Dina Temple-Raston has an interesting story entitled “As Support Fades, Al-Qaida Shows Signs of Decline” she focuses on how terrorist groups can end, or at least how their efforts can oftentimes be counterproductive. In the story Professor Audrey Cronin of NDU and I are both quoted. What’s interesting about this story is its relationship to the Obama administration’s broader counter-terrorism/counter-insurgency strategy which has seen a dramatic increase in drone attacks coupled with a heavy focus on minimizing civilian casualties through restrictive Rules of Engagement on the ground.
I’m reposting (with permission) a piece that was just published by Foreign Policy magazine entitled The Bin Laden Aftermath: Why Obama Chose SEALs, Not Drones. An excerpt: “Success This Time Does Not Spell The End of Drones and Bombing… This time, the mission was reportedly accomplished with no civilian or military casualties. If, in the coming months, al-Qaeda figure Ayman al-Zawahiri or radical cleric Anwar al-Alwaki are found and can be targeted from the air rather than risking a human operation, nothing about the manner of bin Laden’s demise should alter the decision to bomb either of them.”
In this Op-ed in The New York Times I argue that terrorists could send the United States into the dark ages for weeks. “To attack the grid, a terrorist need only study publicly available trade journals, which explain where new facilities are constructed. These journals document both the transmission capacity of switching stations and the geographic areas for which they are responsible. A terrorist could then disable a particular system by destroying the computers and relays housed in the poorly protected building. An attack on one facility would likely plunge the served area into immediate darkness and, depending on the size of the substation, would cause a significant strain on the rest of the electrical grid, particularly in summer, when usage is at its peak. A coordinated attack on four or five critical sites could send much of the nation into darkness for weeks.”
I was recently interviewed by CNN regarding WikiLeaks and what prospective applicants for government jobs should know before publicly reposting the documents.
My appearance on C-SPAN BookTV with Michael Scharf.