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Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Rummy on the war on terror:
Today, we lack metrics to know if we are winning or losing the global war on terror. Are we capturing, killing or deterring and dissuading more terrorists every day than the madrassas and the radical clerics are recruiting, training and deploying against us?

Does the US need to fashion a broad, integrated plan to stop the next generation of terrorists? The US is putting relatively little effort into a long-range plan, but we are putting a great deal of effort into trying to stop terrorists. The cost-benefit ratio is against us! Our cost is billions against the terrorists' costs of millions.

Do we need a new organization?

How do we stop those who are financing the radical madrassa schools?

Is our current situation such that "the harder we work, the behinder we get"?

It is pretty clear that the coalition can win in Afghanistan and Iraq in one way or another, but it will be a long, hard slog.
-- from a memo from Rummy to his top staff, as reported byUSA Today.

In their article about the memo, USA Today notes that the memo "diverges sharply from Rumsfeld's mostly positive public comments." But frankly, it actually makes me respect the old warhawk a little. I think the "war on terror" is a ridiculous idea that was never intended to eliminate terrorism. I'd guess from this memo that Rummy may not be in on the secret that the WOT is just another means to repress and exploit the world's poor to benefit the world's rich. But still, it's encouraging to see that at least one Bushie has actual doubts about what they are doing, and that he sees deterring and dissuading as actual alternatives to capturing or killing, an impression you never get when you listen to aWol.

(Full disclosure: I still despise Rumsfeld. Just ever so slightly less than before.)