TERRORIST THREAT ALERT = PUBLIC SHOULD THINK (PROTECT SOFT TARGETS)
Definition of Soft Target: This may include lay people and Private Sector properties that are unarmored or undefended targets (countervalues) or items that are "of value," but are not military targets that threaten the enemy’s existence. Whereas, the root causes of the global terrorist problem are vast and multi-factorial, but here are a few considerations related to your topic below.
SELECT FACETS EXAMINED:
Preoccupation, Productivity and the collective Intelligence of the constituents of a Nation (theoretically) may relate to Terrorism and Soft Targets. Some have said that all wars are “wars of Ideas” and most ideas are conceived to compete for and/or procure resources, and/or to fulfill and sustain Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. At the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is self-actualization. A group with an apocalyptic preoccupation may only feel satisfied (and self-actualized) once they have achieved their apocalyptic vision (this is problematic because all individuals with ideas that differ from the apocalyptic group must die, never mind rational evaluation of who’s way of life is ultimately more advanced, productive, sustainable, and socially amicable to the diverse cultures of the world). Discussion of Terrorism is always matched with protecting soft targets because (ordinarily) Soft Targets are not targets (they are accidental collateral damage incidents) during times of war. However under threat of Terrorism, Soft Targets need further protection because they are among the irrational and pathological primary goals targeted in an attempt to damage the morale in a society, striking fear in the population, and disrupt productivity, which enables less productive developing societies (that sponsor terrorism) to feel a sense of purpose and be validated through violence. In some cases, the act of terrorism could be a potential sign of an inferiority complex manifesting among criminals or in select individuals who have mental illness and/or a disposition for violence, whereby they have to kill the competition to feel better about themselves because they cannot overcome them via intellectual creations nor productivity.
EXAMPLE NATIONS WITH CONTRASTING PREOCCUPATIONS:
I always love to point to Japan as a shining example of good industriousness that contrasts as the polar opposite of Nations that sponsor and/or partake in terrorism. As an island nation, Japan has very little natural resources, and yet they are able to organize, educate, and discipline themselves to import raw materials, create products that the world needs, sell their products transnationally, use the revenue generated to acquire foreign resources that they need, and build a society that is good and sustainable (all achieved while attacking no one, and respecting international laws). Therefore, successful economies can be achieved even in the absence of resources (if and only if) the society directs their (preoccupations) into enhancing their knowledge, skills and optimizing productivity (rather than wasted energies and irrational thought processes that drive terrorist activities).
A highly productive and highly intelligent nation could eventually dominate the world without breaking a single law or resorting to terrorism. An inferior nation may resort to terrorism to compensate for their lack of intelligence and inability to self-organize in productive and useful ways (as Japan and others have demonstrated [IS] possible). Terrorism can correctly be labeled as illogical as it leverages irrational justifications that are never based in anything proven or tangible, and because it does not help a group procure resources or basic needs intrinsic to the group’s existence, but rather the act of terrorism temporarily satisfies an emotional need (e.g. rage) which in-turn makes it harder for the group to exist among Nations they attack. Further, a terrorist attack on a given “soft target” by definition does not help a terrorist group to fend-off enemies by removing the associated military capabilities (hard targets) of their competition, but rather typically results in the terrorist groups target country diverting their resources to grow their Armies and wiping them out. An apocalyptic preoccupation is globally anti-utilitarian, and closely associated with hateful intolerance with the desire to cause psychological damage in the target society, and is likely an outlet for unaddressed frustration related to the group’s inability to compete in the global economy in a lawful and meaningful manor. As part of the human condition, terrorism appears to be intrinsically one of the most counterproductive preoccupations possible, is plausibly-feasibly-and-logistically futile, and is the exact OPPOSITE of what a Nation should participate in (IF) they desire to prosper in a modern world. The issue is much more complicated, and I’ve merely discussed some a subset of facets. Some of my arguments are subjective and some are decent inferences, however, strictly speaking, I estimate that none of this information will change the course or actions of an irrational mind hell-bent on setting the world on fire and terrorizing people they have never met. I offer no course of action for managing terrorism herein, as it is historically clear that disruptions to our U.S. interests, productivity, happiness, prosperity, and incidents our international partners experience are dealt with eventually according to strategic timeframes, ways and means. Soft Targets (e.g. lay people and their properties) on the other hand, can and should enhance their readiness in the current threat environment.
This topic was inspired by JN’s topic “Soft Targets (ST) and Terrorism” for further discussion and details please see: