U.S. Counter Terrorism Strategies
Since the beginning of the new millennium, global terrorism has firmly occupied the place of "the main threat to humanity". Undisputed leader in the fight against "evil terrorist" remains the United States, providing a wide range of activities to capture and destroy the militants of “Al-Qaeda” and others like that, not only in the country but also far beyond its borders. What are they, the results of decades of anti-terror battle?
A proof of special significance for the United States to combat global terrorism was the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) after 9/11. Currently, the DHS includes 72 specialized centers, which are the basic units of the Ministry for the collection, processing, storage and transmission of information on terrorist threats to the services of state and local governments, as well as services of the U.S. intelligence community.
In turn, the FBI has increased the number of the Joint Terrorism Task Forces in the United States from 35 to 106, and the number of specialists in the fight against terrorism has been increased from 1 to 4.5 thousand people. Along with this, in the National Counterterrorism Center there was organized a special archive for the storage of counterintelligence data and intelligence on terrorists in order to effectively identify potential threats of terrorist attacks.
Representatives of NCC, FBI and DHS lead the Interagency Threat Assessment and Coordination Group. DHS is also working with the National Fusion Center Network, operating throughout the United States. In addition, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has taken a series of measures to consolidate the activities of its analytical intelligence evaluation offices, which were in charge of supplying intelligence data to the commanding combat units and federal authorities. It allowed to significantly improving the effectiveness of the counter-terrorist operations.
Talking about creation of a unified national system of anti-terrorist agencies, we should recall that to date, according to the U.S. authorities, the U.S. secret services destroyed more than half of the leaders of "Al-Qaeda", including the main enemy of America Osama bin Laden, the ideological organizer of the September 11 attacks. According to the U.S. Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, today the success of special services activities in the fight against terror is determined by three factors: the dedication and skills of professional intelligence officers; integration of structures, involved in intelligence activities; as well as the extension of special services opportunities for the exchange of information that forms the basis of efforts to unite all the parts of the U.S. intelligence.
The most important factor the in successful U.S. anti-terrorism efforts, according to the U.S. experts, is to consolidate and integrate the efforts of the law enforcement agencies on the confrontation of terrorism, as well as improving the information exchange system between the units of the intelligence community.
To help the intelligence agencies there has been creating an appropriate legal framework. So, in the near future the Intelligence Committees will complete the joint development of the third draft law on the intelligence services, which will appear the first time over the past six years and will determine the legal authority of the United States intelligence and counterintelligence organizations.
Currently, within the framework of improving the forms and methods of combating terrorism at the national level there have been considering proposals to create a single emergency management system, the expansion of the radio spectrum for communication systems, as well as the establishment of a single body within the Congress, which would be responsible for overseeing the activities of the organizations, which are in charge of the U.S. internal security. In addition, the experts are raising the issue of creating a single communication network for police, firefighters and other structures, involved in disaster management.
The first principle means that the government will not pay ransom to release prisoners, change its policies or agree on other actions which could encourage more attacks. The U.S. government believes that the payment of a ransom or other concessions to terrorists in exchange for the release of hostages increases the danger of capturing new hostages. At the same time, the U.S. will use all means at their disposal to ensure the safe release of the American citizens, held as hostages by terrorists.
The second principle is that “the US wants effective prosecution and punishment for terrorists and criminals, who cause damage to the government or to the U.S. citizens, and will use all legal methods to achieve these goals, including extradition”.
"Enrollment" of a State in the discharge of state sponsors of terrorism and the introduction of appropriate sanctions against it is one of the isolation mechanisms of states that use terrorism as a means of achieving their political objectives. In addition to state sponsors of terrorism after the attacks of September the 11, the United States declared war on foreign terrorist organizations, actively operating on an international scale. The U.S. law on combating terrorism provides for different penalties for participation in terrorist attacks and the connection with terrorist groups, including the death penalty (1996).
