Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What This Means Going Forward

I love that the following two articles came out around the same time:

The first, an op-ed published on Dec. 28, 2009, by Christopher Hitchens informs his readers that we all pay a heavy price for the increased risk of terrorism (no surprise there) and there is nothing we can do about it. No government programs or policies will have any effect on the terrorists' zeal for attacking us or our way of life. Nor does Hitchens seem to have any suggestions of his own.

The second, an analytical essay published in the Nov./Dec. issue of Foreign Affairs by Jessica Stern, directly contradicts Hitchens' claims (unfortunately, you have to be a subscriber to read the whole thing). In her article, she directly contradicts Hitchens' view that no current government programs can or will ever work. Based on results from programs Saudi Arabia (of all places), the radicalization of potential, or current, terrorists is indeed possible as long as the programs are well thought-out. More detailed and analytical than Hitchens' piece (and frankly more helpful), Stern outlines the initiatives already in place and the discussions within the Obama administration to incorporate some of the lessons learned into future foreign policy frameworks.

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