Required Reading

In a WaPo column, author and military historian Caleb Carr argues that we need to broaden the definition of “War on Terror.” Read:

Terrorism, as defined by military historians, has been a constant, ugly feature of warfare, an aberrant tactic akin to slavery, piracy and genocide. One of the reasons that some of us argued throughout the 1990s for undertaking of genuine war on terrorism (involving the military in addition to intelligence and law enforcement) was the notion that we might finally declare the tactic — like those other aberrant belligerent methods — to be out of bounds, for the armed forces of civilized nations and non-state organizations alike.

It’s true that both slavery and piracy are still practiced, but only in remote corners of the world; certainly genocide is still with us, but its employment is now cause for immediate sanction and forceful reaction (theoretically, at any rate) by the United Nations. Banning such tactics and actively stamping out their practice has been the work of some of the great political and military minds and leaders of the past two centuries. Now it is time — past time, really — for terrorism to take its place as a similarly proscribed and anachronistic practice.


There’s more thought-provoking stuff in there — and you probably won’t find you like all the dark places Caleb’s logic leads. That’s what makes it today’s Required Reading.



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