“It’s Not the Cold War”

Mark Steyn does a good job identifying the forest, as he says, so that it isn’t lost in the trees of the Mumbai (aka Bombay) terror attack.

He’s warning again against falling back into thinking of this as a law enforcement problem, when what it is is asymmetrical warfare.

I don’t think that he gives enough credit, however, to the depth of understanding that American and other intelligence services have about the jihadist ideological movement, and its organization, within Islam. He writes as if this is six years ago and that the people who know and fight this stuff are still puzzling about how these attacks form up and aren’t working from a detailed network map.

This particular one might be a bit of a mystery at the moment, because obviously it made it through the sieve, but soon enough the principals behind it, I believe, will be identified and slated for extinction.

One of the problems with this sort of war in the shadows is that success can’t be publicized. Taking down cells and networks is no doubt serious and detailed work, and it doesn’t help that work to let the world know much about it. The downside of that is that would-be attackers and their enablers perhaps don’t get quite clear enough of a picture of how efficiently they will meet their own fate.

That this Mumbai attack might be more “local” to the long-running conflicts involving Muslims in India could mean its connectedness to global jihad is somehow less significant, but it’s very unlikely that those who brewed it up can’t be run down and handled appropriately. And much sooner than they might imagine.

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