- How effective are elite counterterrorism units? What impact do elite units have on international terrorism? Discuss.
- What counterterrorism or combating terrorism measures work most effectively with the elite counterterrorism units, and which measures work least effectively for missions like hostage rescues, punitive strikes, abductions, and reconnaissance operations? Provide reasons and examples to support your answers.
- What are the challenges of creating a counterterrorism policy? Counterterrorism measures and policies are being created and implemented internationally. Do you think that counterterrorism policies are effective and can help control and combat terrorism? Why/why not? In what ways do they control and combat terrorism and in what areas are they weak? Explain.
- Examine the current counterterrorism policy of the U.S. and discuss its effectiveness. In the light of the current counterterrorism policy in the U.S., how easy or how difficult is it for terrorist groups to execute acts of terror in the U.S.? Why?
"I, (state name of enlistee), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God" (Army Regulation 601-210).
- Do you agree that the U.S. counterterrorism policy is a just policy and protects the privacy rights of the citizens? Why/why not? What do you think should be given precedence—security of citizens or privacy rights of citizens? Why?
I think targeted killings are a vital part of CT strategy; of course if we can bag a terrorist leader it is better than killing him, but you have to take the shots you're given.
But targeted killings must be directed at targets that will have an impact on terrorist operations. These should be either leaders or members of the support network. It does not make sense to spend resources on an easily replaced "line" terrorist. Targeting leaders is known as decapitation or kingpin tactics.“Kingpin strategies can effectively disrupt and fragment an illicit network, whether it be insurgent or profit-seeking“(Jones, 2013, p.170). An overlooked strategy would be to assassinate or capture those members of terror networks that provide financial, logistical, propaganda, or recruiting services.
I may have missed something, but my reading of the 2001 AUMF led me to believe that it authorized ops against terrorists involved with the 9/11 attacks. I still haven't looked at the NDAA material to see if the scope of the domestic legalities has changed.
As far as international law is concerned, terrorists have very few legal rights, as they do not respect the laws and customs of war. Article 4 of the 3rd Convention is very clear about who is allowed the protection of the laws of war. People that target civilians do not apply. American law may not permit it, but under the Geneva Convention we could torture terrorists to death in broad daylight and it would be kosher.
Thanks for the CFR reference; I haven't done a lot of study on the use of drones yet (institutional prejudice at play), and this looks like a good place to start.
Convention (III) relative to the treatment of Prisoners of War. (1949). International Committee of the Red Cross. Retrieved February 18, 2015 from https://www.icrc.org/applic/ihl/ihl.nsf/Article.xsp?action=openDocument&documentId=2F681B08868538C2C12563CD0051AA8DJones, N. (2013). The unintended consequences of kingpin strategies: kidnap rates and the Arellano-Félix Organization. Trends in Organized Crime, 16(2), 156–176. doi:http://dx.doi.org.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/10.1007/s12117-012-9185-x
That is a great quote. It fits squarely with Kaplan's argumentation in Warrior Politics.
Intelligence, as we all have seen in this course, is the most important facet of counterterror (or almost ALL human endeavor). O'Connor's point re: identifying the terrorists with the skills fits perfectly with Walt's discussion on targeted killings.
I was trying to find a definite answer on whether the NSA surveillance revealed by Snowden was legal or not. I don't see how it could be, but I haven't been able to parse through the information I've read so far.
Most importantly though, I don't think it's necessary for the general public to lose any amount of liberty to gain security. We should focus our attention on the people that promote anti-American ideology, not just Islamic but Leftist and racist ideologies as well. We can analyze their relation networks to determine who they know that we need to know, and who not to bother with. It is a waste of resources to use the shotgun approach in addition to a violation of American liberty. Why should folks that hate our way of life get any benefit or protection from it?
I keep going back to this point. The NSA was keeping tab on American porn habits, while the Tsarnaev brothers (the ones that Russian security told us about) planned their attack."The FBI said in a statement: 'The request stated that it was based on information that he was a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer, and that he had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country’s region to join unspecified underground groups" (The Huffington Post, 2013, para. 4)
Great counter-intelligence technique here:
FBI, "Sir, are you a terrorist?"
FBI, " OK, have a nice day!"
The good thing is that the services recognized this, and implemented some changes addressing those issues.
Fong, C. (2002). Operation Eagle Claw, 1980: A case study in crisis management and military planning. Journal of the Singapore Armed Forces V28, N2. Retrieved February 18, 2015 from