I don’t really have anything original to add on the latest terrorists attacks in Turkey, apparently by al Qaeda. What strikes me about them, aside from the evil of indiscriminate murder of civilians, is the strategic stupidity involved. One would think nothing would be more likely to get the Turkish government and, indeed, moderate Muslims to cooperate with the United States more readily than this sort of thing. Indeed, the irony that the Turkish parliament refused to go along with the Government in allowing the US to stage part of the Iraq War from their country, ostensibly to avoid precisely this sort of retaliation, is sad.

The insurgency against the US occupation in Iraq, to the extent that it’s managed by al Queda and aimed just at American troops and their Iraqi collaborators, would make strategic sense. But even that operation seems to indiscriminately kill Muslim peasants. The US is generally lousy at the so-called “hearts and minds” battle. But we may win it by default if our enemies are going to be this brutal and this inept.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Not so stupid if you happen to derive your reasoning from the anti-war left.

    According to one interview I read at Fox News, one protestor blamed Bush for the attacks (instead of, you know, the people who did them), since if Bush hadn’t visited Britain, then the attacks wouldn’t have happened.

    You see, only by cowering in your home alone and appeasing the terrorists can you stop them.