The counter-terrorism white paper issued today is long overdue.  Announced by the Prime Minister in December 2008 as "forthcoming", the release has been delayed several times, presumably to give the government enough time to cleanse the document of any real detail and manage the process of strategic leaks that now seem to routinely precede any major announcement.

While offering the usual generic statements of the obvious, the paper foreshadows a welcome shift in discourse. The government makes important acknowledgements on the root causes of terrorism stemming from poverty and injustice, and states that an open democratic society can promote long-term resilience against the kinds of marginalisation and radicalisation that breed terror networks.