US Needs a Counterterrorism Strategy

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What is counter-terrorism? If terrorism is an act of violence aimed to frighten and coerce a certain political goal, then counter-terrorism is simply a reaction or opposition to the said acts. Although the military has been the main effort for America’s fight against terrorism thus far, one must consider the alternative measures that can be taken right here on our own soil before employing such a large force against an unknown enemy. There are a plethora of three letter agencies and law enforcement special teams whose sole purpose is to reduce and remove terrorism from everyday life, yet these assets remain on standby. Terrorism is an action, not an enemy, and can be defended against by other means than the military. While counter-terrorism tactics have been around for quite some time now, how effective are they really and what are we doing to ensure the most productive approach is being taken? Are we making a difference or are these strategies only stimulating even more terrorist activity in the long run? A recent study from Cynthia Lum of George Mason University (2006) reveals “there is more uncertainty than certainty about the effectiveness of counter-terrorism programs.” Clearly, if the actions the United States have taken thus far to counter terrorism have had an adverse effect and actually caused more terrorist activity to arise, than we are doing something wrong. There are a vast amount of policies and strategies set forth to counter-terrorism in every which way however, there is no real evidence to support the effectiveness of any of these policies. A lot of what we are practicing today is a result of hasty decisions made in a time of need. Many of the tactics being used to counter terrorism lack a... ... middle of paper ... ... and strategy for all to follow. Works Cited Bobrow, D. B. (2004). Losing to Terrorism: An American Work in Progress. Metaphilosophy, 35(3), 345-364. Retrieved from the EBSCOhost database. Boyle, M. J. (2008). The war on terror in American grand strategy. International Affairs, 84(2), 191-209. Lum, C., Kennedy, L. W., & Sherley, A. (2006). Are counter-terrorism strategies effective? The results of the Campbell systematic review on counter-terrorism evaluation research. Journal of Experimental Criminology, (4), 489. Retrieved from the ProQuest Central database. Telhami, S. (2002). The Stakes: American in the Middle East – The Consequences of Power and the Choice for Peace. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Zunes, S. (2002). Redefining Security in the Face of Terrorism. Peace Review, 14(2), 233-239.
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