Countering Global Insurgency

From: Counterinsurgency by David Kilcullen

Countering Global Insurgency

Since the United States declared a global “war on terrorism” following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, some analysts have argued that terrorism is merely a tactic, thus a war on terrorism makes little sense. Francis Fukuyama’s comment that ” the war on terror” is a misnomer… terrorism is only a means to an end; in this regard, a war on terrorism makes no more sense than a war on submarines” is typical. This view is irrelevant in a policy sense (the term “war on terrorism” is a political, not an analytical, expression) but nonetheless accurate. Indeed, to paraphrase Clausewitz, to wage this war effectively, we must understand its true nature: neither mistaking it for nor trying to turn it into something it is not. We must distinguish Al Qaeda and the broader militant movements it symbolizes—entities that use terrorism—from the tactic of terrorism itself. In practice, as I will demonstrate, the “war on terrorism” is a defensive war against a worldwide Islamist jihad, a diverse confederation of movements that uses terrorism as its principle—but not its sole—tactic.

– Excerpt from,  Counterinsurgency by David Kilcullen  -2010

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