September 11, 2006

HARRISONBURG— In a commentary today for a special 9/11 commemorative edition of the national security resource Family Security Matters, Dr. J. Peter Pham, Director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University, argues that “while the motivations of the individual terrorist may vary considerably and, in the case of the suicide terrorist, may perhaps even be deemed inscrutable, the strategic logic of the terror masterminds without whom there would be transnational terrorist threat is quite simple.”

Recalling a whole series of unpunished terrorist attacks against the United States since the 1970s, the article concludes: “The only influence we have over that deadly calculus is to ensure that the killers know that the cost of their operations will redound on their own heads—and on the countries and peoples that shelter them or consort with them—in the form of unsustainable losses and irreparable damages. This, after all, is the strategic logic of warfare in any war: to hasten the end of the conflict by destroying the enemy’s will or ability to carry out hostile actions. And it is the least we owe to the memory of three thousand of our fellow citizens.”

Dr. Pham is a contributing editor of Family Security Matters, which tries to provide national security and foreign affairs information in an accessible format in order to increase civic participation and political responsibility.

Dr. Pham’s essay, entitled “Terrorism Happens Because It Works—and We Let It,” can be accessed by clicking here.