New Reports on International Cooperation in Counterterrorism
March 17, 2010
No nation can deal the threat of terrorism without cooperation from other states and international organizations. NATO is hold an International Symposium of Counterterrorism in Ankara on March 15th-16th, and the Burke Chair at CSIS has developed several papers and presentations for this conference.
The first paper provides an overview of the developments in formal and informal international cooperation since 2001, and analyzes the strengths and weakness of that progress to date. This paper is entitled International Cooperation in Counterterrorism: Redefining the Threat and the Requirement and is available on the CSIS web site at http://csis.org/files/publication/100315_IntCoopinfightterror.pdf. It stresses the need to look beyond a narrow definition of terrorism, to consider ideological threats and insurgency as key elements of this threat. It also stresses the need to avoid dealing with counterterrorism in ways that separate Islamic and non-Islamic efforts, and to work with thew Islamic world in finding ways to meet the special challenges posed by violent religious extremists and deviants.
The second paper is entitled The True Lessons of Yemen and Detroit: How the US Must Expand and Redefine International Cooperation in Fighting Terrorism, and is available on the CSIS web site at http://csis.org/files/publication/10315_Terrorism-USRoleIntCoop.pdf. This report focuses on the special challenges the US faces in international cooperation, but it also addresses the need for the US and other states to understand that the forces that shape violent extremist, insurgency, and terrorism involve a set of political, ideological, economic, and demographic pressures that will create serious instability for at least the next two decades. In some cases, these forces are so serious that there are no meaningful near or mid-term solutions to the problems raised by failed or broken states. It other cases, solutions will take years, and the forces that have shaped movement like Al Qa'ida are virtually certain to create new extremist and terrorist movements, regardless of US and international success against any given terrorist threat. International cooperation must be based on these realities.
The third paper is entitled Military Intelligence and Counterterrorism, and is available on the CSIS web site at http://csis.org/files/publication/100315_MilIntellCounterterrorism.pdf. It is a presentation for the conference dealing with the role of military intelligence in fighting terrorism. It draws on the lessons of Afghanistan and Iraq, and recent work by experts like Major General Michael Flynn. It points out that military intelligence can only be effective in fighting counterterrorism if it is integrated into an overall intelligence effort including all of the elements of law enforcement, paramilitary forces, and civilian intelligence agencies. It notes the need for a "fusion" of all national counterterrorism intelligence efforts, and the creation of national counterterrorism centers. At the same time, it note the need for integrated civi-military efforts that address the causes of terrorism, popular perceptions of the struggles involved, and a "shape, clear, hold, build" approach to military intelligence. It also highlights the need for military intelligence that takes full account of the fact that strategic communications has become a major element of successful operations, that allied and international sensitivities must be considered, and that intelligence must support new constraints on military operations that avoid civilian casualties and collateral damage, and help win popular support.
All three papers can be downloaded in one file from http://csis.org/files/publication/100316_New_ Reports_International_Cooperation_Counterterrorism.pdf