September 11, 2001: Terrorists hijack four commercial airliners simultaneously and crash three of theM into buildings in NYC and DC. Death toll: approximately 3000.
October 12, 2002: Terrorists set off two bombs -- a backpack bomb, and a more powerful car bomb -- at a resort on Bali in Indonesia. Many Australians and Britons were at the resort. Death toll: 202.
March 11, 2004: Terrorists set off multiple bombs on commuter trains in Madrid, Spain. Death toll: 191.
July 7, 2005: Terrorists set off four bombs in London's mass transit system. Death toll: 52.
Let's look at the numbers again: 3000, 202, 191, 52. Am I wrong, or are they going down? I don't mean to minimize the pain and suffering caused by these attacks, but there is no denying that the attacks are becoming less destructive. According to the people who taught me about how wars are fought, you're in trouble when you lose your ability to do damage to the enemy. But what do I know, I'm not an "expert."
For a look at what a real expert has to say about the Global War on Terrorism, check out Lt. Col (Ret) Gordon Cucullu's column in Frontpage Magazine.
Before the dust had settled in the London subways and the wounded evacuated much was already being made by breathless commentators about the "increasing sophistication" and technical expertise of the terrorist killers. These kind of coordinated attacks, we were assured, presuppose a highly intelligent, highly skilled group of terrorists. The implication is that we are losing ground and are increasingly helpless in the face of such professional competence. We have been forced into a reactive mode to an invincible terrorist threat. Well, that's simply not the case.
In fact, to judge by the sophistication levels of terrorist attacks they reached the pinnacle with the simultaneous hijacking of airliners and converting them into homicide missiles on September 11, 2001. The terrorists have been unable to equal that attack and since then the degree and sophistication of terrorist offensives have declined. Frankly, it is no great shakes for a jihadist revolutionary movement with the kind of funding al Qaeda receives from sheiks in Saudi Arabia and mullahs in Iran to blow up a few bombs individually or simultaneously. It does not take loads of sophistication to pack a car with explosives, drive it to a target, and close an electrical circuit. Nor can it be anything other than sheer desperation to rely on terrorists who kill themselves along with their victims. Use of suicide bombers is a strategy of self-imposed attrition that can only result in organizational self destruction. Horrific, yes; advanced, no.
Check out the rest of Lt. Col. Cucullu's column. With years of military experience, including time in Vietnam fighting real-live insurgents, I'd dare say that he knows more about unconventional warfare than the entire editorial board of the New York Times combined.