ZenPundit
Monday, November 08, 2004
 
THE WAR ON TERROR IN THE CONTEXT OF EVERYTHING ELSE

FORCES OF DISCONNECTION

Rogue States
Gatekeeper Elites
Failed States
Implicit Villains
Non-State Actors
WMD Proliferators
International Criminal Networks
Secessionist Guerillas
Superempowered Individuals
Terror Networks
Islamism
Transnational Progressivism
Centrifugal Nationalism
Totalitarian Statism
Protectionism


THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR

al Qaida
The Taliban
Islamic Jihad
Iraqi Insurgency
Abu Sayyaf
Call to Combat
Hamas
Monotheism and Holy War
Hezbollah
Hizb ut-Tahrir
IMU
Al-Aqsa Brigades
HUA HUJI HUM
Ansar al-Islam
Pushtun tribal groups
Pakistani Extremist Parties
Syrian Intelligence
Iranian Pasdaran and Intelligence
Palestinian Authority
4th Generation Warfare
Islamism
Anti-Globalism
Pan-Arabism
WMD Proliferation
Kantian Rule-set Advocates
Extreme Secular Left
Syria
Iran
Pakistan
Saudi Arabia
North Korea
Non-Islamist Terrorist groups


ISLAMIST MOVEMENT

Terrorist paramilitary fighters
Operational Support Cells
Martyrdom Operations
Arab Afghans
Jihadi Network
Muslim Brotherhood
Legal Islamist Political Parties
Radical Madrassa Network
Islamist Charities
Financial Supporters
Extremist Scholars/Sheiks
Semi-Official State Media
Islamist Websites
Salafism
Shiite Rule of the Jurisprudent
Qtubist Ideology
The Khwarij Tendency

 
Comments:
I like the list, a very good breakdown. I think that you could call the 'forces of disconnectedness' causes, the 'Islamist movements' effects, and the 'Global War on Terror' targets, which can come and go (more or less). If that re-naming is atleast somewhat accurate, then it could be helpful to look at our strategy in this light. Since disconnectedness is the larger systemic problem, we need to examine how we are progressing in dealing with the causes of disconnectedness, and how that impacts the effects that manifest themselves as Islamist movements. To understand the interplay between the causes and the effects is to be able to measure progress in the GWOT. The inability to do so will leave us constantly chasing only the targets and not addressing the causes.
 
Thanks ! I put it up there as a brainstorming exercise without any preface in the hope that readers would feel freer to add in their own observations or recommend additions. Hopefully more ppl will join you in doing so now that you broke the ice.

Ideally I wanted to collect a number of different ways to conceptualize the interrelationship so that it can be more clearly articulated. The inability of the Bush administration to draw a straight line from Iraq to the GWOT has not stopped the public from recognizing a link but it has created space for those who don't like the idea of a war approach to obstruct and delay.
 
I note that among your “Forces of Disconnection” you list Non-State Actors. Presumably you meant organizations like al Qaeda. But clearly the term is pretty broad. Here's my question. Consider the following:

the United Nations
NGO's
transnational corporations

Are these organizations forces of connection or forces of disconnection? I think the answer is “it depends”. Does anybody have any thoughts on this?
 
hi Dave,

I'll tackle the three:

The United Nations:

You need to separate UN entities like WHO and the High Commission on Refugees that are basically humanitarian from the the political elements like the General Assembly, UNSC and various commissions. The UN is mostly an empty vessel so it reflects the composition of the states within it and their vested interests which usually means preserving the status quo. The UN is no more capable of fulfilling the original intent of collective security than was the League of Nations or the Concert of Europe. In terms of PNM, it passively encourages disconnectedness.

NGO's:

They vary greatly. Many of them do good work in the field but the extent to which International Law extremists, Deep Ecology advocates and Transnational Progressives have hijacked them to push agendas to do end-runs around national legislatures is worrisome. Sebastian Mallaby has detailed some of the damage done by NGO's in Foreign Policy magazine

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=2672&print=1&PHPSESSID=9cb5760b55e249a4598a9c57df48387d

Transnational corporations:

In the aggregate, transnational corporations are promoters of connectivity through market behavior where they have an interest in seeing states follow the rule of law and protect property rights and enforce contracts.

Individually a transnational corporation or its agents can and often do promote disconnection via corruption in seam or New core states and cutting exclusive deals with closed Gap regimes or rebel groups to access raw materials or sell contraband goods. TotalFinElf's dealings with Baghdad for example
 
It is an interesting list that I'll have to think about further. The first thing that comes to mind is how does the "media" fit into your analysis. At first you might say that of course it is a force to increase connection. However, if someone from the Gap is fortunate enough to have access to a media source other than their official state media it is most likely the BBC. I am constantly dismayed at the bias displayed by the BBC. The image that someone gets from the BBC is not that the U.S. is trying to bring democracy and freedom to the Gap but rather that we are engaged in killing many innocent muslims to gain control of their oil. My view is that the BBC represents a greater danger to our success in the GWOT than any particular terrorist cell (since they are helping provide foundation to create many more cells). Any thoughts?
 
It is an interesting list that I'll have to think about further. The first thing that comes to mind is how does the "media" fit into your analysis. At first you might say that of course it is a force to increase connection. However, if someone from the Gap is fortunate enough to have access to a media source other than their official state media it is most likely the BBC. I am constantly dismayed at the bias displayed by the BBC. The image that someone gets from the BBC is not that the U.S. is trying to bring democracy and freedom to the Gap but rather that we are engaged in killing many innocent muslims to gain control of their oil. My view is that the BBC represents a greater danger to our success in the GWOT than any particular terrorist cell (since they are helping provide foundation to create many more cells). Any thoughts?

Barnabus
 
Hi Barnabus,

Free media is overwhelmingly positive in the aggregate in terms of promoting connectivity. Even when they are attempting to portray the U.S. in a bad light they end up conveying other information that in retrospect, they'd wish their audience had not seen. Just ask the former East German leadership.

Images are particularly powerful and whenever the image conflicts with a reporter's narration, the images win out in terms of cognitive sticking power.

That being said, the BBC is run by a bunch of real bastard leftists - Old Labor, Militant Tendency, Tony Benn, psuedo-intellectual types - who behave like such types do when they are a monopoly broadcaster. Fortunately it seems that Tony Blair is going to give quite a few of them the axe and/or expose the BBC to some competition. Good !

I read Al Jazeera's website frequently, English language version anyway, and at times they seem less slanted than the Beeb - or perhaps less effectively slanted because they do not understand America very well compared to BBC reporters.
 
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