The cover story of this months Atlantic is well worth reading, as it tells the inside story of how the British government infiltrated and destroyed the Irish Republican Army. In the 1970s the preferred tactic for dealing with IRA terrorism was internment--something like what the Bush administration has been doing. It was a colossal failure. Only in the 1980s, when the British began recruiting insiders, did the IRA begin to crumble. Today, of course, it is insignificant.
But let no one think that this is a peaceful option:
British spies subverted the IRA from within, leaving it in military ruin, and Irish Republicans—who want to end British rule in Northern Ireland and reunite the island—have largely shifted their weight to Sinn Féin and its peaceable, political efforts. And so the Dirty War provides a model for how to dismantle a terrorist organization. The trick is to not mind killing, and to expect dying.
Well worth reading, and well worth thinking about. Of course, for all we know the administration might already be implementing this strategy. I hope so.