National Counter-Terrorism Strategies provides an in-depth analyses of terrorism trends and responses in the US, UK, France, Turkey and Russia. The contributors are scholars and operational people from each of the countries. They contribute to the existing literature on terrorism by analyzing their countries’ response to the terror-organized crime nexus, coordination of state agencies fighting terrorism, and ability to manage trade-offs between protecting civil liberties and ensuring security. The book makes an important contribution by providing a comparative analysis of the various national responses to terrorism, showing where individual countries excel and lag behind. These analyses seek to provide the basis for improving the counter-terrorism approaches for each of the countries. The introductory chapters provide an analysis of current trends in terrorism today from a variety of different national perspectives. The different approaches and points of view allow the reader to gain a more nuanced understanding of terrorism and the current efforts to combat it.
This volume presents the proceedings of the NATO Advanced Research Workshop on National Counter-Terrorism Strategies: Legal, Institutional, and Public Policy Dimensions in the US, UK, France, Turkey and Russia, which was held at the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center of American University in Washington, DC on 4–6 May 2006.
The central idea of this NATO Advanced Research Workshop was to discuss and compare various reactions to the challenges of mass-scale terrorism. Five countries are at the center of the research: the United States, Great Britain, France, Turkey and Russia, each of them being a victim of multiple terrorist attacks. The conference brought together the authors represented here, as well as a much wider community.
This work is a collaborative effort that grows out the research carried out in the five countries. Andrey Makarychev was the first to propose the project and, in this sense, this volume is a continuation of the previous research project entitled “Anti-Terrorist Strategies and Domestic Policies: Comparing Russian and American Approaches” implemented by a group of Nizhny Novgorod scholars. That project-based book appeared in fall 2005, constituting a conceptual base for further research in this important field of security studies.
This volume is grounded in a conceptual presumption that the countries directly affected by terrorism produce different types of responses. Of course, there is much in common in all five country cases, but the most interesting part of the research exercise is identifying the divergences. Based upon this comparative analysis, this volume discusses a variety of counter-terrorism policies and strategies. Hopefully, these analyses will provide the basis for improving the counter-terrorism approaches for each of the countries as we learn from each other.
Many people participated in preparing the conference and this volume and deserve to be recognized for their work. Louise Shelley helped shape the intellectual content of the conference and recruited many of the participants. Alon Daniel also helped recruit many of the participants. Irina Morozova handled the logistical arrangements. Kristin Kowalew and Anthony Latta provided enormous help in making the conference successful.
The conference discussants offered extremely insightful comments for the presenters, helping them revise their papers. They were, Esther Brimmer, Ed Kane, Angela Stent, Kim Thachuk, Jeremy Shapiro, and Michelle Egan. The panel chairs also provided invaluable help: John Picarelli, Sally Stoecker, and Ethan Burger.
Finally, Evagelia Tavoulareas tirelessly worked in preparing the text for publication. The dedication of all the contributors was truly inspiring.
We are also grateful to the NATO Science Programme, Cooperative Science and Technology Sub-Programme, for funding the conference and this publication.
Of course, any errors in the publication are our responsibility.
This chapter introduces the papers presented in this volume and places them in context. It identifies three major themes that run through the chapters. These themes focus on the crime-terror nexus, the need for better coordination among state agencies dealing with counter-terrorism domestically and internationally, and the requirement that each country balance trade-offs between protecting individual civil liberties and guaranteeing the greater security of society overall.
This chapter describes the extensive links between organized crime and terrorism. The author emphasizes that we are facing a new kind of terrorism, which is a hybrid that is part political and part criminal. He focuses attention on the chaotic state of the world today and particularly the appearance of a large number of lawless zones where terrorist groups can easily operate. To better address terrorism, states need to focus on sources of terrorist financing, the lawless zones where terrorists operate, encouraging better cooperation between agencies tasked with fighting terrorism, and increasing the ability of these agencies to move quickly against terrorist threats.
Which social, political and global factors affect the supply of labor to terrorist organizations? To answer this question, I propose a multivariate model at the national level which includes three classes of factors hypothesized to have a relationship with the supply of labor to terrorism. Drawing on motivation and political opportunism as explanations of terrorism, the three classes of factors are defined as social-structural, political-institutional, and global-capitalist contexts. The data for the dependent variables is obtained from 28 countries between 1991 and 1997. After applying the negative binomial regression model in a cross sectional time series analysis to the afore-mentioned factors, I found that political institutional factors and nations' position in the world system are related to the origins of terrorists.
