This is a re-print, in English, of an editorial I wrote last month in the Busan Daily newspaper. Here is that Korean version.
BI contacted me, because I teach a course on terrorism at Pusan National University. As far as I can tell, it is one of the only such courses in Korea. So when the global reaction to Paris arrived in Korea, they asked me for a few thoughts. The most important point is: Don’t go bananas.
After the Paris attack, the Korean government is talking seriously about passing counter-terrorism (CT) laws and developing a domestic CT capability. This is wise, but there is a lot for Korea to learn from all the mistakes the West has made in the GWOT. By now it is pretty widely accepted that the US wildly over-reacted to the 9/11. The Iraq war especially helped create a helluva lot more terrorists than we were facing before, and ISIS would not exist without the invasion. Remember:
1. Modern democratic societies are pretty safe.
2. Some domestic crime and violence is part of the cost we pay for freedom and our open societies.
3. Flipping out about Muslims in our countries does no good; they’ll just turtle, rather than helping the security services.
So the big post-9/11 lesson from the West for Korea on jihadist terrorism: Keep it all in perspective. You are far more likely to be killed by lightning or your HDTV falling off the wall than a jihadi.
The full essay follows the jump: