Robert Reich on War & Peace

Former Secretary of Labor; Democratic Challenger MA Governor

War against terrorism requires better intelligence-gathering

Even if we stamped out all global terrorist organizations, Americans still wouldn’t be safe from terrorism. With advanced technology, a lone psychopath can kill thousands. This doesn’t mean that we throw up our hands in despair and conclude that there’s no way to win against terrorism. But it does suggest that we have to be much cleverer. We’re so used to fighting enemy states, hitting military targets, and gaining geographic territory that we’re in danger of losing sight of the real goal. What’s most needed in a war against terrorism is better intelligence. That 19 foreigners were able to hijack and pilot four US jetliners simultaneously and ram three of them into their targets signifies an intelligence breakdown of breathtaking proportion. Gaining control over a country run by despicable people doesn’t necessarily improve our intelligence capacity. Bombs are no substitute for agents adept in foreign languages and cultures who can monitor and infiltrate terrorist networks.
Source: The American Prospect, vol.12 no.21, “Trouncing the Taliban” , Dec 3, 2001

Must examine terrorism’s context and US role

The righteousness of our cause shouldn’t prevent us from asking why so many people around the world who aren’t terrorists hate America. Finding means of ameliorating the hatred isn’t appeasing terrorists. Rather, it’s looking at terrorism’s larger context.

Of course, we must proceed against terrorists with full force. Yet it’s also important to understand that our checkered history has shaped the understandings of many poor nations whose cooperation we need for that force to be effective.

Source: The American Prospect, vol.12, no.19, “How to Be Tough” , Nov 5, 2001

Other governors on War & Peace: Robert Reich on other issues:
MA Gubernatorial:
Deval Patrick
MA Senatorial:
John Kerry
Scott Brown

Newly seated 2010:
NJ Chris Christie
VA Bob McDonnell

Term-limited as of Jan. 2011:
AL Bob Riley
CA Arnold Schwarzenegger
GA Sonny Perdue
HI Linda Lingle
ME John Baldacci
MI Jennifer Granholm
NM Bill Richardson
OK Brad Henry
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PA Ed Rendell
RI Donald Carcieri
SC Mark Sanford
SD Mike Rounds
TN Phil Bredesen
WY Dave Freudenthal
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Page last updated: Nov 23, 2011