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Counterterrorism and American Presence Overseas

Recognizing that the United States faces a broad spectrum of terrorist threats, the National Strategy for Counterterrorism focuses on employing all national powers to combat terrorism and terrorist ideology. Recruits and followers, funds, weapons and the ability to move freely, various sorts of material assistance (such as means of communication, places to hide), besides vulnerable accessibility targets are needed by terrorists when they organize and carry out operations. An integrated and strategic approach is consequently required for effective counterterrorism, which relies on several laws and regulations. At various stages of the terrorist act, strategic counterterrorism tactics often target several objectives.

States have to protect their population from terrorist activity, and as a result, they must prioritize efforts to prevent terrorism. Their international legal and political duties are a clear indication of this Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (GCTS) of the United Nations states that the fight against terrorism must be based on safeguards that ensure all respect human rights and the rule of law (Morozov 2019).

Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Hizballah are still preparing attacks on the United States and our allies and allies. As these foes’ dangers evolve, the State Department seeks to build global support for combating them. U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance are used in partnership with other governments to strengthen the ability to prevent, degrade and identify terrorist threats and to respond to them. Law enforcement and judiciary capabilities are being strengthened, and the safety of air travel and border security is being improved. Information is being shared throughout the world more effectively (Morozov 2019). Terrorist financing is being disrupted. Because of the State Department’s worldwide involvement and advocacy of greater burden-sharing, countries are encouraged to develop counterterrorism capabilities in their particular regions. To combat international terrorism, all five branches of the federal government work together.

A terrorism-related event always takes place in some location, whether it is a terrorist’s hideout or a terrorist’s base of operation, or a place where a terrorist or terrorists engage in terrorism. As a result, preventing terrorism and combating VERLT must be done locally. To better organize their resources and increase the success of their anti-terrorism operations, states have looked for areas where they may focus their attention. Increasingly, counterterrorism measures are being formulated and implemented at the local level (Peter 2020). The premise underlying community-based programs is that the level of cohesiveness and resiliency of a community is inextricably linked to its level of safety. In the United States, anti-terrorism strategies at the federal, state, and local levels frequently focus on mobilizing the general public to aid counterterrorism efforts by cultivating resilient communities that reject violent extremism and terrorism doctrines and propaganda, among other things. While counterterrorism policies have traditionally focused on developing technical resilience, on fighting the attractiveness of violent extremism and terrorism, there is a growing realization that not enough focus has been placed on creating resilience at the level of ideas.”

Internet terrorism may necessitate surveillance and collecting information about suspects to combat it. Individuals have the right to privacy: the right to privacy and confidentiality about an individual’s identity and private life. Arbitrary or unlawful infringement with this right will be prohibited. For example, domestic legislation must be sufficiently precise regarding the conditions in which such intervention may be tolerated. Appropriate protection must protect secret surveillance tools. Furthermore, any personal data acquired must be adequately protected to ensure that it is not accessed, disclosed, or used unlawfully.

Antiterrorism Assistance Program (ATA)

The program of Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) has trained over 90,000 law enforcement officers in 154 countries on counterterrorism techniques. International law enforcement forces rely on ATA for training and equipment from the U.S. government.

ATA collaborates with international partners to develop counterterrorism capabilities in preventing, responding to, and mitigating terrorism. This does not mean that there won’t still be training classes and seminars on topics like border security, preventing terrorists from entering the United States, and critical incident response. As terrorist networks expand their tactics and strategies, ATA’s counterterrorism training programs will be. Courses from the American Bar Association stress supporting the rule of law and treating everyone equally. Administration and program administration are overseen by the Diplomatic Security Bureau of the U.S. State Department’s Counterterrorism Bureau, responsible for policy creation and strategic advising (DS) (Peter 2020).

When it comes to an understanding of the origins of current terrorist acts as a response to revolutionary violence, David Rapport’s groundbreaking theory of terrorism’s “waves” is an invaluable resource (The Four Waves of Terrorism). The “anarchist wave” of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is one of these waves. One such example of how the political ideal of self-violent determination grew into a legal right following World War II is the “anti-colonial wave.” Some more examples include the Algerian Civil War and Vietnam’s War of Hanoi) (Morozov 2019).

