defeated. Among the tactics that have proved successful:

1) Decapitation: sine so many of these terror groups are reliant on the leadership of a charismatic figure, neutralizing the leaders can lead to the group being weakened. Israel has learned this lesson quite well. Unfortunately, post-Watergate reforms have restricted the ability of America to employ assassination as a weapon in its arsenal. How much easier life in Iraq would be had America sought to neutralize Sadr? The hub and spoke system of many terror groups must be disrupted.

2) The natural evolution of terror groups. Lives of terrorists are miserable. Lonely, poor, wretched. Eventually terror fatigue takes hold. When terror attacks are prevented, terrorists grow bored and leave the terror group.

3) Internal strife besets terror groups. Power struggles, ideological splits, offers of amnesty-all can weaken terror groups from within.Personal foibles can gnaw at the sense of group solidarity,

4) Sabotage from without: Governments battling terror groups can plant moles within the organization to boost the paranoia that often effects these groups-effecting internal cohesion. Acts of sabotage can be used to create a sense of impotency and doubt-leading to disaffiliation and demoralization. Governments and the media can ridicule the leaders of these groups for cowardice or for being self-serving egoists.

5) Eroding the base of support: Terrorists can be their own worst enemies. Preying on "support groups" is not a winning strategy. If supporters feel the brunt of pressure from offering refuge to terrorists they will be less likely to support them and more likely to turn on them. This is particularly true if the terrorists attacks harm their supporters. We have seen this nihilism have these effects in Jordan and , recently, in Iraq. native populations are working against terrorists in their midst.

The whole essay is an insightful, very readable antidote to the defeatism which effects so many in the media and in the Halls of Congress. Terror does not have to be treated as a "criminal" issue or treated as an annoyance (the John Kerry approach). It can be defeated if our goals are clear, we are patient, and we choose to use the power we have been so reluctant to employ.