Forging a National Strategy for Combating Terrorism
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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Almost two years before the attacks of September II, 2001,the Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction, known as the Gilmore Commission, concluded the United States lacked a coherent, functional national strategy to guide disparate counterterrorism efforts. On February 14, 2003, President George W. Bush issued the long-awaited National Strategy For Combating Terrorism. The strategy, through its AD tenets deter, deny, diminish, and defend, attacks terrorists with global influence, and attempts to reduce their capabilities to that of the criminal domain. Furthermore, the strategy advocates preemption - calling for the destruction of terrorist targets wherever they can be found, before they can strike against the United States. Long gone is the strategy of deterrence and containment that characterized the era of the Cold War. The strategy worked well against the formidable Soviet threat, but proved to be ineffective against todays radical Islamic terrorist movement. Although the strategy is fairly new, this paper will examine whether it capitalizes on all tools of government. It will also determine whether the strategy is sufficient to meet changing and adaptable threats, and guide the application of finite resources to achieve critical objectives. The United States response has predictably been through military means and although effective, has minimally capitalized on the potential of diplomatic, information, intelligence, and economic elements of national power.
- Unconventional Warfare