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TransformationThroughTrainingIssueNo6December201421sectionpositsoneindirectconsequenceofcompetinganalysesnamelyafteradecadeofAmericanledasymmetricalwarfareandcounter-terrorismtheabilityofNATOtofightaconventionalwarhavingatrophied.TheessayconcludesthatanalysesofAlQaedathateitherdoubtornegateitsplaceattheepicentreofterrorismoverthelastdecadeorperceiveitasareligiousthreathaveledtocompetingcounter-terrorismmeasuresthathavecompromisedeffortstorespondeffectivelytoAlQaedaandobscuredanddistortedthetruenatureoftheorganization.Section1.TheHighTideThegoalsofthenewgenerationofterroristsembraceamysticalalmosttranscendentaldivinely-inspiredimperative.Hoffman1997SchoolsofThoughtThecostoffailingtorecognizeAlQaedaasanewgenerationofterrorisminthe1990swasbelievedbymanyattheturnofthecenturytohaveledtothecatastropheof911Crenshaw2007.New-Terrorismhoweverwasneitherasynonymfortherecentactsofterrorismsurrounding911noraclassificationofatypeofterrorismperse.ItwasaschoolofthoughtthathaddevelopedwiththepassingofthecomparativecertaintyoftheColdWarandadescentintowhatmanyperceivedtobethebeginningsofaclashbetweencivilizations.ItwaschristenedinthebloodoftheIslamicRevolutionof1979andconfirmedandreconfirmedinitsfearofIslamoverthesubsequenttwodecades-withtheMujahedeensvictoryovertheSovietsin1989andthebirthoftheIslamicBombin1999.DespiteprecedentsforthenetworksofcommonpurposeTucker2001thathadarisenandrhetoricthatwasinfluencedmorebythepoliticsofnationalagendasthanthestrategicobjectivesofareligiousideologybytheterroriststhemselvesnewterrorismhadbecomesynonymouswithIslamandtheunendingstateofwarQutb1964thatAlQaedawasquicklyperceivedtobewaging.Withtheattackof911thisMenacingFaceofNewTerrorismhadsurpassedAumShinrikyosdivinelyinspiredimperativeandgonebeyondanythingthatcouldbereasonedwithorthathadhithertobeenseenandHoffmanwasnotaloneinthisanalysisseeLesseretal.1999Neumann2009Juergensmeyer2000Laqueur2001andKegley2002.AlQaedasmetamorphosisfromarelativelysubjectiveepithettoareligiousphenomenonhencenotonlygaverisetoamonopolyoncounter-terrorismmeasuresbutarguablysooncametofuelwhatwastobecomethelongestwarinAmericanhistory-new-terrorismhadrenderedpreviousanalysesofterrorismbasedonestablishedgroupsobsoleteLesser1999andventuredonbecomingattheveryleastacounter-terrorismmeasureinitself.Thecounter-terrorismpoliciesandtheresourcesemplacedtosustainthemledtothirteenyearsofdecentralizedwarfarethatnotonlycardinallyaffectedtheintegrityofageoldalliancesandthedtentebetweenEastandWestbutdemonstrablyNATOsabilitytofightaconventionalwar.Priortoleavingofficein2011theUSDefenceSecretarywarnedNATOfacedtheveryrealpossibilityofcollectivemilitaryirrelevance.TheschoolsofthoughthadnotonlydistortedperceptionsofAlQaedabutshapedresponsestothemfromtheimplementationofshoottokillpoliciesLambert2011andtheAfghanizationandcivilianizationofNATOtoareluctancetounderstandingthethreatposedbyextremistgroupsontheirownterms-irrespectiveoftheirrelationshiptoAlQaeda.ReligiousAnalysisOnereasonthesenewrationalesforcounter-terrorismenteredthevernacularofmainstreampoliticsshortlyafter911wasnotbecausetheattackwasunprecedentedbutbecausetherewaslittlearchitectureinplacetoenableareadilycomprehensiveunderstandingofthescaleornatureoftheattack.Hence911catapultedtheintentofpoliticalviolencebeyondordinaryterrorismforanalystsandthenarrowedscopeoftheirresearchbegantostreamlinethetaskofanalysisitselfCrenshaw2007.IthadbestowedalevelofauthoritybeyonditssignificanceandthenatureoftheresponsesoonforcedAlQaedaintotakingonapara-militaryrole.OtherthannationalistsentimenttheperspectiveofthevictimsandthatofthegeneralpublictherewaslittlebutbewildermentandforthesecondtimeinitshistorytheUnitedStatesthemostpowerfulcountryintheworldhadbeenbroughttoitsknees.Henceirrespectiveofanylegitimacyindrawingparallelsbetween11thSeptember2001andDecember7th1941referencestoPearlHarbourwereimmediateandpoignantlyshedlightontheappetitethatdevelopedforanalysesofAlQaedainwhichitwasframedasanexceptionalthreatthatcouldonlybedestroyedbywarSincethepoliticsofreasoncannotdefeatapocalypticnihilismwemustfight.MichaelIgnatieff2001ThearguedtransitionofterrorismfromarationalmodernandpoliticalphenomenonwithaclearlineageofdevelopmentintoanapocalypticnihilisticandinterminableattackontheJahiliWorldnotonlyappealedbutwastheonlyavenuefortheunderstandablyconsequentialistreactionstothecatastropheof911asopposedtothealternativeofengaginginlong-termsustainablepoliticalsolutionstheanalysisofAlQaedaasanexceptionalthreathadbecomepolicy.Byconstructing911asanexceptionalthreatHellmichBehnke2012itfollowedthattheUnitedStateswasintrinsicallyexceptionalandassuchenjoyedtheadvantageofexceptionalpowerandprivilegesintheinternationalsystem.Withinmonthsthereasoningbehindextra-judicialproceedingsextra-judicialkillingspre-emptionextra-ordinaryrenditionandremotewarfarehadbydefaultfollowedsuitwiththisanomaly.