Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Next Big War; Brand Leader: Osama Bin Laden and His Al Qaeda Deputy Ayman Al Zawahiri

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Next Big War; Brand Leader: Osama Bin Laden and His Al Qaeda Deputy Ayman Al Zawahiri

Article excerpt

Byline: ROBERT FOX

Terror and Consent: The Wars for the 21st Century by Philip Bobbitt (Allen Lane, [pounds sterling]25)

WE ARE now at the beginning of the Wars on Terror, and they are set to lastlonger than any conflict of modern history, longer than the Long War thatopened in 1914 in Sarajevo and concluded with the fall of the Berlin Wall in1989. This is the premise of Philip Bobbitt's startling (and weighty) new book,which is likely to set the agenda on global and domestic security and terrorismfor whoever enters the White House next year.

We have spectacularly failed to understand the nature of global networkedterrorism, of which al Qaeda is the vanguard, and countermeasures adopted sofar have been muddled and wrongheaded, argues Bobbitt. He quotes with approvalDonald Rumsfeld's memo on the subject: "The US is putting relatively littleeffort into a long-range plan, but we are putting a great deal of effort intotrying to stop terrorists." His argument opens where that of his last mightytome, The Shield of Achilles, left off. There, Bobbitt explored the notion thatthe era of the nation states and their alliances, which began at the Treaty ofWestphalia in 1648 is now over. Nation states are transforming into "marketstates", frontierless, networked and outsourcing key agencies and functions tocommercial subcontractors, from welfare NGOs to private security companies.

In this new book, Bobbitt says the market state is now mirrored by terroristsin their globalised networks.

Brand and market leader is al Qaeda, but it is not likely to be unique, merelythe first in the field, with its successors and imitators not even likely tocome from the Islamic world.

The aim of the new global terrorist networks is to destroy the market stateslinked in the globalised economy and led by America. It is more than likelythat the terrorists will deploy "dirty" bombs which could kill thousands, andportable nuclear devices which could destroy millions. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.