again a SWISH Report for al-Qaida …

A ninth report from the South Waziristan Institute of Strategic Hermeneutics to the al-Qaida Strategic Planning Cell (SPC) on the progress of the campaign


… As you will appreciate, these are no more than initial comments. We would emphasise, however that – even if individual policies turn out to be not so different – the change of style that an Obama presidency may entail could have a considerable international impact.

A new danger:

In conclusion, there is one potential trend which could cause your movement a range of problems – even there is little evidence of your interest in it or of any direct relationship to your movement and its aims. An awareness of the risks of climate change has risen rapidly in some of the countries of the Atlantic community – the British government has even embraced the idea of an 80% cut in carbon emissions by 2050. The mismatch of timing between problem and solution here is less important than what the decision implies: that radical action is now recognised by some western states as being essential.

There is now a school of thought in the United States that for the country to face the uncertainties of climate change while being dependent on imported oil is an unacceptable combination.

Thus, and notwithstanding the caution expressed above, the new Obama administration could embark on a substantial programme to cut carbon-emissions that would lead the country away quite rapidly from its current oil/gas dependency. Moreover, it could do this in part through a series of federal programmes that would also address the current economic downturn.

Such a policy would take the best part of a decade to have a major impact. Yet its political psychology and social reverberations would mean that over a much shorter period the strategic importance of the Persian Gulf would decrease. If the far enemy began to lose interest in your core region, then your movement really would be in trouble. We will explore this further in a later report; but at this stage, we would suggest that this could emerge as the most potent threat to your movement.

Wana, South Waziristan, 06 November 2008.

(This is the twelfth report openDemocracy has published from the South Waziristan Institute of Strategic Hermeneutics SWISH. Seven have advised al-Qaida, two the British governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and one the United States state department).

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