Quote of the Day, Feb. 26 2006

From Jason Burke’s Al Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of Terror, Rohan Gunaratna’s Inside al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror:

‘The status of the warring sides, Graham Allison wrote in the Economist, were different as night from day — the Americans ad hoc-ing their way to war, the Islamists steering a long-planned course. “Yet as the American government scrambles to pursue a war for which it was not prepared, it must, in the idiom, “go with what we’ve got.” Assembling a coalition of very strange bedfellows, acquiring intelligence from sources and by methods it had mostly neglected, and jerry-rigging defenses around the most obvious vulnerabilities, it gallops off in all directions. It does so without a comprehensive assessment of the threats it now faces, and lacking a coherent strategy for combating mega-terrorism. In contrast, Mr. Bin Ladin and his al Qaeda network have been thinking, planning, and training for this war for most of a decade. September 11th demonstrated a level of imagination, sophistication, and audacity previously thought impossible by the American, or any other, government.”‘