Terrell (Terry) E. Arnold was the number 2 counter-terrorism official at the U.S. State Department, and is one of the world's leading experts on terror.
Arnold served as the Deputy Director, Office of Counter-Terrorism and Emergency Planning, at the U.S. State Department. He is also the former Chairman of the Department of International Studies at the National War College.
Arnold has worked as a crisis management consultant for several Federal agencies, including The State Department, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Customs Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He is the author of numerous books on terror*. Arnold is a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II and the Korean war.I spoke with Arnold by phone.
GW: Your essay It is Vital to Move Beyond 9/11 is insightful and hard-hitting, and I agree with virtually everything you say. I have previously written on many of the topics you touch on, such as false pretenses for war, torture and illegal spying.
Initially, you write:
"As an alleged post 9/11 defense, the War on Terrorism is a gigantic fraud."I agree with you completely, and have written several essays arguing that the War on Terror is a hoax (see this, this and this).
As a leading counter-terrorism expert, I am curious to hear why you believe this.
Terry Arnold: The military approach doesn't cover all of the elements of the problem. We need to capture and confine the individuals who are up to doing mischief. That's a law enforcement issue.
Also, using only a military approach does nothing to recognize the grievances around the world. People are unhappy, and are so willing to commit acts of terrorism, or are willing to support terrorism.
Any approach to terrorism which lacks a mechanism for dealing with "outgroups" will not be successful. Each society has to engage the "outgroups" by itself. No international organization can do that.
For example, the Kurds could be given their own state - Kurdistan. The surrounding states have to recognize that they are part of the problem. Dealing with the Kurds is therefore a regional problem.
GW: Do you think that starting "elective" or "preemptive" wars against states which do not pose an imminent threat to America's national security decreases or increases the threat of terrorism?
Terry Arnold: It increases the threat because it injures more people. One of the principal causes of terrorism is injuries to people and families.
What we're watching in the Middle East is Israel committing suicide [Arnold explained that, by killing and injuring so many people in Gaza, Israel is destroying its own security, and creating a huge group of people who wish Israel harm. Through the Gaza war, Israel is sewing the seeds of its own destruction]. You will make enemies you will not even know about until it is too late.