Terrorism, Intelligence, and the Law,
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE WASHINGTON DC
Pagination or Media Count:
Terrorism is defined as the threat and use of psychological and physical force-including intimidation, coercion, repression, and ultimately, destruction of human lives and property-for the purpose of attaining real or imaginary ideological and political goals. In other words, terrorism should be regarded as an expedient tactical and strategic tool utilized by both established regimes and opposition groups functioning under varying degrees of stress. Obviously the first line of defense is the law enforcement agencies, and theyre doing a good job. However, the problem of terrorism is so critical that it cannot be left to the law enforcement agencies alone. Much technology is available, and new technology usually can be developed to deal with most terrorists threats. The problem lies in making the decision to use specific technological countermeasures. Also, intelligence countermeasures are possible but are not used because of public attitudes and political and bureaucratic restrictions. In other words, our democracy is restrained by moral and legal principles in countering terrorism. To correct this weakness we must mobilize both the public and Congress to help strengthen the prediction, prevention, contigency planning, and crisis management capabilities of the U.S. government.