Friday, September 12, 2014

Fake But Accurate?

President Obama has stirred some outrage by saying that we are safer now from terrorism than we have ever been; and saying that we only think the world is more dangerous because of Twitter and whatnot making us more aware of disorder. Most narrowly, I imagine he is actually correct--and yet 100% wrong.

On world disorder, I have no doubt that a look at global statistics would show the world growing less violent over the last 25 years.

This is the peace dividend of our victory in the Cold War as Soviet support for violence around the world ended and the impact of that support dwindled over time.

Yet does less violence in much of the Third World mean anything for our security when we face increased threats in eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the western Pacific? These are the areas that matter to our national security.

As much as we (and those living in those areas) can be grateful that violence in sub-Sahara Africa and Latin America is down, that is not sufficient to make up for the increased violence and threats in our areas of interest.

Similarly, given the massive amount of money that we have spent to create a homeland defense apparatus (the civil liberties aspect of that aside), I have no doubt that the president is technically correct that we are safer now than in 2001.

But this reflects an ability to detect and repel attacks from a greater array of threats rather than a reduction in those overseas threats to us.

Would we pass out Kevlar body armor to the people of Chicago and then tell them that they are now safer because their chance of dying in gun violence is dramatically lower now?

What the president has told us is, at best, accurate but fake.

These measures the president cites are no reason to believe we are not still engaged in the Long War against Islamo-fascist terrorism that we realized we were in 13 years ago.