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Terrorism: Threat Assessment, Countermeasures and Policy


thin blue line

    Cotter, Michael W. TRACKING DOWN THE TERRORISTS: REGIONAL ALLIES HAVE THEIR OWN AXES TO GRIND (American Diplomacy, vol. 6, no. 4, Fall 2001, www.unc.edu/depts/diplomat/articles/cotter_track/cotter_track.html)

    The author, a former Ambassador in Turkmenistan, discusses various issues surrounding the tentative anti-terrorism coalition formed in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11th. He notes that many of Afghanistan's Central Asian neighbors (among them Israel, Russia, Iran, India, and Kyrgyzstan) have pledged some degree of support for the United States and the coalition, but he calls into question their motives for the move. He suggests that the many hidden agendas among the allies of the United States may make "tracking down the terrorists" a complex task. Cotter explains that strong and sustained political leadership as well as an organized and focused policy of diplomacy will be required in order to maintain a cohesive and cooperative coalition.

    Weiss, Aaron WHEN TERROR STRIKES, WHO SHOULD RESPOND? (Parameters, vol. 31, no. 3, Autumn 2001, pp. 117-133)

    In this article the author assesses the best respondent to terrorist attacks against America. The U.S. military's organization, discipline and mission-oriented culture have traditionally made it the first choice for policymakers seeking immediate action in a crisis. However, over dependency upon the military in a terrorist attack could decrease the military's ability to perform its primary warfighting role and, thus, increase the terrorist threat to the United States. Weiss views local agencies as the better respondents to a terrorist attack, supplemented with good planning, training and equipment. In light of the September 11th terrorist attack on America, the author's views are timely as counterterrorism policies, structures and appropriations are enacted. This article is currently available on the Internet at: http://carlisle-www.army.mil/usawc/Parameters/01autumn/weiss.htm

    Laqueur, Walter POSTMODERN TERRORISM (Foreign Affairs, vol. 75, no. 5, September/October 1996, www.foreignaffairs.org/Search/document_briefings.asp?i=19960901FAEssay4222.xml)

    Historian Walter Laqueur believes the contemporary environment offers a bewildering multiplicity of terrorists and potentially terrorist groups and sects. Until now, terrorists were largely nationalists and anarchists, as well as extremists of the left and right. But in the current age, Laqueur says terrorism has found new inspiration for the users of pure violence. He says that history indicates that terrorism more often than not has little political impact, and that when it has an effect it is often the opposite of the one desired. He notes that 99 out of 100 terrorist attempts are likely to fail, but "the single successful one could claim many more victims, do more material damage, and unleash far greater panic than anything the world has yet experienced."

    Pipes, Daniel WAR, NOT 'CRIMES' (National Review vol. LIII, no. 19, October 1, 2001, pg. 12)

    Director of the Middle East Forum and columnist for the Jerusalem Post, Pipes argues in National Review's "At War" issue following the terrorist attacks of September 11 that "[t]he time has come for a paradigm shift, toward viewing terrorism as a form of warfare." The consequences, which should follow from such a shift, Pipes writes, include targeting organizations and governments, which stand behind terrorists, and "relying on the armed forces, not policemen, to protect Americans." The United States, Pipes asserts, must establish a reputation for "certain and nasty" retribution against any terrorists who target Americans.


    The annotations above are part of a more comprehensive Article Alert offered on the International Home Page of the Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State: usinfo.state.gov/admin/001/wwwhapub.html

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