Civil Liberty Woes When Dealing with Uncivil Foes: The Effect of Civil Liberties and Human Right on Counterterrorism Operations
NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Many of the counterterrorism tools created in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to protect the world are now struggling to survive multiple legal challenges in domestic and international courts. There is a shift in the operational legal environment fueling a movement towards increased protection for individual civil liberties and human rights at the expense of counterterrorism efforts. Increasing restrictions on the ability of the United States and its partners, specifically in Europe, to share information and intelligence is limiting the ability to maintain the terrorist watchlist system. Legal challenges regarding extraterritorial detention are directly affecting the operational commander s ability to arrest and detain terrorist suspects. Courts have ordered the release of classified counterterror intelligence to terrorist suspect s defense counsels in federal prosecution, which threaten the operational commander s ability to protect his means and methods of intelligence collecting. The legal shift is eroding the latitude the operational commander has to conduct counterterrorism operations. The operational commander must understand and plan for the changing operational legal environment in the counterterrorism realm or risk the degradation of vital counterterrorism tools such as terrorist watchlists, international intelligence sharing, extraterritorial detention and arrests, and the criminal prosecution of terrorist suspects.
- Unconventional Warfare