Holding the Government Accountable

INSIGHTS: Terrorism and the Law: A Few Reflections

Translation of an article originally published in Russian in Stolichnaya Gazeta, by Dr. Nikolai V. Zlobin, CDI Senior Fellow and director of CDI Russian and Eurasian programs.

War as we have come to know it assumes the destruction of armies, the capture of enemy leaders and capitulation followed by negotiations for peace. But these conditions, which normally constitute victory, no longer exist. Capture the capital — and you have not won. Capture Saddam — you still have not won. No one is there to sign a capitulation agreement. Agreements are meaningless anyway, because there is no army as such. It is my deep conviction that many problems began because there was no peace agreement signed at the end of the Cold War, and it remained unclear who had won and who had lost.

Everything is different now — armies no longer clash on the battlefield. The fight is now between two systems of communication, two systems of information. Victory is achieved through the creation of a new regime with financial structures and political organizations, all intertwined with civil society.