why the current war on terror may take longer (than expected)?

July 7, 2010

First of all, I highly appreciate Indonesian anti-terror unit (Densus88) accomplishments to date, in term of their quickness.

Secondly, this “terrorists”  issue is one of the most complicated issue of the century, so I have no intention to offer the solution for this issue since there are many experts are working on this and still quite far from the end solution. And of course, I am far from knowledgable in this issue.

What I want to show (by borrowing from Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline) is that taking ONLY the most obvious solution from the terrorist attack (by attacking them back,kill or  capture & put them into jail) might not resulting the best solution.

As explained by Senge, what seems to be an obvious and logical solution in a our perspective, may not be the best from the holistic  perspective.

Let say there is a bomb exploded in another hotel in Indonesia.

From the government view, an attack by terrorist is a threat to all Indonesian and should be responded aggresively (Pic 1).

From another perspective (of the so called “terrorist” group), their view of the situation is simply responding to the aggresive attack from the anti-terror unit (Pic 2). The more aggresive the government, the more millitant their response. The more recruits they got from the people who shared the same belief.

These two views apparently will build its own “system”. This is a vicious cycle which makes the problem more complicated because what it seems the obvious solution is simply just create a bigger problem (Pic 3).

From the system view, we need to break the cycle. Violence only creates violence, an old say yet we still ignore it.

I have read many articles and experts urged the need to tackle the root cause of the militants movement in the form of mediation and common ground setting (not easy, of course) in addition to the immediate law enforcement. Got to do that.

The quick result will show if we can avoid the prison become “the school” for the new recruits or from the old players to plan another attack.