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The War on Terrorism: Countering Global Insurgency in the 21st Century

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Countering global insurgency will be a critically important mission for our nation in the 21st Century. Previous insurgencies were only marginally threatening to American interests because of the regional focus and intrinsically limited scale of those insurgencies. But the technologies that enable the prosperity of a global marketplace and enhance the lives of those who participate in that marketplace also provide our insurgent enemies with the means to directly threaten our nation and way of life. Todays Global War on Terrorism places us in an unfamiliar environment that many have called the first global insurgency. In this global insurgency, as in other insurgencies, our shadowy opponents will not confront us in the open. Rather they will attack our vulnerabilities, the exploitable seams that inherently exist between coalition partners, government agencies, and military commands. In these attacks, 21st century global insurgents will use terrorism and other asymmetric tactics as their principle method to penetrate those seams, create divisiveness, and ultimately disrupt our functionally oriented defenses. While we must transform to meet the nuances of this threat, there are traditional capabilities in our existing security establishment that are well suited to confront a global insurgency as well as emerging peer competitors. Key programs within this establishment, such as Security Assistance and Foreign Internal Defense, provide many of the tools needed to develop and implement a successful engagement strategy against these threats. Of particular importance are the interagency aspects of these concepts. Interagency cooperation is more critical than ever before, allowing us to maximize limited resources, avoid duplication, and leverage expertise across functional and regional structures. Mr. Bates vision of national interagency structure provides a conceptual framework for developing our engagement strategy in the Global War on Terrorism.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Unconventional Warfare

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