Demobilized troops who returned to their homes after a war have been highly trained tactically in the use of force, therefore the tactics used in each wave tend to mimic those used between States during armed combat. Terrorist organizations fall victim to the wave theory and disband when they can no longer rally their supporters to engage in violent resistance against the authorities, right some sort of wrong, or protest strongly against a lack of political concessions. Terrorists’ goals are directly influenced by social and political factors.

It was needed by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created as a separate federal agency in order to coordinate and unify the nation’s homeland security efforts (Fidler 2018). As the 18th anniversary of the first act of targeted violence approaches, the problem of terrorism in the States of America continues to evolve. The ability of the Department of Homeland Security and the United States to detect, prevent, guard against, and reduce the risks presented by foreign terrorist organizations remains a significant priority. Although the threat of terrorism from abroad is increasing, we are also facing many issues from within the United States itself.

The Department’s progress since its start should be commended and recognized. DHS has implemented a multi-tiered security strategy in several sectors, including airport and border security being only two examples. We’ve turned our country’s borders into a secondary line of defense by spotting potential enemies long before they cross our borders. Data on terrorist threats is being shared more widely amongst federal agencies and the nation’s diverse coalition of state and local government partners and corporations. We’ve been protecting America’s critical infrastructure and empowering its citizens for decades. Because of their hard work, honesty, and genuine interest in Americans’ well-being, the Department’s hardworking operators and workers have earned my thanks (Fidler 2018).

There is a constant threat to the United States from terrorism and targeted violence, constantly altering nature. Even though Homeland Security was founded sixteen years ago, foreign terrorist organizations are still attempting to strike the United States, either through direct attacks or the stirring of vulnerable individuals. In addition, domestic terrorists influenced by violent extremist ideas and those whose actions are not driven by ideology pose a growing threat to the United States (Peter 2020). Law enforcement investigation and disruption procedures are often ineffectual for domestic threat actors who plot and carry out their acts of violence on their own and with little or no notice. New and current best practices and an all-encompassing strategic vision must be used to combat domestic terrorism to improve our ability to respond effectively to such incidents in the future. Defending our country against external and internal threats requires that we go beyond focusing on those who aim to radicalize our youth and the dispossessed, encouraging them to attack the heart of our nation and undermine its rich diversity.

As we’ve seen in Iraq and elsewhere, large-scale military attempts to combat terrorism usually lead to other gains for our adversaries. They learn essential tactics, build new support networks, and form social relationships that will allow them to collaborate in the future. Because of this, they may raise money, obtain weaponry, and so forth (Peter 2020). Military force against terrorists is generally wrong because it is always indiscriminate and frequently results in the alienation of precisely the folks in a specific community that we do not want to be radicalized. Regardless of how much care is taken, military action against terrorist objectives often results in the deaths of innocents. Many Iraqis have come to believe that the United States is responsible for the calamities that have befallen their families and communities during the U.S. presence.

Because most terrorist acts occur within a functional state’s borders, intelligence and law enforcement agencies handle the bulk of tactical counterterrorism efforts. Most of these countries are our allies or, at the very least, aren’t somewhere we’d like to go to war with. Our essential instruments are in place, but if the threat persists and the terrorists obtain more understanding of our tactics, we will need to improve our performance consistently (Fidler 2018). We must have a less politicized, more serious discussion about our surveillance needs both at home and abroad if the United States is to keep making progress. This includes investing heavily in technology, particularly in signals intelligence. Instead of reducing turf wars and improving intelligence sharing, the reorganization has added more levels of bureaucracy. However, further rearrangement would be a waste of time and money that could be better spent elsewhere. Minor adjustments and refocusing efforts on counterterrorism might be more beneficial than wire-diagram modifications. Another round of surgery is not an option for the intelligence community.


Fidler, David P. (2018). “Cyberspace, Terrorism and International Law.” Journal of Conflict and Security Law, vol. 21, issue. 3, pp. 475-493.

Morozov, Nikolai (2019). “The Terrorist Struggle.” Fully reprinted reprinted in Violence in Politics. Terror and Political Assassination in Eastern Europe and Russia, Feliks Gross ed. The Hague and Paris: Mouton, 1972.

Global Counterterrorism Forum, Rabat Memorandum on Good Practices for Effective Counterterrorism Practice in the Criminal Justice Sector, 2019.

Peter R.B, Confronting “the Enemy Within”: Security Intelligence, the Police, and Counterterrorism in Four Democracies, Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, MG-100-RC, 2020. As of September 21, 2019.


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