On September 8, 2006, the United Nations (UN) adopted the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy to counter terrorism. It was in the form of a resolution and Plan of action. The strategy outlined measures to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, prevent and combat terrorism, build states’ capacity to prevent and combat terrorism, strengthen the role of the United Nations system in this regard, and ensure respect for human rights for all and the rule of law as the fundamental basis of the fight against terrorism What makes this strategy especially commendable is its universal condemnation of terrorism and special attention paid to human rights.
General Assembly. “United Nations General Assembly Adopts Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy”. United Nations. 2 July 2010. http://www.un.org/terrorism/strategy-counter-terrorism.shtml
Having established the Counter-Terrorism Strategy, the UN also created a task force, the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) to take action. It coordinates efforts and keeps them in line with the four pillars of the Counter-Terrorism Strategy: addressing the causes of and conditions for terrorism, preventing and combating terrorism, improving Member States to counter terrorism, and upholding human rights.
Peace and Security Section of the Department of Public Information. “Implementing the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy”. United Nations. March 2009. 2 July 2010. http://www.un.org/terrorism/pdfs/CT_factsheet_March2009.pdf
An increasing important aspect of counter-terrorism policy is prevention. The global community seeks to find and investigate suspicious individuals before they are allowed to commit an attack. In order to do so, information must be shared between countries quickly and efficiently. To this end, the European Union (EU) and the U.S. have agreed to continue sharing European bank data for terrorist investigations.
Nakashima, Ellen. “European Union, U.S. to share banking data to fight terrorism”. The Washington Post. 29 June 2010. 2 August 2010. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/28/AR2010062805052.html
This report addresses how to counter terrorism, addressing the areas of policing, intelligence, military responses, terrorist finance, and science and technology. In addition, the report makes policy recommendations based on the ideas expressed.
Club de Madrid. “Confronting Terrorism The Club de Madrid Series on Democracy and Terrorism Volume II”. Club de Madrid. 2005. 2 August 2010. http://www.safe-democracy.org/docs/CdM-Series-on-Terrorism-Vol-2.pdf (pages 8-39).
This is the final part of a three-part report. It addresses terrorism with respect to international institutions, legal responses, democracy promotion, human rights, and civil society. In addition, the report contains policy recommendations.
Club de Madrid. “Confronting Terrorism The Club de Madrid Series on Democracy and Terrorism Volume III”. Club de Madrid. 2005. 6 August 2010. http://www.safe-democracy.org/docs/CdM-Series-on-Terrorism-Vol-3.pdf (pages 8-37).
In fighting the war against terrorism, some people have argued for a reinstitution of the draft and mandatory national service for young people. However, as the military leadership states, and Bandow explains in this article, this is unjustified. To effectively fight terrorist groups, elite, specialized forces are required, not masses of untrained soldiers. Conscripted soldiers have little incentive to work hard or stay in the force. Lastly, consciption would undermine the very American values that it seeks to protect. Perhaps instead, a special skills draft would be more effective alongside a reduction in the U.S.’s commitments to other foreign problems and countries.
Bandow, Doug. “Fighting the War against Terrorism Elite Forces, Yes; Conscripts, No”. Cato Institute. 10 April 2002. 4 August 2010. http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa430.pdf
Nation-building is one approach to combating terrorism, wherein “bad” states are supported through development into a “good” state. However, as Dempsey argues in this article, nation-building will not do anything for counter-terrorism. First, it is not a practical idea; there are too many countries with “failed” governments that should become subjects of foreign nation-building efforts. Second, the idea of nation-building is founded on false assumptions that poverty and ignorance are the root causes of terrorism and, thus, eliminating these would reduce terrorism. In addition, foreign countries can do little anyway to help other countries for the majority of reforms that would be necessary for these countries must be made by the countries themselves. In fact, one factor that contributes to terrorism is easy access to cash. Easy access to cash is an accurate predictor of political and civil violence. Based on previous experiences, nation-building actually,creates incentives and targets for terrorism, especially when U.S. forces are drawn too deeply into internal power struggles. A better policy would consist of deterrence and improvement on “traditional counter-terrorist instruments of diplomacy, intelligence, and law enforcement”.
Dempsey, Gary T. “Old Folly in a New Disguise Nation Building to Combat Terrorism”. Cato Institute. 21 March 2002. 4 August 2010. http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa429.pdf (pages 1-17)