#Where’s the carrot?

In this CLOG I am normally looking for the lighter side of politics. However at the moment that is a bit difficult so today here is a more serious observation.



Carrot and Stick – this old saying suggests that if you want to solve a stubborn problem then you need to use both a carrot and a stick. So when it comes to terrorism I am wondering where is the carrot?

There seems to be plenty of stick – bombs and missiles, increasing numbers of security and intelligence forces, armed police on the street, shoot to kill policies and even a whole invasion and war after the 9/11 attack. And now legislation changes on both sides of the Atlantic will water down or remove some normally accepted human rights.

Isn’t this just more of the same – but hoping for different results? Albert might wonder if we have a dose of collective insanity.

Hence my question – where is the carrot?

I am sure many would point to the enormous amounts of international and humanitarian aid that is spent. Or to the efforts in Afghanistan after the war to remove the Taliban. Are these real carrots?

Or are they more manifestations of the same problem – i.e., just more of the same set of actions that end up with the same results.

Similarly many people would point at Saudi Arabia and say that they have had plenty of carrot and no stick and they are a big part of the problem? Maybe this is a good example that you need both? Or that you need to be careful not to make one problem worse through the solution to another?

Whatever the answer in respect of Saudi Arabia – the issue is that right now we are still doing the same things but hoping for a different result.

A different kind of Carrot!

Is it beyond the wit of man to come up with something new that could be accepted as a carrot? For example could we invite the problem countries to be partners in major international projects – earning their way and building skills rather than just being on the receiving end of charity? Next time we want to build a major international research centre could we build it in Iraq or Iran rather than Japan or France?

Barking mad I hear you say. Difficult in the extreme I would agree but you get the message – it is about doing something positive and different and something with a long-term objective.

And I am not sure it would really be that much more difficult than the way we are trying now.