Latest update: January 10th, 2013
The pain caused by terrorism, a pain that confers power upon the terrorist, begins within the victim’s private body, and then spills out more widely into the general body politic. Wanting the two realms to become indistinguishable, the terrorist already understands that it is not enough that his victims feel pain. Pain must also be felt, vicariously but palpably, by all those who might still themselves become victims. For President Obama, this should be a conceptual understanding of immediate operational importance. It is far more important than the number of troops on the ground in either theatre of current conflict (Iraq or Afghanistan) or than any other standard military calculations of probable U.S. victory or defeat.
Louis René Beres (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press. He isthe author of many major books and articles on terrorism, nuclear strategy and nuclear war, including publications in International Security(Harvard); World Politics (Princeton); The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists; Nativ (Israel); The Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs; Parameters: The Professional Journal of the US Army War College; Special Warfare (DoD); Studies in Conflict and Terrorism; Strategic Review; Contemporary Security Policy; Armed Forces and Society; Israel Affairs; Comparative Strategy; Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law; and The International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence. Professor Beres’ monographs on security issues have been published by The Ariel Center for Policy Research (Israel); The Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies (University of Notre Dame); The Graduate Institute of International Studies (Geneva); and the Monograph Series on World Affairs (University of Denver).
About the Author: Louis René Beres (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) is professor of political science and international law at Purdue University and the author of many books and articles dealing with international relations and strategic studies.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.
If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.