A Free Market Solution to the War on Terror

On September 11, 2001, our world changed. It seems unreal that it was just nine years ago that Osama bin Laden managed to terrorize an entire nation. We responded militarily, as we tend to do when sucker punched like that. However, I’ve had an idea that’s been bouncing around my head for a little while now, and that is based partially on the idea that Congress can issue letters of marque and reprisal. In the digital age.

Al Queda has money. They have technical savvy. And they’re a pain in the butt.

However, a large amount of their ability to function is because of the internet and secure computer systems. Their money’s in banks, they use the internet to communicate. They’re backwards, but very 21st century at the same time. Every system they use is vulnerable to hacking.

So why not let the hackers have a field day?

Hackers, once considered a plague on computer systems, have been around since before the computer age. They used all kinds of tricks to get around the telephone systems for free. With the coming of the computer age, hackers started poking around in the new technology. Some maliciousness started, just look at viruses, but most hackers are just the curious sort. They might want to hack the Department of Defense computer system, but most to see if they can do it.

Now, let’s let them take that curiosity, and focus it on Al Queda. By issuing a letter of marque, you can hone the hackers’ skills towards crippling Al Queda. They want to hack a bank computer? Sure. However, you can only touch Al Queda money. Of course, once you hack it, it’s yours. They would be digital privateers, raiding the waves of the information superhighway and still fighting terrorism

Obviously, some controls would need to be in place. There would need to be evidence that this was, indeed, Al Queda’s money and not someone else’s. However, imagine a world where zero tax dollars were being expended and yet Al Queda or other terrorist organizations were unable to function due to digital cowboys riding protecting the digital frontier.

Yes, I hear it now, they’d find a way around it. No argument. There’s no way to prevent anyone from doing anything they want to do badly enough. You can only make it more difficult. However, this is a huge step in making it damn near impossible to operate in this day and age.

And the great thing is that American troops won’t have to die to accomplish this mission, yet the enemy will wish for a shooting war when it’s all over. Not bad, huh?


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