Britain: Containment Strategy Against Al-Qaida
A strategy of containment against Al-Qaida resembles the containment strategy the U.S. used against the Soviet Union.
LONDON — The new head of Britain's armed forces says that the West cannot defeat al-Qaida but that defeating it is "unnecessary" because it can be contained.
In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Gen. David Richards said al-Qaida would pose a threat to Britain's national security for at least 30 years. But he argued that the terrorist group could be managed to allow security for the British people.
"Britain's top soldier: Can't beat al-Qaida," MSNBC, 14 Nov. 2010 <http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...>
However, with regard to Al-Qaida this strategy assumes that a) that the Western countries who have invested the most against Al-Qaida will be able to politically and economically sustain their anti-terrorist initiatives, b) Britain and America's ability to wage war stays up-to-date, and c) Al-Qaida does not acquire and use weapons of mass destruction. Of these three assumptions, a) and c) will be the hardest to meet. If the Western countries cannot maintain their political will and economic dominance, Al-Qaida will have a much freer hand to operate. If Al-Qaida acquires weapons of mass destruction--and especially if they use them--then a containment policy is no longer an option.