Response to “United, we’ll fight terrorism”
28th October 2007
The 27 October Inquirer article on "United, we'll fight terrorism" (presumably authored by sociologist Professor Frank Furedi, not Noel Pearson as listed) provides an important link missing from Owen Harries' October 19 opinion piece. Furedi correctly points out that "proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and terror should be viewed in the same context": by contrast, Harries seemingly treats them as separate problems and suggests global terrorism is "sometimes grossly exaggerated".
At the Australian Strategic Policy Institute's July conference a US expert on nuclear proliferation stated that, for terrorists, deterrence does not work and detection is more difficult. Although he argues the terrorist issue is too often treated only as another front in the left-right culture wars, Furedi is undoubtedly correct in identifying it as an existential threat to the West. And, as your editorial ("Naming the enemy", 27 October) notes, "it is not terrorism as such we are fighting but Islamist terrorists".
Analysts such as Harries should recognise the very serious danger from such extremists and the vitally important role being played by the US in countering it.