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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Leveling the Asymmetric GWOT

A map depicting the battlefields in the intern...Image via Wikipedia

One MOAB at a Time

Related source » Anti-Terror Sensor That Scans Crowds for Bombers Tested in U.K. -
[This related source is recommended in its entirety.]

“LONDON – A sensor that can scan huge crowds and pick out a lone suicide bomber by homing in on hidden explosives has undergone official tests, The Sun reported Thursday.
The revolutionary gadget -- similar to airport scanners but top secret -- is believed to silently analyze materials using the unique 'terahertz' waves emitted by different substances.
British government scientists began testing it a year ago on mock crowds where one person in every 75 carried a 'Person-Borne Improvised Explosive Device'.”
— Published July 07, 2011 | NewsCore

The new scanner/sensor sounds like a promising advance in preempting homicide bombers. But preemption does little to offset the asymmetry of this decade-long global war on terror (GWOT). The better defense would be a strong offense, one that will level the "playing field" of this asymmetric war.

In order to level the playing field, the Western democracies engaged in this war against terror must offset the source of the asymmetry. That source is the relatively low price paid by the agents for each act of terror. To paraphrase Isaac Newton, "Every action has a corresponding cost/benefit analysis".

The terrorists have done their math. The homicide bombers have been enticed by promises of glorious sexual favors in their "Valhalla" and/or the spoils of their posthumous glory for their beneficiaries. Each terrorist's cost is his miserable life. As for the bombers' sponsors, their benefit is the terror, death and destruction inflicted on their sworn enemy. Their cost lies somewhere between negligible and vanishingly small. So the benefits for bombers and sponsors alike are perceived to be much greater than their corresponding costs.

As for the West, the history of the past decade shows that the cost of engaging the enemy, in units of blood, wealth, and tears, has been enormous. And the only benefit appears to be an interminable standoff. It can be argued that the West's calculation needs more work. As the saying goes, we need more bang for the buck — we need to level the asymmetry. We must raise the price of waging war for the terrorists.

It has been lamented that the terrorist networks themselves own neither territory nor infrastructure. But that is not the case for their sponsoring rogue-states. Everyone knows who they are, for they make no effort to hide it. The West has made enormous efforts to bring down terror-sponsoring regimes, replacing them with Western democracy. These efforts have yielded mixed results, at best. Perhaps it would be more cost-effective to ratchet back on the nation-building and consider a tried and true alternative: assured destructive retaliation for each terrorist attempt, whether successful or not. Tit for tat; nay, Grand Teton for tat.

There is a very cost-effective can of whoop-ass that can be delivered by a single B2 tactical mission. The clear message would be: any single terrorist mission, regardless of its outcome, will trigger a special delivery. No exceptions. Any bets on which side can outlast the other?

Shock and awe, mofo, one MOAB at a time.

Post 1,672 Leveling the Asymmetric GWOT

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