Opinion: The US and the Global Counterterrorism Strategy is Failing
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By Dr. Megan Schulze
Special Contributor to In Homeland Security
Counterterrorism efforts made by the United States are on-going and ever-changing dependent on the current and projected future threat.
The threat our nation faces changes constantly and requires consistency in addressing the counterterrorism strategy and policy the U.S. utilizes in order to maintain a safe and secure nation. This is often easier said than done.
Counterterrorism efforts are aligned with core principles: adhering to U.S. core values; building security partnerships; applying counterterrorism tools and capabilities appropriately; and building a culture of resilience. The principles guide the efforts in short-term and long-term counterterrorism efforts and can often lead to conflicting efforts. This is true especially when partnering with other nations on a worldwide threat.
The U.S. core values will remain however, building security partnerships and applying counterterrorism tools and capabilities appropriately leads to conflicting ideas and lacks needed enforcement. A prime and current example is throughout Afghanistan. As the 2011 National Strategy for Counterterrorism focused primarily on efforts to disrupt, degrade, dismantle and defeat Al-Qaida, there was distinct corruption throughout the Afghan Government leading to small ineffective political gains and inappropriately distributed monies by both the U.S. and Afghan governments.
As our own National Strategy for Counterterrorism consistently reacts to the Al-Qaida threat in Afghanistan, a new threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) began to strike the world with its radicalized religious beliefs through a bureaucracy. This stands significant as ISIS took over a portion of Syria and gained major power throughout Iraq, specifically in Mosul in 2014.
ISIS is not a JV football team as their efforts in recruitment, gains in territory and influence has spread like wildfire. Instead of focusing on a developing spin-off of Al-Qaida, the U.S. government downplayed any movement or statement ISIS had made.
Now, over two years later, the world is facing a new-age terrorism threat that will take the dedication from several countries throughout the entire world to address. The continued efforts with re-established drone strikes, training local national groups, and sending in Special Forces to conduct raids are not sufficient in down-sizing the religious-based and widely-supported extreme terrorism which ISIS has spread.
Not only is the U.S. counterterrorism strategy failing, the world’s is failing. The failure lies in the support from other nations. Each country has its own thoroughly devised plans in attacking ISIS, or any terrorism group, though these actions are not always aligned with potentially supporting nations’ core values.
The United Nations Security Council must work together in establishing an effective counterterrorism policy for abolishing ISIS. It must also disintegrate the recruiting effectiveness and eliminate any future radicalized beliefs effecting the local population through extreme terrorism measures.
About the Author
Dr. Megan Schulze recently graduated from Northcentral University with a Doctorate in Homeland Security Leadership and Policy. Dr. Schulze served 11 years in the United States Army providing her with an array of experience and expertise in homeland security from multiple perspectives.