It is illegal to promote any recognized foreign terrorist organizations. It means that it is forbidden to unlawfully provide funds or other material support to an organization, classified as OST. The representatives and members of organizations, classified as OST, can be denied a visa or denied entry to the United States. The U.S. financial institutions must block funds and report it to the US Treasury Department.
Despite the claims of progress in the fight against global terrorism, there are a number of factors affecting the operation of U.S. intelligence. A serious problem, according to the analysts, is an active process of the American society’s radicalization. At present, the nature of the terrorist threat sources has undergone significant changes. They began to come not only from the "foreigners coming to the United States," but also from the U.S. citizens. Moreover, about half of produced and planned terrorist attacks militants of the "Al Qaeda" in the United States (175 episodes), registered from 11 September 2001, took place in 2009 and 2010. According to the experts, the threat of radicalization of the U.S. citizens becomes so serious that there is quite a serious concern about Washington's ability to stop this process deliberately and effectively.
On the other side, the very nature of the modern terrorist threats is changing. Militants quickly and efficiently adapted sufficiently to the measures for improving the activity of special services. For example, the terrorists began to use powerful and sensitive explosives, which are quite difficult to detect. The prospect of lone terrorists’ appearance is becoming more and more real, causing a serious concern among federal officials and heads of intelligence agencies.
In connection with the new approach to the use of intelligence in the American special services there have emerged the problems of another nature. The intelligence analysts are now forced to spend much more time on the simple extraction and linking together a huge number of heterogeneous data. However, the experts are run out of time and resources for their real analysis. We should also assign to this the need to improve the data analysis techniques to reduce the number of private companies, involved in the actions of the intelligence community and the CIA specialists, engaged in language training, especially in languages like Dari, Urdu, Pashto, Farsi and Arabic.
As you can see, despite the efforts and effective measures to combat international terrorism, the US intelligence agencies, armed with modern military equipment and the latest technologies in various areas, still cannot fully ensure the antiterrorist protection of the American society. Even the U.S. citizens are now carrying out explosions in their own country. Despite a relatively stable state of the economy, a serious experience of law enforcement agencies in counterterrorism operations, from time to time there are attacks within the country. Apparently, until the people are not fully aware of the scale of the problem, and begin to adhere to at least the elementary rules of personal and public safety, the terrorist situation in our country will resemble a smoldering fire in a dry forest.
The White House has recently published a new national counter-terrorism strategy. In addition that it is noted that the U.S. security threat is posed by the "Al-Qaeda", the first time as an important anti-terrorist zone has been noted the very territory of the country. In particular, it is about preventing the terrorists from the ideological influence of the U.S. population. The Advisor to the U.S. President for National Security and the fight against terrorism, John Brennan also said that in the war against terror in the future, "the best attack will not be an attack of large-scale troops stationed abroad". The main thing will be the "surgery" actions at a particular location.
The new strategy primarily emphasizes precaution because of the terrorist threat in the country. In this regard, there are at least two reasons. The terrorist threat to the United States is not weakened after the destruction of Osama bin Laden. On the contrary, an extensive network of "Al-Qaeda" eroded counterterrorism objectives of the United States. "Al-Qaeda", in turn, under intense pressure in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other places is now trying to launch an attack within the United States.
Compared with the anti-terrorism strategy of the Bush administration in 2006, the new strategy of the Obama government significantly narrowed the frames of activity. After the Barack Obama’s entry for president, the "global war on terrorism", began by George W. Bush, is limited to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Following by the development of the program for the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, the United States began to pay more attention to the terrorist threat in the country.
Of course, the scope of the fight against terrorism provided in the new strategy, is rather broad, covering both the United States and South Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, East Africa, Southeast Asia and Central Asia. The strategy still covers the whole world. However, the Obama administration emphasizes the need to abandon large-scale armies and more to rely on the cooperation of special military units and security services, with the help of unmanned aerial vehicles to conduct anti-terrorist attacks of high precision. Such a restriction of activity on the one hand is due to the conceptual differences, and, on the other hand, it is because of the strong economic and financial pressure in the country.
