Dan of tdaxp continues his over-generalization in pursuit of scientific purity of independently verifiable variables. Called out on his overly broad statement about Bhutto's death, Dan responds by claiming I reject the whole core-gap framework. This is another example of his painting by the widest brushstrokes possible, which despite his frequently smart analysis, is too often done when he analyzes conflict.
Does the Core and the Gap exist? That is, does a generally well-off realm known as the Functioning Core contain goods associated with globalization (wealth, peace, etc), while a realm known as the Non-Integrating Gap lack these goods?
Mountainrunner, surprisingly, appears to say the answer is no. While he does not say so directly, he notes that (in general) anything that exists in the Gap exists within the Core, and vice versa. In response to my claim that the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Bhutto is not surprising because it happened in the Gap, Mountainrunner wrote:
My point is this: this is about violence and death and ideology that is not specific to Islamists or the Gap. Heads of state were targeted. The IRA reminded Thatcher they only needed to be lucky once, she needed to be lucky all the time. Italy, Greece, Hungry, etc. Take your pick and you'll find attacks on leadership.
This discussion began with my berating him for his "of course a political leader was assassinated in a Gap country, that's what makes them a Gap country." My response can be found the comments of his post but I copied it here for your convenience:
Dan, you completely misconstrue our discussion. I do not say the core-gap model doesn't exist. Our discussion at my blog is about your statement that Bhutto's assassination in a Muslim country shouldn't be a surprise, a statement you base on the Core-Gap model. What comes of Bhutto's death will be indicative of it happening in the Gap. The kinetic nature of the first attack on her life was indicative of the kinetics more likely to be found in the Gap, but neither her death nor the tactics in the successful attack are. This is the "core" of the argument.
I didn't see a rebuttal from you on the severity of attacks in a core country like Mexico that would break your scientific analysis.
You should be more precise in your analysis while at the same time understanding that buckets, or bins, of categorization are more than porous, but blended in with others when you look at the details.
The devil is certainly in the details and makes for messy analysis but have the ability to enlighten us to different trajectories, and thus counters and solutions. Overly broad statements for convenience mask the facts, limiting choices, and confuse unnecessarily.
In our discussion, we again return to his belief in Fourth Generation Warfare. See the discussion here if you care.