[lit-ideas] Hersch-oo: Sarin in the Fog of War

  • From: Scribe1865@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 18:17:07 EDT

Teemu wrote:
>Response to threat would preferably be preceded by
threat analysis of some kind, which would certainly
include an assessment of not only potential attackers
will but also their ability to to inflict damage. That
"Islamic Theofascism" or whatever seeks the end of
Western Civilization (or whatever) is a long way from
being actually able to carry it out.

How long after Iran develops its nuclear weapons capacity will nuclear 
devices explode in US cities? Or UK cities? It could be sooner than any of us 

Teemu writes: "arguments for removing various
legal limits tend to assume that everything would go
more smoothly if only police, army, intelligence
agencies, etc. wouldn't have rules constraining their
behaviour. And I've never seen this assumption backed
in any way."

The failure to kill Mullah Omar is a good example of bureaucratic constraint 
losing an objective. However, Teemu's point is well made. Constraint is there 
for a reason, namely to reign in incompetence and to make people accountable.

How to reconcile this? I read recently that US intel operates on a three-day 
decision cycle; meaning that it takes us three days to process intelligence, 
verify it, and act upon it, but that the terrorists are operating "inside our 
intelligence cycle," meaning that they mobilize, act, and disperse before we 
are able to commit forces to counter them.

Wondering if that was Sarin in the fog of war,

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  • » [lit-ideas] Hersch-oo: Sarin in the Fog of War