From a broader perspective, at the moment before the United States there is another important global strategic purpose than the fight against terrorism. Over the past 10 years, the United States has been primarily engaged in fighting terrorism. However, the US does not want the next decade to be also determined by the anti-terrorist struggle. Despite the fact that anti-terrorism course has brought huge benefits for the U.S. global strategy, this long war on terrorism still weakens the power of the state. Some actions, taken under the pretext of combating terrorism, also have a negative impact on the world. Thus, the international financial crisis has weakened the "hard" and "soft" U.S. forces. The issues of economic recovery and a worthy rebuff challenges have come to the foreground instead of terrorism.
The new strategy is not a review of the U.S.anti-terrorist policy. For the United States the final period of the anti-terrorist war has not come yet. During the Osama bin Laden’s life, there was a "war of the state against a single person," while after the elimination of the "terrorist №1” the country is fighting against the whole ideology". In the evening, 2011 May 1 the death of bin Laden, near the White House was celebrated mostly by representatives of young people and people, while others quietly watched the scene. Some Americans pointed out that on the one hand, according to the moral standards, they did not celebrate the death of a person. On the other hand, they were well aware that this was not the end. With regard to the sources of terrorism, the U.S. administration now pays more attention to the fight in the country, which has no connection with the U.S. foreign policy.
Today, there is emerging a new generation of terrorist organizations that have little or have no motivation in their high ideals of the struggle for values. What is the most surprising that they do not want to only count on the donor funds from their sponsors, as for example, the Taliban during the Afghan war. The new generation of terrorists forcibly establishes control over sources of income, thus being some kind of multinational company. Well, ISIS, which controls a third of the world oil reserves, selling it for less than $ 20 a barrel on the world market, requires not only the efforts of the USA, but also the involvement of their allies over the world.
Finally, we will investigate a couple of minds, given to the issue of the U.S. fighting against terrorism by some experts. According to the American political scientist Walter Laqueur, the phenomenon of terrorism is inevitable. Back in 1999 on the question of the possibility mass terror and mega-terrorism in the future, using all the achievements of modern technology and WMD, Laqueur said yes. Terrorism, sponsored by states, will thrive; the spread of weapons of mass destruction will continue, as it is easier to acquire it for the states rather than for individual terrorist groups.
According to the expert from the Stanford University, Makfolla, the U.S. fight against terrorism is a long-term, and in case of its connection with the spread of democracy in the world, it can be a strategy for a century. It is unknown how intense the actual control of the centers of terrorism will be and what will be the alignment of forces in the global and regional level, what rules of conduct are established between actors in the fight, as well as those States that wish to stay out, etc. Even the U.S. leadership in the international campaign against terrorism does not give reason to believe that the rest of the world will unconditionally accept everything that the United States is doing.
According to the political scientists, a challenge for the United States on the part of the international terrorism is that they will have to revise their concept of the new world order. The responsibility of the leader of world politics and the most powerful nation in the world is to prevent the use of terrorism and religious extremism in the geopolitical order to prevent the further spread of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, to prevent nuclear, biological and chemical terrorism. The U.S. must realize the importance of joint action with the international community and the futility of unilateral action in addressing global international problems.
Thus, modern international terrorism is a not only dangerous but enough resilience phenomenon. It constantly transforms and adapts to the changing conditions. September 11, 2001 showed that the modern international terrorism is characterized by: a) greater cruelty, b) a large scale and scope. Accordingly, the success of the struggle against it will be linked with: a) a large number of participating countries, involved by the United States, b) the complexity of the measures to combat terrorism. Requirements to combat international terrorism have overgrown the possibilities of even the most powerful state (USA), and require a further strengthening of cooperation with other countries.
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