Intelligence (Not IQ)
I am a strong advocate of prevention and deterrence. Although I believe that the threat of punishment may be enough to keep terrorists (and criminals) from performing harmful acts of violence and crime, I much more strongly believe that prevention through education, research, and intelligence is far more crucial.
In a game of chess, defending your pieces will not likely win you the game. You win by being a step ahead of your opponent, by having an understanding of their methods and plans (intelligence), and by executing your own strategy effectively. To clarify, deterrence won’t win you the game (CIA & The War on Terrorism — Central Intelligence Agency).
It now seems that the War on Terror has become more vague. Terrorism can be anything: violence, propoganda, flagged internet search words, leaking classified information, whistleblowing, etc. Who are we fighting?
I feel that imperialism has and always will be a concern (The Last Samurai, Avatar). Meddling in other people’s business has never helped on a personal level, why should our constant intervention in international affairs be any different? The real issue is that we play police in a world with vague morals.
The rules that govern our country are different from the rules that govern dozens of others. We don’t even seem to have the same set of morals. Our views differ not only because of religion, but because we are not the same. No two people are alike, and even more so across the globe. Of course we will have different opinions (political, religious, food), but having a decent education should teach you a similar moral code.
I learned once about Utilitarianism, which on paper is an excellent theory. However, in practice it is similar to Communism in that it fails. Really it should be much simpler, we inherently know what is right and what is wrong, but through various experiences morals can change. Take for example the terrorists on the 9/11 planes. Something must have gone drastically wrong in their education to have brought them to believe that the murder of thousands of people was somehow justifiable. It all boils down to education.
I believe we will win the war through education. Not only do we have to teach our own citizens the fundamental moral code, but every country should be able to do the same for their citizens. Many many things have an impact on war including religion, economics and resources. Although the situation is much much much more complex than this, it begins with education.
A reminder: if you see something suspicious don’t hesitate to call 311. If you see something dangerous call 911.
“An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind” – Mahatma Gandhi.