The Military's Role in Counterterrorism: Examples and Implications for Liberal Democracies (The Letort Papers)
ARMY WAR COLL STRATEGIC STUDIES INST CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 911 attacks, the U.S. Government was criticized for adopting a militaristic response to the threat posed by al- Qaeda and affiliated groups. As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and that in Northern Ireland demonstrate, any liberal democracy that uses its armed forces to combat terrorism will incur controversy both domestically and internationally. The use of military power in counterterrorism is contentious, because historical and contemporary examples suggest that it can have the following negative strategic, political, and ethical effects The state can generate indigenous resentment that terrorist groups can exploit, and can, by resorting to military force, kill or maim a substantial number of civilians. It can also encourage human rights abuses that are antithetical to the norms of a liberal democracy--such as the maltreatment and torture of detainees--and can as demonstrated by Uruguay in 1973 and Russia currently lead to the subversion of the constitutional order and its replacement by authoritarian rule.
- Government and Political Science
- Unconventional Warfare