A law enforcement problem

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Senior Member
Hello everybody,

The following is an excerpt from an article, titled as "A Hagel Education", appeared in the online "Wall Street Journal", Jan. 7, 2013.

The results of U.S. security policies tend to have a long fuse, good or bad, building for years until some event makes them clear. The Berlin Wall fell after Reagan's successes rebuilding U.S. strength and credibility, while al Qaeda burst into bloody view in 2001 after a decade of treating terror like a law enforcement problem. (close to the last paragraph of the article)

I am not sure what the underlined means. I understand the definition of law enforcement, but I don't know what "a law enforcement problem" is. Could anyone explain?

Thank you in advance,

  • zapzap

    Senior Member

    It might mean that terror was treated as normal crime: there are laws and the only problem is enforcement, i.e. making people abide by laws. According to the journalist that was a big mistake.

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