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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Arithmetic of the Struggle

"However, to bring down America we do not need to strike big. In such an environment of security phobia that is sweeping America, it is more feasible to stage smaller attacks that involve fewer players and less time to launch and thus we may circumvent the security barriers America has worked so hard to erect. This strategy of attacking the enemy with smaller, but more frequent operations is what some may refer to the strategy of a thousand cuts. The aim is to bleed the enemy to death."
-- the late* Samir Khan, explaining "Operation Hemorrhage," (Inspire, Nov. 2010)
In Adam Gadahn's May 2010 message entitled "A Call to Arms," Gadahn counsels lone wolf jihadists to follow a three-pronged target selection process. They should choose a target with which they are well acquainted, a target that is feasible to hit and a target that, when struck, will have a major impact. The Tsarnaev brothers did all three in Boston.

(*) late.  US missile strike in the Yemen.

Read more: Why the Boston Bombers Succeeded | Stratfor
Two thousand pounds of education
  Drops to a ten-rupee jezail 
-- Rudyard Kipling, "Arithmetic on the Frontier" 

2 comments:

  1. Brilliant! I'm happy to see you check Stratfor. It is a very informative site. The quote by Kipling is spot on.

    D.v.

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  2. This strategy of attacking the enemy with smaller, but more frequent operations is what some may refer to the strategy of a thousand cuts. The aim is to bleed the enemy to death.

    As Daveed Gartenstein-Ross noted in his analysis of Samir Khan's article, this is a clear reference Bin Laden's "bleed-America-bankrupt" strategy. The attack doesn't have to succeed; it just has to provoke an excessive response. As he said:

    Failed attacks, simply put, can themselves be successes. This is precisely why AQAP devoted an entire issue of Inspire to celebrating terror attempts that killed nobody.

    Arithmetic indeed. And great Kipling quote.

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