Open University

What No One Will Be Saying About The Nie


by Daniel Drezner

The declassified portion of the much-discussed NIE is now available online. Bloggers and analysts will spend the next 24 hours parsing and re-parsing the document to see exactly what was said about the relationship between the war in Iraq and the global war on terror (like, for example, here).

In the interest of being contrarian, therefore, I think it's worth highlighting a surprising assertion made in the NIE that has nothing to do with Iraq:

Anti-US and anti-globalization sentiment is on the rise and fueling other radical ideologies. This could prompt some leftist, nationalist, or separatist groups to adopt terrorist methods to attack US interests. The radicalization process is occurring more quickly, more widely, and more anonymously in the Internet age, raising the likelihood of surprise attacks by unknown groups whose members and supporters may be difficult to pinpoint.

This paragraph has the whiff of CYA, because it's so utterly lacking in specifics. Furthermore, the trendlines on terrorism suggest that globalization has not had much of an effect to date (click here for a contrasting graph, however).

That said, my question to readers is whether they can conceive of any ideology other than radical Islam that could inspire a terrorist group of global reach? Will the anarchists of the 21st century unite?

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