I saw this posted on another board. Wanted to see what you knowledgable chaps though of the theory espoused by Friedman. Invading Saudia Arabia "tactically difficult"? What, with big expanses of empty desert, good roads, clear skies, few population centres? Maybe the fact that the US were already (at the time) in Saudi might have complicated things, but still ... Besides, what is the point of physical encirclement if the threat is terrorism? Doesn't physical presence actually make you more of a target? Isn't it better to use other means to get at the baddies? And what's this about there having been a significant moderation of the position on global jihad of Saudi Arabia and other Muslim regimes? Maybe there has been a decline in the number of general anti-Western rants reported in the US media. But that's because the rant has been focused on the occupation of Iraq and also maybe because the West is no longer perceived as a single bloc but as broken into three - (a) the US and its lackeys; (b) those who, like France, oppose the US; and (c) those who roll over and obey whoever last shouted at them, like Spain.