Tuesday, May 3, 2011

observations in the wake of OBL's death

Some observations in the wake of Osama bin Laden's death:

(1) In spite of all the fears we have, we're among the safest, most secure people who have ever lived.

(2) National unity is nice, but uniting around an assassination, no matter how richly deserved: not so nice  (the President's call for unity notwithstanding.)

(3) bin Laden and al Queda never presented an existential threat to the US, to Western civilization, or to our way of life.  Only our reaction to him and to them could existentially threaten our society.

(4) There is really only one thing to worry about with respect to al Queda and Islamic terror: the acquisition of nuclear weapons by terrorists.  We can pretty effectively prevent hijackings, mass murders, other terrorist "spectaculars" with modest defensive measures like changing airline procedures, selectively guarding high value, high risk facilities like chemical factories and famous buildings.  We should really only be focused on halting nuclear proliferation.  That task is technical, diplomatic, economic, intelligence-gathering in nature, with only a weak militaristic component. 

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