November 30, 2008

DAVID ALTMAN: Lessons from Mumbai: “Today, we see the emergence of a dark, new, and different army, with new branches that include all the components of a military, yet still utilize the terror doctrine. The advantage of terrorist armies is first and foremost the fact they are not subjected to any law or international convention. They do not face any pressure and they are not accountable to anyone. They tie the hands of the responding force, which is the only side subjected to conventions pertaining to human rights, war captives, and the targeting of civilians.”

UPDATE: Reader Steve Turney emails: “David Altman calls for creating ‘an international anti-terror force… this force must be specialized, it must study the new threat, and it must be able to provide an immediate response by forces trained especially to that end.’ If the Indian forces were slow to respond, how much faster would an international force be? Where would they be based? Murtha might recommend Okinawa.”

Yeah. I think Altman meant something a bit more preemptive, and not reactive. But if you want first responders with guns to be fast, then the first responders have to already be on the scene. Which means they need to be the kind of people previously described as “victims,” only with guns . . . .

ANOTHER UPDATE: Related item from Andrew Bostom.