Fat Steve's Blatherings

Friday, September 24, 2004

Remarkable Posts on Terror Cells

      Global Guerrillas, a site I just discovered, (hat tip: Belmont Club) has two remarkable posts on the terrorists cells.  I strongly recommend reading them both.

      Briefly, the author concludes that there are certain optimum sizes for terror cells; small groups should be five to nine members, medium sized groups should be 25-80 members; the 9/11 hijackers evolved such a structure; al-Qaeda has figured out ways to support such cells; they will be very hard to stop.

      Belmont Club adds the thought that state sponsorship is THE key to terrorists growing beyond that size.  Destroying known terrorist training camps and overthrowing govts. that support terrorism are the keys to limiting these groups.  Read that one too.



  • It may be that crushing state sponsorship will in fact reduce terrorist aggression. However that point should not be regarded as having been proven beyond the shadow of doubt.

    Very large lawless areas are effectively shadow states. The Afghanistan bombings in 2001 crushed the Taliban and destroyed some terrorists who might have tried to organize large groups. However it triggered warlordism and opium commerce.

    Afghanistan might be more dangerous or less dangerous without the Taliban. It's reckless to say that because no "state" is sponsoring the opium farmers, they are not capable of forming large networks.

    If one overthrows a government, one might well empower drug lords or similar network-building criminals to function as a shadow government.

    Formally recognized states are easier to spy on than criminals.

    I hope this serves to explain my doubt of the claim that overthrowing governments will prevent terrorism.

    By Blogger Publius Americanus, at 7:37 AM  

  •       No, Publius, it doesn't explain it at all.

          We didn't attack Afghanistan as a means of surpressing the drug trade.  We did it because the Taliban govt. was giving al-Qaeda sanctuary, hosting terrorist training camps, and serving as a base of attack on the U.S.

          And now they aren't.  Al-Qaeda has had most of its top people killed, the rest are in hiding, there hasn't been a major terrorist attack in the U.S. since the invasion, if you leave out the Beltway snipers there haven't been any terrorist incidents in the U.S. that I've noticed.

          "What do you want, mermaids?"

    By Blogger Stephen M. St. Onge, at 4:37 AM  

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