MASLOW, COVEY VS. TERROR

How do you stop the spread of terror? Blowing stuff up in Fallujah won't help much, says one Defense Department intelligence analyst, over at Kris Alexander's blog. Instead, you've got to focus on Maslow's hierarchy of needs -- especially the parts about "belonginess" and "self-actualization." And adopt Steven Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The craziest part about the plan? It isn't as as crazy -- or as touchy-feely -- as it sounds at first. Give it a read.THERE'S MORE: Defense Tech Dad Tom Shachtman says Maslow doesn't really apply to would-be Muslim terrorists.

Maslow's frame of reference is western, Judaeo-Christian tradition, and his hierarchy of needs, wonderful and applicable to us though I think it is, falls apart when used as a criterion for judging the motivations of people who are not in those traditions. Highly religious, highly-traditional cultures, and non-Western cultures, place greater emphasis on the third level of needs than on anything having to do with individual aspirations. So holding out the carrot to a Muslim mother that her son will become a well-trained professional in a non-lethal field does not have the same appeal as it does to a Cincinnati soccer mom.
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