Response To Terrorism Essay

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Combating terrorism is not only a battle of the swords but also a battle of brains. Thus, the response to terrorism must be a combination of both direct military responses (hard power) to terrorism and indirect responses (soft power) to terrorism. Both policies must be carefully intertwined and must work in tandem with each other in order to avoid contradictions between policy and action. Military responses will sow the seeds for soft power to be effective “Soft power strategies have utility but they are ineffective absent hard power” (Rubin 235). If the military threat is credible then it usually enough to coerce and change terrorist behavior. This lays the ground for effective non-military strategies such as public diplomacy and denial strategies that may shape public opinion by delegitimizing terrorists and prevent them from attacking in the first place. The deterrence policy should be multifaceted and must hinder terrorists operations from every conceivable angle. The deterrence policy that I recommend is based on the cornerstones of credibility and reliability. Credible in the sense that terrorist and innocents believe it, and reliable in the sense that terrorist and innocents expect it to be enforced. Furthermore, as most terrorist organizations are independent actors, I recommend focusing on punishing individuals as by “shifting the focus of deterrence from the state to the individual, enables us to better understand how to deter individuals from rebellion or committing terrorist acts” (Machain & Regan 296). Thus, by not inflicting disproportionate punishment by solely targeting terrorists who committed the crime, the general population will be less susceptible to recruitment efforts. Direct response strategies also somet... ... middle of paper ... ...sufficient for deterring terrorist attacks. But tactical denial targets the success of the attack itself and as we are dealing with a highly innovative opponent, this strategy on its own will not thwart terrorism and must be supplemented with military responses. Strategies for deterring terrorism will undoubtedly become more sophisticated overtime, and there are a number of immediate steps that could greatly improve our ability to deter terror. First, the United States needs to improveits ability to conduct strategic communications to convey a coherent and consistent message to terrorist networks. Tactical denial policies require not only that the United States develop the ability to thwart terrorist attacks, but also that it clearly communicates that capability to terrorists. Washington must clearly and consistently broadcast the message that terrorism will fail

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