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Showing posts from May, 2009

New York Terrorist Plot a Test for Domestic Counterterrorism Strategy

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The recently released by FBI information about the arrests of four suspects who allegedly planned to blow up a few synagogues in NYC and shoot down military planes with a ground-to-air Stinger missile system will now become, perhaps, the greatest test for the argument that counterterrorism could be conducted successfully via the traditional court systems, without extrajudicial methods, such as Guantanamo or similar renditions.

[caption id="attachment_148" align="aligncenter" width="249" caption="The targets of the alleged terrorists, courtesy of BBC"][/caption]

To examine this I look into the particulars of each approach.

The Nuclear Ticking Scenario in Pakistan: Deal or No Deal?

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Watching Pakistan dealing with the growing menace of extremists inside the country for the past decade or so reminds of the popular game "Deal or No Deal." After every round of political soup opera the stakes are raised, and the Western allies, primarily the US is asked "deal or no deal?" Then the game goes on into a new round. This comparison would have been entertaining had it not been so demonically tragic for the ordinary Pakistani clamped down between corrupt government(s), unpredictable military institution, and blinded religious fanatics-idealists. The latest round is particularly 'entertaining' because of what seems to be at stake – Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. So now we have ever more emboldened, ever more galvanized, and ever more determined Pakistani Taliban movement, a shaky, unpopular, and divided government, a finalist in the form of the US, and a military 'banker.' Do we have a deal?

Before going along with this crude comparison, …