This chapter describes the difficulties countries have working across borders at a time when transnational terrorist groups have little trouble crossing the same boundaries. States have failed to come to a common definition of terrorism and the UN has not been able to coordinate an effective international strategy to deal with the problem, most importantly in the area of information sharing. Bowman illustrates some of these problems by examining the difficulty many US citizens have in making trade-offs between giving the government more power to intervene in people's personal lives and protecting civil liberties. He notes that many citizens are now much more concerned about their civil liberties than they were doing the Cold War. Another problem is within the government itself. Once the government possesses vital information, it has trouble getting it to the people who can use it most effectively. For example, the FBI, an agency instrumental in uncovering terrorist plans, often has difficulty telling what it knows to the 750,000 state, local, and tribal law enforcement officers who patrol the streets and defend against terrorist threats on the ground.
The author provides a theoretical examination of the concept of asymmetric threats, seeking to deepen our understanding of terrorism. States can respond to terrorism in three different ways: political, criminal, or clinical. In the political sphere, the state defines the terrorists as an Enemy, an act which justifies an extremely aggressive response. In the criminal sphere, the state can try to deprive the terrorists of their political standing and paint them as mere criminals who have no legitimate or just goals. With a clinical response, the state labels the terrorists abnormal or deviants, identifying them as people who need medical treatment. Asymmetric threats focus on the differences between terrorists and states in terms of resources, strategies and tactics. Looking in particular at the three approaches defined above, the terrorists always try to present their actions in a political framework, while the state can attempt to politicize, de-politicize, criminalize, or medicalize the terrorists. The text explicates these concepts and their nuances in much greater detail.
Looking at the international response to terrorism, this chapter argues that the key members of the international community need to develop a much more sophisticated and comprehensive understanding of the threat that they face. Current responses have proven to be cumbersome and inappropriate. Conventional and hierarchical ways of thinking are not sufficient for understanding the new types of terrorist activities and those who participate in them. A better conception of the adversary and the Asymmetric Threat Complex would take into account the role of insurgency, rogue and weak states, and links to transnational criminal organizations. The author argues that NATO members should find new ways of sharing knowledge that eliminate divisions between political, military, nontraditional threat, and criminal issues. They should also develop new methods of planning, reducing national commands and encouraging dynamic and combined force development. Additionally, NATO should improve the way that it fights the ideological war.
This chapter examines the historical sweep of the policies of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland in dealing with the terrorist actions of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). The author argues that the “success or failure of British counterterrorism policies has depended heavily on the state of relations between London and Dublin” and that the “eventual resolution of The Troubles in Northern Ireland hinged crucially on a close political alliance” between them. In this conflict, identity politics had a profound impact on Anglo-Irish security. For example, the British counter-insurgency strategy of the early 1970s, with its violent attacks against Catholic communities in the north, alienated the Irish state. However, when Britain switched to a policy of “criminalization, normalization, and Ulsterization,” the common values of democracy, repudiation of violence, rule of law, and a future within the European Community, made it easier for the two sides to come to a common negotiating position. In doing this, the British essentially sought to undermine the positive identity that the Provisional IRA was trying to promote among its constituents.
This chapter provides an overview of the UK's current response to the terrorist threat, which has evolved from the PIRA to Islamist groups. The country overhauled its legislation in 2000, just before the 9/11 attacks in the US, to address this problem. Despite that prescient legislative move, Britain has a pattern of responding to devastating and deadly terrorist attacks with new laws granting the government greater powers aimed at suppressing terrorists and their supporters. Shortly after al Qaeda struck the US, the UK amended its new legislation to give the authorities extensive new powers, including the right to detain indefinitely and without trial non-British citizens. British attitudes toward such practices have changed dramatically: what would have been rejected earlier is now widely accepted. Although these reforms undermine civil liberties, they have not threatened the country's core democratic values. Nevertheless, it is too early to say how effective they will be.
