Toward a Grand Strategy Against Terrorism / Edition 1

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Toward A Grand Strategy Against Terrorism is a cohesive series of essays prepared by noted academics and counterterrorism practitioners within and associated with the counterterrorism program of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies. These chapters address both the use of military force and the employment of non-military tools, the role of international cooperation, and the importance of the ideological contest. Collectively, they push toward a grand strategy against terrorism.

This volume makes the prudence and research and experience of the Program on Terrorism and Security Studies available to all who want to help in countering terrorism: students; those at military graduate schools; private experts on security in the business world; members of police forces and defense departments; conflict resolution experts; and many other sorts of practitioners seeking a sober and highly international approach.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780073527796
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Higher Education
  • Publication date: 4/22/2010
  • Series: Textbook Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents


Foreword John Rose xv

Introduction Brian Michael Jenkins xviii

Unit 1 The Problem and Its History 11.1 Andrew Nichols Pratt, Terrorism’s Evolution: Yesterday, Today, and Forever 2

Misunderstanding the essence of terrorism virtually guarantees policy failures. To place counterterrorism in a proper context, this text commences with an essay that serves as a précis of the problem. Terrorism is a complex phenomenon; challenging to all. A tactic used to socially, politically, and psychologically fragment a targeted population, terrorism demonstrates a line of development beginning in ancient times that can be traced and from which we will gain insights and knowledge. Understanding terrorists’ behavior and their goals in order to craft counterterrorism policies stipulates a sense of terrorism’s history. Terrorism, like a persistent cancer, has invaded our societies in the past; it afflicts us today, and it may destroy our descendants correspondingly if we fail to grasp its fundamentals.

1.2 Christopher C. Harmon, How Terrorist Groups End: Studies of the Twentieth Century 28

To understand how many terrorist groups have met their end and to know why, it has been necessary to make an extended study of such organizations of the twentieth century. This essay takes shape in nine categories. There is a grid of groups based upon their impact: defeated, successful in limited ways, or wholly successful. This is laid over another grid measuring duration or life span: groups that last a few years, groups extant for eight to fifteen years, and terrorists that wage campaigns lasting decades. An unpalatable teaching of this research is that terrorism often works—or works well enough to keep militants trying terrorist methods. Fortunately, many groups do fail and are largely forgotten; their demise is equally instructive to governments and to counterterrorism professionals.

1.3 Sebastian L. v. Gorka, International Cooperation as a Tool in Counterterrorism: Super-Purple as a Weapon to Defeat the Nonrational Terrorist 71

The Cold War reinforced the systems and architecture of national security developed under the international Westphalian order of nation-states. Since the collapse of the bipolar balance, new or revived threats have emerged that are ill-matched by the existing “legacy structures” of national defense and security. Consider “hyper-terrorism”—political violence that is more interested in extent of damage caused than in simply the inculcation of fear. While its existence is limited to a small subset of non-state actors—transcendentally motivated irrational terrorists—the threat exists. Radical reform of the security structures of many countries is required if we are to effectively meet the challenge of threats such as al Qaeda. Such a reform entails new divisions of labor and will require a significant revision of constitutional strictures, as well as new levels of international cooperation. This will not be easy and will require a high level of political will to implement. Should such reform be delayed, the developed democracies will remain too vulnerable.

Unit 2 Law, Force, and the Military Option 852.1 Dean L. Dwigans and Michael N. Schmitt, International Law and Counterterrorism 86

International law and the use of force are two vital subjects for counterterrorism professionals. Prior to 2001, international law tended to point toward a criminal law paradigm in response to counterterrorism. However, the al Qaeda attacks of 9/11 evoked a global response that confirms the emergence of a new normative paradigm in which a military response is often viewed as an appropriate complement to law enforcement in cases of large-scale transnational terrorist attacks by non-state actors. The law enforcement option is still preferred, if it can be effective, and there has been vast improvement in international cooperation in the form of expansive international agreements and the establishment of formal and informal cooperative law enforcement systems.

2.2 Christopher C. Harmon, Illustrations of Discrete Uses of Force 103

There is a beguiling paradox in the resolution of terrorist crises. Patience, negotiations, or both, have served government in certain tactical cases, while in other instances, the opposite has been true, and force against terrorism has been decisively successful. In our liberal societies, the force attempted is most often discrete—that is, careful, selective, and coming swiftly but after deliberation and planning. Democracies also place a premium upon return to “normalcy”; once used, the sword is sheathed. The lengthy record of successes using force includes actions against such substate groups as Congolese kidnappers of Belgians, South Moluccans in Holland, MRTA in Peru, FARC in Colombia, and a series of skyjackers—the PFLP (Entebbe), the Red Army Faction (Mogadishu), and the Algerian GIA (Marseilles).

2.3 James Q. Roberts, Building a National Counterterrorism Capability: A Primer for Operators and Policymakers Alike 127

Competence in counterterrorist operations demands at least three skill sets—a kind of “iron triangle.” One arm is a specialized counterterrorist force. Intelligence and investigative capabilities are at least as vital—a second side of the triangle. Finally, there must be sound and decisive national political leadership. The chapter surveys a number of related qualities desired in the right counterterrorist team, including components of diplomacy, interagency rehearsals, law enforcement, and emergency services.

