Sunday, November 12th, 2017
It is time to recognize that terrorists are not constrained by our organizational mandates, lack of imagination or fixation with past tactics. They will continue to change targets and tactics which exploits our open society. Politicians continue to tell us how they will defeat terrorism and make us safe but a commitment to engaged citizenship and the fundamental American freedoms in the face of the threat is the bedrock of countering terrorism.
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017
The United States has new leadership. Among many notable changes made immediately by the new administration, the president has authorized religion-based immigration restrictions and has taken action to focus solely on Islam as a source of violent extremism within the United States. These early actions indicate a newly institutionalized “Islamophobia” that could prove to be disastrous for national security efforts if not addressed correctly by security practitioners.
Tuesday, April 19th, 2016
Author: John Mueller and Mark G. Stewart
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2016
Reviewed by: Jack Anderson
Practically any educated European from 1480 to 1680 understood that civilization was besieged by a vast and malevolent hidden society of witches literally hell bent on destroying it. “The reality,” says sociologist Rodney Stark, “of these malefactors was beyond question.” Thousands had confessed to their crimes once apprehended. Faced with such a terrifying and indisputable threat, the only “reasonable and decent” thing to do, says Stark, was “stamp it out”–which he notes is tragically just what reasonable and decent people did. Historian Hugh-Trevor Roper observed that the “most ferocious of witch-burning princes, we often find, are also the most cultured patrons of contemporary learning.” Tens of thousands of “witches” were hunted, tried, and killed during this period.
Early in Chasing Ghosts: The Policing of Terrorism, John Mueller and Mark G. Stewart compare the contemporary struggle against terrorism to medieval witch hunts. While often painted as genocide or gynocide, the extermination of witches was not an act of prejudice or ignorance, but rather the terrible application of reason and capability to a false premise. Mueller and Stewart are not arguing that terrorists don’t exist, rather that we exaggerate their capabilities, and in doing so justify actions and expenses that are out of proportion to the actual threat.