The Terror Fight You Never Hear About

Interviews with people who shape our culture.
June 19 2013 4:40 PM

Wiretaps and Drones Aren’t Everything

Our less-talked-about tactics against terrorism are surprisingly effective.

When we think of the war on terrorism, we tend to think about drone strikes, SEAL raids, Marine counterinsurgency campaigns, Guantanamo Bay, and, more recently, data mining and surveillance by the NSA.

But Daniel Benjamin says there’s a whole other set of tools used to combat terrorism that get far less attention, even though they have proven effective. Benjamin, who was Hillary Clinton’s point person on counterterrorism at the State Department for four years, says the training of police and judges, among other things, has paid real dividends in places like Indonesia, which was a hub for terror activity in the years following Sept. 11. 

Benjamin sat down recently with Slate’s Jacob Weisberg to talk about the impact of the decidedly unglamorous art of “capacity building.”

You can watch more of our interview with Benjamin. In the first part, he explains how President Obama has changed up the war on terror from the Bush years. And in Part 2, Benjamin discusses the difficulty of combating what he calls “lone-wolf” terrorism.

Advertisement

 

TODAY IN SLATE

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 11:40 AM The U.S. Has Spent $7 Billion Fighting the War on Drugs in Afghanistan. It Hasn’t Worked. 
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 1:12 PM The Global Millionaires Club Is Booming and Losing Its Exclusivity
  Life
Atlas Obscura
Oct. 21 2014 12:40 PM Asamkirche: The Rococo Church Where Death Hides in Plain Sight
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 1:12 PM George Tiller's Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Doctor, Claims Right of Free Speech
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
  Arts
Behold
Oct. 21 2014 12:05 PM Same-Sex Couples at Home With Themselves in 1980s America
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 10:43 AM Social Networking Didn’t Start at Harvard It really began at a girls’ reform school.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.