We have regularly heard about a scorecard of sorts that President Bush keeps in his desk drawer. It is his way of keep score in the so-called war on terror. When a wanted person is killed or captured, they are X’d off the list. Another W for W.
In some ways, this makes sense. But it also oversimplifies (as do the phrases war on terror, evil doers, etc.) what is a longterm and complex set of tasks ahead.
Let me give you an example of another scorecard. The economic one. In preparation for the Olympics in Greece, the host country (on their own) has been required to spend over $1.5 billion on security measures. That is more than four times the amount spent on security at the Salt Lake City Games – which were two years earlier in the “war on terror.” One would assume that we would have to spend less, not more, over time as we kill and capture the evil doers.
But it’s not that simple. And if we’re keeping score, then we have to acknowledge that the requirement to spend this much money because of the threat of terror is in a very real sense a W on the scorecard being kept by terror groups.