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Seeing the War from Many Angles

What a difference a week makes -- fascinating, the change from Frederik Balfour's euphoric final hours before the war ("A journalist among soldiers," Reporter's Notebook, Mar. 24) to a bitter realism in "Critical supplies...are unaccounted for" (Dispatch from Iraq, Apr. 7). By now, more of your readers should be able to appreciate Bruce Nussbaum's balanced previous analysis ("The high price of bad diplomacy," "Beyond the war," Cover Story, Mar. 24), which did not rely on hurrah patriotism, "overoptimism, lousy intelligence, or both" (as Balfour writes) and was thus heavily attacked in the letters to the editor ("A fierce debate over diplomacy," Readers Report, Apr. 7). Thanks to the editorial team for giving more than the fashionable -- and simplistic -- unilateral views.

Helene Belndorfer

Munich Technology helped to win the war in Iraq, as you correctly point out in "The doctrine of digital war" (Cover Story, Apr. 7). More important, though, it will also help win the peace. We all need to be aware that advances in digital communications, security, tracking, and monitoring systems are becoming the bulwark for a safer world.

These new systems allow us to communicate with each other more easily and effectively across streets, nations, oceans, and continents -- and better communications are to everyone's benefit. Beyond this, new technologies will help track, control, and apprehend those who would want to destabilize governments and cultures everywhere. Many governments are already leveraging these weapons of peace. More will do so in the future.

There are those who will question whether these new technologies will be deployed at the expense of personal liberties that most Europeans and Americans treasure. It's a fair question. Governments will need to strike the right balance, but they can and they must. Enhanced security doesn't need to devour personal liberty. It only needs to ensure it. It can, and it will.

Alex Mandl, CEO

Gemplus International

G?m?nos, France

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