With all political, free speech and moral issues stripped aside, what are the learning points from the Paris terror attacks?
It’s a pretty straightforward question, isn’t it?
First, let’s look at this analysis from Stratfor Global Intelligence:
Such attacks will continue in the West as long as jihadism survives as an ideology. They will be limited in scope but intended to cause terrorist theater that spills well beyond the limits of the attack to create vicarious victims. Because of this continuing threat, citizens should practice appropriate situational awareness and be prepared to properly respond to danger.
Read the whole thing, of course. It follows a number of think tank analyses (most notably, Rand) on the shifting nature of terrorism. This story from Reuters sums it up pretty well:
In this age of the lightly-resourced, self-starting urban guerrilla, the jihadists have discovered a formula that lends a chilling new dimension to their trade. Not only can anyone be a victim, but with such a low bar to entry, anyone might be a perpetrator too. The brothers who shot dead 12 people at the satirical weekly newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, planned their killing spree in plain sight.
Add to this the high drama that Mumbai – and Paris-style attacks generate — televised scenes of manhunts, special forces and sieges — and they begin to look like an even more attractive force-multiplier.
As I mentioned in my previous post, we as Americans are having a very hard time understanding this new model…why would anyone not want a 55-inch curved screen television, unlimited Internet access and a 57 different brands of toothpaste?