Foreign policy is the way the United States interacts with other nations. It sets standards and rules of interactions for businesses and individual citizens. The official goal of the United States foreign policy is to build and sustain a better world for both American and international people. Foreign policy also dictates the use of nuclear technology and the use of nuclear hardware. This paper discusses the United States’ foreign policy, non-governmental organizations and their association with terrorism.
A main part of foreign policy has to deal with terrorism. Combating terrorism is a major objective for the United States. Combating terrorism is something that has gained much support throughout the country. Different branches of the government as well as the American public have created efforts in order to stop international terrorism. Terrorism is generally carried out by a group of individuals in order to meet some sort of goal. These social goals can sometimes override political agendas. According to Murdie & Stapley, terrorism is “a form of “costly signaling” and groups use attacks to signal their strength and garner responses from both their potential supporters and a government actor” (82).
Foreign policy has been concern with terrorism for decades. However, it has been a big component to foreign policy since the September 11 attacks. After the attacks, President Bush promised to defeat terrorism. However, terrorism still exists and is happening throughout the world. The Bush administration never created an endgame when it came to winning the war on terrorism. On the other hand, Bush created a long war that had no result. One main thing that Bush did do when it came to terrorism was to monitor American Muslims. This was due to the fact that the political figures did not know whether or not these individuals could be trusted. Obama allowed the surveillance of the American born Muslims to continue once elected into office (Murdie & Stapley 82).
Non-governmental Organizations (NGO)
Non-governmental organizations are not part of a government nor are they considered businesses or corporations. They are usually developed by citizens. Non-governmental organizations are funded by the government, corporations or individual people. Some, on the other hand, are ran strictly off of volunteers. Non-governmental organizations are generally consist of a diverse group of individuals that engage in several different activities. Some are charitable organizations while others have religious or political intentions. “NGOs are commonly thought of as somewhat powerless, non-violent actors in a violent, sate-centric world” (Murdie & Stapley 80). Overall, non-governmental organizations are considered the good guys when it comes to world politics.
Even though non-governmental organizations are considered the good guys, they are still susceptible to terrorist attacks. It is estimated that approximately ten or more terrorist attacks happen against non-governmental organizations each year. It is suggested that non-governmental organizations are threatening to terrorist groups. Some terrorist groups view non-governmental organizations need for human right advocacy as threatening. Human rights advocate are more likely to interrupt the patterns or the support a terrorist organization wants to receive. On one hand, they can be seen as competitors to terrorist groups. Overall, however, being part of a non-governmental organization did not increase the changes of an individual be a victim of a terrorist attack (Murdie & Stapley 80).
Counterterrorism is defined as the government strategies that are used by a government in order to prevent or combat terrorism. It consists of military tactics and strategy in order to help limit terrorism. Counterterrorism has always existed throughout the world. However, after the September 11 attacks, Western countries have made counterterrorism a priority when it comes to foreign policy. Counterterrorism is a United States policy that is undertaken by the National Commission on Terrorism. The counterterrorism policy states that if “terrorism poses an increasing danger to the United States; stepped-up efforts are required to meet this danger intelligence and law enforcement agencies must use all their authorities to learn of terrorist plans and methods and the United States should firmly target terrorist” (7).
Counterterrorism has changed several aspects of the United States legal system. It redefined the search and seizure element of the fourth amendment. It is also responsible for the USA Patriot Act that was brought into the legislation after the September 11 attacks. The Department of Homeland Security was established in order to enhance both domestic and international security. The Department of Homeland Security also helps when it comes to major natural disasters and accidents. Counterterrorism is also responsible for the Posse Cornitatus Act that is responsible for limiting domestic employment of the United States Army and United States Air Force (Jones 64).
While counterterrorism is mainly is a country’s reaction to a terrorist attack, the main purpose of the counterterrorism policy is to stop terrorism. Under this policy, the United States is to make no deal with captured terrorist, all terrorist must be brought to justice for their crimes and apply pressure on to the terrorism group in order to change their behavior. The policy on counterterrorism mainly deals with terrorism that happens overseas. All of these are examples when it comes to counterterrorism (Jones 67). While counterterrorism does seem to have an effect on terrorism, many people believe it does not do enough to justify the expense it costs for the country. In other words, the United States counterterrorism measures are not effective enough to justify the government spending. The country does not have enough successful attacks when it comes to defeating terrorism.
How to Stop Terrorism
There are several theories on how to stop terrorism. Some believe education can help stop terrorism. Others believe the only answer is warfare. The most common assumption is that terrorism can be stopped by simply not letting them into the country. However, none of these have seem to be relevant when dealing with terrorism. It is impossible to sit down with all of the terrorist around the world and educated them on the harm they are doing to society. Furthermore, after a ten year war, the benefits of warfare started to be questions. Not letting terrorist into the country is a good plan, however, it is not realistic. A country cannot discriminate foreigners based on their physical description or religious preference. There is also no way of knowing whether or not an individual is a terrorist or not. Not all of them are easy to detect. The only proper way to help stop terrorism is by limiting the groups financing, monitoring them and attacking and arresting them (Bew 34).
ISIS, for example, is one terrorist group that should be stopped. There are several theories on what the United States can do when it comes to ISIS. The United States have taken several strategies when it comes to stopping ISIS. A reasonable goal for the U.S. would be to neither destroy the terrorist group no to degrade it. Instead, the United States should attempt to defeat or neutralize the organization in order to better control it. Some believe that the president’s control on the military is one reason the country cannot stop ISIS. In order to stop ISIS, the president should dispatch more military and special operations forces. The president should also loosen their restrictions when they operate. The United States should also increase the size of their military force. Current military force consist of approximately three thousand troops. However, it is estimated that the military needs over ten thousand troops in order to adequately control ISIS (Bew 27).
Foreign policy has always been concerned with terrorism. However, the United States became even more concerned with terrorism after the September 11th attacks. The goal of the United States foreign policy is to make a better world for all citizens world-wide. Thus, placing an emphasis on terrorism. Terrorism consists of groups using different signals and strength in order to place fear in people’s lives. It happens all over the world. Non-governmental organizations are sometimes a target for terrorist groups. This is because their human rights advocacy is seen as a threat to them. Counterterrorism is what a country does after they are attacked. It consists of how they build a better government and create policies in order to limit the amount of terrorism throughout the country. Why there is no one way to limit and stop terrorism, limiting their financing and monitoring their activities seems to be the best way to limit how much harm they can produce throughout the world.
Bew, John (2014). “The Long Shadow of Isis.” New Statesman 143.5230. Retrieved on January 6, 2016. Print.
Jones, Keith (2015). “Programs in East and Northwest Africa.” Nova. Retrieved on January 6, 2016. Print.
Mueller, John, Stewart, Mark (2014). “Evaluating Counterterrorism Spending.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 28.3. Retrieved on January 6, 2016. Print.
Murdie, Amanda, Stapley, Craig. (2014). “Why Target the “Good Guys”? The Detminants of Terrorism Against NGOs”. International Interactions 40.79. Retrieved on January 6, 2016. Print.
Pillar, Paul. (2014). “Terrorism and U.S. Foreign Policy”. Harvard International Review. Retrieved on January 6, 2016. Print.