2.4 Christopher G. Cavoli, The Contribution of Counterinsurgency to a Strategy to Combat Global Terrorism 138

Insurgency and terrorism are not identical. Insurgency is a struggle between ruling authorities and a substate group using politics and violence—which may or may not include terrorism, the deliberate and systematic abuse of civilians. Counterinsurgency methods may help in a global counterterrorist campaign, if, for example, they deprive the terrorists of root causes of propaganda, hinder a populace from supporting terrorists, counter ideological support to terrorism, create or maintain splits within the militant movement, and so on. The “Al Anbar Awakening” in Iraq, and the author’s own recent experiences in Afghanistan, are examples of how effective counterinsurgency did notably reduce terrorism.

Unit 3 Instruments of National Power 1533.1 David Litt and Mary Ann Peters, Diplomacy: The First Weapon Against the Terrorist 154

Diplomacy is a major instrument of national power and should be seen as the first and preferred policy tool for countering international terrorism. Diplomacy is preferable to the use of force, which is limited under international law and in any case is costly, dangerous, and uncertain. The Irish peace process and the coaxing of Libya away from terrorism are examples of diplomacy’s track record in helping to counter terrorism. The principal tools of diplomats include bilateral and multilateral diplomacy to strengthen weak states and help gird political will to take a stand against terrorists and their supporters. Other instruments include mediation, public diplomacy, and track-two diplomacy.

3.2 James K. Wither, Engaging Reconcilables: Dialogue and Negotiation as Counterterrorism Strategies 173

There is often an option: talking to terrorists. Here we analyze the potential advantages and disadvantages of such engagement and address the questions of whom to talk to, when to talk, how to talk, and what to talk about. Also worthy, and examined here, are potential “lessons learned” from the experiences of recent engagement with terrorist groups throughout the world. The final section assesses the extent to which productive dialogue can or cannot be established with contemporary terrorist groups that frequently lack the clear chain of command and internal discipline associated with so-called traditional, nationalist-separatist movements.

3.3 John J. Le Beau, Intelligence and Counterterrorism: Examining the Critical Tools of Secrecy and Cooperation 193

Intelligence collection and analysis have proven historically to be critical weapons in identifying and neutralizing terrorist individuals and organizations. Intelligence activity conducted in secret has often proven significantly effective in uncovering and countering the plans and actions of terrorist organizations and in degrading terrorist capabilities. Indeed, the record indicates that intelligence is an indispensable tool both in the context of an overarching national counterterrorism strategy and at a tactical level. Intelligence agencies are well structured and equipped by training, method of operation, and internal culture to attack and defeat terrorist groups—whether national or international in nature. The sharing of intelligence on an international basis has also proven effective in countering a networked, transnational terrorist threat.

3.4 Celina B. Realuyo, Following the Terrorist Money Trail 210

As grand strategy deploys the full range of a government’s tools, pursuing terrorist funding is a new requirement of governments. The United Nations recognized this in a treaty entering into force in 2002. With fuller implementation, this convention promises the impounding of terrorist money and closure of certain funding paths and vehicles to a degree hardly contemplated in 1970, 1980, or 1990. Moreover, the forensics of terrorist money are immensely helpful to intelligence and law enforcement. A single ATM receipt broke open the well-hidden cell of Bali bombers who had murdered more than two hundred people. The work to be done by counterterrorism professionals is arcane and specialized. The world community must improve—and is improving—in such areas as legal frameworks, financial regulation, financial intelligence, law enforcement, and prosecutorial and judicial processes.

3.5 Patrick Sookhdeo, Ideas Matter: How to Undermine the Extremist Ideology Behind al Qaeda 228

Radicalization processes have led—or pushed—a small minority of Muslims on a downward path into unforgivable violence against the innocent for “Islamist” ends. Analysis of what these terrorists themselves write and say, as well as learning from defectors and critics from the inside, makes it apparent that the ideological struggle with these contemporary terrorists and their mentors must be very firm. The world community must reverse the violent extremists’ impact on the thought and politics of legitimate Muslim communities. In addition to a struggle of ideas, we must gain allies within the Muslim world as well, including progressives, liberals, and the secular minded. Terrorist ideology is a toxin; it must be combated directly and explicitly with antitoxin.

3.6 John J. Kane, Virtual Terrain, Lethal Potential: Toward Achieving Security in an Ungoverned Domain 252

In older days, security experts and military historians spoke of four realms of battle: land, sea, subsurface naval, and air. Space has since been added. Now comes cyberspace. Political groups and several governments have already opened cyber fronts of conflict. Palestinian groups and the Israeli government have warred in this realm for years. Worldwide, political actors now pursue influence making, hate speech, fund-raising, and other strategies with great effectiveness in cyberspace. Attacks on infrastructure, including the cyber sorts, have been proven possible, to the surprise of several governments. Such attacks are probable as parts of present and future war. While democracies are often neither able nor willing to systematically close ugly websites, much less the servers they use, a range of cyber defenses is available. These include the technical, the legal, and the structural. With funding, planning, rehearsal, and occasional offensives, governments can better contain the growing threats in this new terrorist frontier.

