A Strategic Response to Terrorism: A Framework for U.S. Policy
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY CONFLICT
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Many observers have suggested ways that the United States might respond to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. Some of these proposals have been presented in a systematic manner. Many of these suggested strategies are threat-based, and most are directed specifically at the al-Qaeda network. While any effective strategy must address existing threats, developing a strategy based on one type of event can lead one to focus on the tactical and operational aspects of terrorism, perhaps missing some of the more important strategic dimensions. A threat-based perspective often produces only a short-term response. Thus, policies based on recent experience may miss important options. Other studies suggest conceptual approaches that are objectives-based. One widely cited and relatively comprehensive framework has been developed by the ANSER Corporation it has been disseminated widely via its online Homeland Security journal and newsletter. It offers an objectives-based approach that provides a phased response to a range of threats. It posits a strategic cycle of deterrence, prevention, preemption, crisis management, consequence management, attribution, and response. Another systemic approach is contained in the recently crafted United States National Security Strategy. It outlines an immediate response to terrorism a short-term campaign to disrupt and destroy terrorist organizations through direct action, preemption, and denial of sponsorship, support, and sanctuary. In the longer term it calls for a war of ideas to criminalize and isolate the terrorists, coopt the support of moderates, diminish the underlying conditions of violence, and employ public diplomacy to provide information, truth, and hope to the citizens of societies from which terrorism rises. And underlying both of these policies is the effort to protect and defend the United States through homeland security initiatives.
- Civil Defense
- Unconventional Warfare