This chapter shows that Turkey has had some success dealing with terrorism through political liberalization spurred by the process of joining the European Union, though now it faces a renewed threat from the terrorism of Kurdish separatists and is under pressure to crack down. Traditionally, Turkey has faced three terrorist threats: leftist groups, radical Islamists, and Kurdish separatists. The leftist groups became largely irrelevant after the end of the Cold War. The incorporation of Islamist parties into the political system through democratizing reforms in the late 1990s and early 2000s led to a marginalization and weakening of domestic Islamist terrorism. However, even though the Kurds have gained additional freedoms, the PKK, the main terrorist group backing Kurdish independence, has recently increased its activities. In fact, the PKK has used the new liberties to organize and revive its strength. The government has stated its intention to address the political, economic, and cultural problems of the Kurdish people as a way of undermining the PKK's power. However, conservative critics argue that doing so would only legitimize the demands of the terrorists and Turkey would be better off confronting the terrorists head-on.
The main aim of this chapter is to explain and discuss the general features of religion-based terrorism in Turkey. The chapter starts with the historical background of terrorism in Turkey and then focuses on the religion-based organizations. The discussion examines the organizations' main goals, strategies, recruitment processes, members' and supporters' education and training, organizational structures, financial sources, types of propaganda, and activities. Subsequent sections describe the socio-economic background of terrorist group members who were arrested by the security forces and the tactics of these groups.
This chapter describes the key terrorists threats to Turkey and the main features of the country's institutional response to these challenges. Four types of terrorism threaten Turkey: left-wing groups, right-wing groups, separatist movements, and Al-Qaeda connected international terrorism. Turkey's Interior Ministry is the key agency responding to these threats. The authorities have carried out successful operations through diplomacy and working to address the root causes of terrorism. Nevertheless, Turkey does not always receive the attention it deserves from the international community. Much more work is needed in building an international coalition and addressing terrorism's underlying causes. Turkey could make a much larger contribution to international counter-terrorism efforts by training other law enforcement agencies.
The author examines Russia's response to the threat of terrorism. Russian legislation defines terrorism in terms of an ideology and acts of violence. In addressing terrorism, Russia faces many asymmetrical threats, such as Chechen separatists, organized crime, and extremist racist groups. Russia's policy toward terrorism stresses the international character of the threat and the need for international cooperation in fighting against terrorism. A new law in 2006 gives the Federal Security Service top priority in leading the struggle against terrorism. While officials claim that a variety of recent laws are aimed specifically at undermining terrorist activities, some critics point out that they also make it possible for the state to curtail civil liberties. The Russian public strongly supports active state measures to crack down on terrorist groups.
This chapter identifies and analyses the major changes in Russia's organizational response to terrorism since the September 2004 hostage-taking drama in Beslan. The chapter examines the benefits and disadvantages of the newly-established National Counter-Terrorism Committee and logically extends current trends shaping the federal counter-terrorism hierarchy into the near future where possible. The chapter then describes how Russia's counter-terrorism policies, which are formulated in the Kremlin, are applied on the ground in Chechnya, which remains the testing ground for most of the new counter-terrorism initiatives that Russian authorities adopt. The chapter concludes with a number of general recommendations on how to address the flaws within the existing system.
This chapter analyses the impact of Russia's counter-terrorism policies on society since the start of the second war in Chechnya in 1999. The authors show how the authorities have used the campaign against terrorism to crackdown on a wide variety of civil liberties, with strong popular support. Unfortunately, the extensive use of violence against Muslims in Russia has sometimes been counter-productive, alienating many members of this community. Since there is no real mechanism for society to provide feedback to the state, government officials have not taken action to correct their policies. In its legal and public policy responses to terrorism, Russia has adopted broad laws that limit the rights of society as a whole and more specific laws that focus on the terrorists themselves. A successful amnesty allowed many individuals to exit the ranks of the fighters.
In her analysis of the US response to terrorism, Louise Shelley argues that the US does not pay enough attention to the crime-terror nexus, significantly undermining American efforts to counter terrorism. Since US policy makers conceptualize crime and terrorism as two separate issues, after 9/11, many resources previously devoted to fighting organized crime were shifted to fighting terrorism. Ultimately, the failure to ask the right questions has led to policy failure in Iraq, a failure to go after terror support structures in the US, and major violations of human rights. Moreover, Shelley argues that the 9/11 Commission report was flawed because it failed to address the crime-terror nexus. The problem is bipartisan since major critiques of the Bush administration have also failed to make this point. The failure to understand the nexus is particularly intense in the military, which pays little attention to crime issues and non-state actors. The US failure, for example, to crack down on weapons markets that appeared in Iraq right after the US invasion laid the foundation for many of the problems that the administration now faces in the occupation.
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