The rambling essay on terrorism leads nowhere. Perhaps that is appropriate since Powers infers that terrorism itself leads nowhere.
However, I was hoping that he might discuss ways to prevent or at least decrease the amount of terrorism.
To let terrorists off completely free, and having lost nothing, as always seems to be the case when hostages are involved, only encourages them.
We have all heard rumors that the few times terrorism has been tried against Russian installations or personnel, undercover (and unpublicized) retaliation was so great that there were no follow-ups. That sounds reasonable, but it can only be done if you have good intelligence and know the whereabouts of the terrorists, their families, or their friends.
It seems curious to me that the one easy and obvious solution is never used. Terrorist hijackings mainly have been done in an attempt to obtain the release of other jailed terrorists. Why not simply make it a rule that for anyone killed by terrorists during such a hijacking, one of the already jailed terrorists will be executed? That would be a simple and justifiable response, and should at least discourage such hijacking attempts.