3.7 Mark Trevelyan, The Media and the Terrorist: Is There a “Right” Way to Cover Political Violence? 282

Experts have argued that terrorists and the media are in a relationship of mutual dependence: Terrorists seek press coverage that will further their propaganda goals, and the media relish stories of drama and violence that will maximize their audience. Yet this symbiosis is not inevitable. To be sure, reckless coverage can play into the hands of the terrorists. But responsible reporting is a valuable tool that can help society understand the threats and formulate an effective counterterrorism response. Counterterrorism professionals need to take this into account. They must have a media strategy, and they can look for ways to use the media to their advantage.

3.8 John L. Clarke, Managing Counterterrorism Crises 296

Terrorist attacks are, by definition, unexpected events that may give rise to a crisis. The ability of governments to manage these crises may determine their future success or failure as governments. Successful management of an attack-induced crisis is expected; any errors by the government will be magnified, particularly if the attack is one employing a weapon of mass destruction. This chapter is designed to assist in understanding the fundamentals of successful management of terrorism crises, with particular focus on the procedures necessary to anticipate, manage, and resolve any crisis arising from terrorism.

Unit 4 Case Studies 3134.1 Ralf Roloff, The Limits and Opportunities of Effective Multilateralism: Germany’s Approach 314

There is no mistaking the threat to Germany: Citizens have been abroad for terrorist training; authorities dismantled a 2007 plot in the Sauerland; and in September 2009, al Qaeda published a direct threat—based on German foreign policy. The Federal Republic must be a “democracy capable of defending itself,” but it knows the shadow of the years 1933 to 1945, so parliament and other authorities work hard to attain the balance of security with protection of civil liberties and liberal institutions. These ideals are visible in German institutions: There is no national gendarmerie; military and police forces are strictly separated; the federal structure keeps the sixteen Länder separate; and the federal interior ministry is minimized. Within these restraints, intelligence and police work to catch and convict terrorists, while abroad the policy is “effective multilateralism.” While the latter is politically popular, it also bumps the republic up against the limitations of all international security institutions.

4.2 Peter Lauwe, The Protection of Critical Infrastructure Within Germany 328

Critical infrastructure protection in the face of terrorism and natural or health hazards can be seen as a joint task of public and private stakeholders working in threat and hazard prevention, vulnerability mitigation, crisis planning, and handling crisis situations. The chapter outlines a new approach in Germany to vulnerability mitigation and crisis planning for critical infrastructures. The approach to modernizing critical infrastructure protection is based on a strategy for critical infrastructure protection that helps bring together various public and private stakeholders in order to implement new protection measures and, hence, make critical infrastructures more robust and more flexible than in the past.

4.3 Jean-Paul Raffenne and Jean-Francois Clair, The French Counterterrorism System 341

Beginning with phenomena in the Algerian War, the French have extensive national experience with terrorism. Attacks on French interests and citizens have occurred frequently within the country and overseas. But in recent years the government has successfully evaded or preempted any major terrorist catastrophe on French soil, and it is highly useful to understand why. Excellent intelligence, special investigative magistrates, new legal procedures, seriousness about detaining suspects, robust special counterterrorism forces, and support from the citizenry and the central government are the leading reasons for the “silent victories” in France.

4.4 Michael R. Fenzel, Defeating Taliban in Afghanistan: A Nuanced Approach to Waging a Counterinsurgency 362

The counterinsurgency in Afghanistan is different than past misadventures there, and the prospects for a military defeat of the Taliban are good if six principles and two microstrategies are uniformly applied. First, prevent collateral damage to avoid swelling the insurgent ranks. Second, focus on the expenditure of development funds. Third, ensure there is persistent presence in the remote and rural areas. Fourth, commit to the longer-term effort of developing a literate population. Fifth, actively demonstrate respect for Islam. Sixth, apply a zero tolerance approach to corruption. These measures must be complemented with the implementation of microstrategies to expand the incidence of cross-border shuras among Pakistani and Afghan subtribes and the construction of combat outposts along dominant terrain just inside Afghanistan.

4.5 Tom Wilhelm, Security Architecture: A Case Study of Pakistan’s Tribal Belt 377

In any place where non-indigenous, national, and other local armed forces operate in the same battle space, there is usually discord, and there may be terrorism. One of the reasons is a fundamental lack of understanding of several factors: identification of potential counterinsurgents, the main cultural conditions and perspectives that apply to the local security environment, and the operational capabilities and limitations of the security actors. These factors can be called the security architecture. The case study of Pakistan’s Pashtun tribal belt demonstrates that, although security architecture is complex and not a panacea for military planning, it provides indispensible insight. There is clear value to the study of terrorism’s “root causes,” and the vital region covered in this case study is a necessary place to begin.

Afterword  Boaz Ganor 396

Index 403

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