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Counteracting Terrorism

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Nathan White

on 7 April 2014

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Transcript of Counteracting Terrorism

A realist view in regards to counter-terrorism provides a great stumbling block for international cooperation in response strategies. While there are surely many counter-arguments in support of the United States actions, a coalition of states maintaining an international response remains the ideal situation for counter-terrorist initiatives.
How to counteract terrorism?
Case Studies: Afghanistan and Iraq
Combating and counteracting terrorism has been a forefront subject of United States' foreign policy over the last decade
What is going wrong?
Counteracting Terrorism: A Critique On A Realist Reaction
Hypothesis: The United States realist approach to counter-terrorism does not bring the same effect as a united international response.
1989 - Soviet Union withdraws from Afghanistan and Taliban rises to power.
1998 - Rising terrorist group al-Qaeda bombs embassy.
September 11th, 2001 - Osama bin Laden led Al-Qaeda attacks World Trade Center and Pentagon.
October 2001 - United States invades Afghanistan
2013 - United States withdraws last of its troops
1. The international system is anarchic
2. States are the most important actors
3. All states within the system are unitary, rational actors
4. The primary concern of all states is survival

Donnelly, "The Ethics of Realism"
4 Main Tenets of Realism:
Results of Realist thoughts
1. Loss of trust in international systems and institutions.
2. Only focus on what your state can do.
3. All states have different orderings of preferences and priorities (per Rational Choice theory) which leads to a more self-centered and competitive society.
4. This competitive nature leads to "power race" in order to survive.
1. Growth in overall terrorist activity
2. Increase in civilian casualties
3. Lack of effect
"The reason for the NATO and American intervention was terrorism. Terrorism has not gone away. It has increased. " - President Hamid Karzai, 2012
Source: START (Study of Terrorism and the Reactions to Terrorism
Gulf War 1991
- Saddam Hussein sanctions many failed attacks agianst the United States. President Clinton maitains sanctions and arms inspections
September 2001
- President Bush identifies Iraq as one of the primary threats to security.
July 2002
- United States invades Iraq
- United States begins to remove forces

1. War led to Nearly Half a Million Iraqi Deaths
Researchers say 60 percent of the 461,000 deaths are directly attributed to violence, such as gunshots (62 percent), car bombs (12 percent), and other explosions (9 percent). Nonviolent deaths were attributed to health problems stemming from crippled health care, clean water, nutrition, and transportation systems. For every three people killed by violence, two died as a result of crumbling infrastructure that supports these areas, according to the study
Source: Journal, PLOS Medicine
2. "Made the overall terrorism problem worse
National Intelligence Estimate, which represents a consensus view of the 16 disparate spy services inside government, concluded the following:
The U.S. presence in Iraq is providing new recruits for militant Islam
The movement has spread and is now "self-generating."
While initially inspired by al Qaeda, the radical movement is no longer directly tied to the group.
Because of the Internet, the radical Islamist movement is more connected and no longer isolated.
3. Lack of world support
1. Realism often connects terrorism back to the state.
2. Lack of Multilateralism
3. Too much focus on military intervention, when terrorists' tactics are changing.
Construction of haven states:

: Somalia, The Trans-Sahara, Mali
Southeast Asia:
The Sulu/Sulawesi Seas Littoral, The Southern Philippines
The Middle East:
Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen
South Asia
: Aghanistan, Pakistan
Western Hemisphere:
Venezuela, The Tri-Border Area (Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay)

This can possibly lead to an overemphasis on the state as the culprit
United States proceeds unilaterally, fostering resentment in the international community
While other international concerns (human rights and climate change) are handled at an international level, transnational terrorism seems to remain the United States' responisbility.
Maintaining a focus simply on current terrorist groups does not inhibit the growth and formation of other terrorist groups. A focus on simply building a military power does not necessarily counteract the most recent terrorist tactics.
Any signs of this?
Because the United States and other countries maintain a realist view in counter-terrorism, international cooperation remains difficult as there are many priorities and preferences related to the betterment of each individual state.
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