Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

William Lind, "Cops who think," On War #240, November 13, 2007.

For those who believe the "terrorist" threat is waning, Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat should provide a needed wake-up call. Al-Qaeda may today be less able to carry off 9/11 style operations than it was when it had its Afghan sanctuaries, but it has replaced that operational model with a model based on "leaderless resistance." The "leaderless resistance" model is less vulnerable to counter-attack by state armed forces and may, over time, also be more deadly.

The good news here is that unlike the military, the cops get it. Perhaps that should not surprise us. Several years ago, I gave my "Four Generations of Modern War" talk to a police conference. I did not modify the talk for a police audience; I told them I did not know enough about policing to be able to do that. They had to translate it from military to police terms themselves.

While perhaps 10% of the average military audience gets what I am saying, 90% of the cops got it. For cops, the real world is the street, not the internal world of promotion and budget politics that absorbs most American military officers. Outward focus, it seems, makes a difference.

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