Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Are We Losing the War on Terror, Incompetent, or Both?

Apparently, the federal Terrorist Watch List has grown to have over 750,000 names. The list is growing by about 200,000 names per year. If we were winning the "War on Terror" wouldn't you expect the list to get shorter? Don Rumsfeld once pondered, in a famous memorandum,

Today, we lack metrics to know if we are winning or losing the global war on terror. Are we capturing, killing or deterring and dissuading more terrorists every day than the madrassas and the radical clerics are recruiting, training and deploying against us?
If the Terrorist Watch List is getting bigger then maybe we have found a metric. Or . . .

Maybe the Terrorist Watch List is incredibly unreliable. Consider, for example, how badly the Department of Justice updates information. Look at the FBI's own "Most Wanted" poster for Usama Bin Laden. Notice what's missing? Any mention of 9/11. And don't forget that the military took credit for killing the same guy in Iraq twice.

So, I'm voting for incompetence in the domestic war on terror, not necessarily that we are losing that war. But then again, if we are so incompetent in fighting the war, odds are we are losing, too.

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