Friday, November 25, 2005

When Will They Ever Learn?

Our government is still trying to figure out how to measure the effectiveness of the Global and Perpetual War on .  It seems that the Congressional Research Service is not satisfied with the metric of body counts:
U.S. Challenged Over Measures
Of Its Success Against Terrorism
November 25, 2005; Page A5

A report to be released shortly by the Congressional Research Service questions the effectiveness of the Bush administration's measuring stick for determining success in countering terrorism.

The report says measures such as the number of terrorist incidents per year and the number of terrorists killed or captured are inadequate. Instead, it urges the use of broader social indicators, like the ability of terrorists to recruit. The Congressional Research Service is a branch agency within the Library of Congress. [...]
This is reminiscent of the Viet Nam war.  We lost something like 57,000 servicemen and women, compared to something like two million of our opponents. (I'm not going to look up the figures; the exact numbers don't matter.)  In a traditional war, a loss ratio like that would cause the opponents to give up.  In an ideologically-based conflict, the ratio doesn't matter.  In the GAPWOT, it does not matter.  

When Will They Ever Learn?