Terrorist strategy as an auto-immune response

terrorismAlex at the Yorkshire Ranter reviews The Accidental Guerrilla by David Kilcullen and discusses how the strategy behind Al-Qa’ida-inspired terrorism can be thought of in the same terms as an auto-immune disease:

Specifically, auto-immune war is a strategy, but its tactical implementation is the creation of false positive responses. Security obsession gums up the economy with inefficiencies. Terrorism terrorises the public; security theatre keeps them that way. As Kilcullen points out, every day, millions of travellers are systematically reminded of terrorism by government security precautions. Profiling measures subject entire communities to indignity and waste endless hours of police time. Vast sums of money are spent on counterproductive equipment programs and unlikely techno-fixes. National identity cards and monster databases are the specific symptoms of this pathology in the UK, just as idiotic militarism is in the US.

It is the best description of how terrorism actually works as a method of warfare I have come across. Interested readers might also be interested in Wasp by Eric Frank Russell, which deals with terrorism in a practical and humorous fashion.

[image from Dagfinn Ilmari Mannsåker on flickr]