“Why terrorists aren’t soldiers”

Wes Clark and Kal Raustiala argue that treatment as “unlawful combatants” is better than the terrorists deserve.

Wes Clark and Kal Raustiala argue that the “unlawful combatant” status the Bush Administration has decided to assign to terrorists is better, legally, than the terrorists deserve, and that we should instead treat terrorists as criminals. I defer to others on the substantive merits of the issue; but you have to admire the sheer rhetorical jiu-jitsu embraced in the headline “Why Terrorists Aren’t Soldiers.”

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com