Apparently, terrorism is not a "simple binary struggle between moderates and extremists, or good and evil" and the "implied... belief [this lead to] that the correct response to the terrorist threat was primarily a military one - to track down and kill a hardcore of extremists" is flawed, according to a new speech from David Miliband.
I'm glad our Foreign Secretary recognises that "terrorism is a deadly tactic, not an institution or an ideology," but he failed to say that lasting resolution is only found in political solutions.
Although he is expected to emphasise 'international cooperation' he appears to offer no new thinking on any means to settle disputes. Perhaps such humility is a welcome change after recent years, but I think it is short-sighted.
Just as terrorism is a wrong-headed and often illegitimate means of expressing some legitimate grievance, difference of opinion is not something which can be simply brushed aside.
So when it comes to negotiating for global agreements on issues like poverty, disease, the environment, humanitarian or natural disasters, or even inter-national disputes, to win over the larger players requires a different method than for a diffuse array of armed multi-national, sub-national or non-national groups. It is not enough to win either hearts or minds - you must secure both.
If there is no successful method of integrating all nations into the international democratic architecture so that consensus in UN Security Council resolutions come by unanimity, rather than with abstentions (as recently was seen in the 14-0 vote on UN Resolution 1860) then the capacity for defiance will be ongoing, the needless death toll will mount and liberty will continue to be crushed in an unending and increasingly futile search for global security.
It is essential that the concert is maintained or it is inevitable that disharmony will encroach.
Miliband may well therefore be sowing the seeds of the next big war right under our noses.
Update: It seems this speech hasn't gone down so well with it's immediate audience, so is it another tilt at the leadership?
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