Teaching
Counterterrorism
in the 21st Century
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
at West Point
James JF Forest, Ph.D.
Director of Terrorism Studies
Agenda
1.
2.
3.
4.
Advice from Sun Tzu
MIDLIFE (formerly DIME) CT Approach
U.S. Counterterrorism Strategy
Conclusion & Recommendations for Teaching
Notes:
- This presentation is entirely at the unclassified level.
- The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not purport to reflect
the position of the United States Military Academy, the Department of the Army, or the
Department of Defense.
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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1. Understanding the Terrorist Threat
• NATO definition of terrorism:
The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence
against individuals or property in an attempt to coerce
or intimidate governments or societies to achieve
political, religious or ideological objectives
• Sun Tzu
– Know yourself
– Know your allies
– Know your enemy
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Sun Tzu: Know Your Enemy
Understanding the Terrorist Threat
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What motivates terrorists?
How do they get to a willingness to be a suicide bomber?
What do they want?
What are they capable of?
How do they view this struggle?
“You have to be lucky everyday – We only have to be lucky once”
- IRA Bomber
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The Terrorists’ Perspective
• For one thing, al Qaeda’s leaders believes that they have
been tested by two superpowers (Soviets and Americans);
they defeated the first, and survived the second despite
overwhelming military force – thus, both are considered
victories
• Globally, members of this global religious-inspired
insurgency believe this is an epic struggle that will likely
take place beyond the current generation of fighters
• In Iraq, terrorists are developing a new “cult of the
insurgent” by demonstrating how they, not the once-feared
Saddam Hussein’s military, can inflict pain and suffering on
the mighty U.S. (and coalition) forces
• Rationale for terrorism: perceived as only available means
by which to achieve strategic goal
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Terrorism as Strategy
• Terrorism is not new
• Terrorism is not merely religious: 1980 Bologna, Munich
attacks; LTTE (Sri Lanka)
• Terrorism as weapon in a strategy
• Terrorist attacks as a form
of strategic communication
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Terrorism as Strategic Communication
• What audiences are they attempting to communicate
with?
• What message for each audience?
• How are they communicating (beyond acts of violence)?
• What are your actions, foreign policies, etc.
communicating, and to whom?
• How can you determine the effectiveness of your own
communications?
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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Some Strategic Acts of Terrorism
The terrorist act is generally a symbolic gesture
against a group or national government. Tactics
include:
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armed attacks
arson
assassination
bombing
hijacking
hostage-taking
kidnapping, etc.
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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Suicide bombings
Terrorism as Strategy
• Terrorism as means to achieve goals and objectives
• Strategic goals include:
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Political change (e.g., overthrow govt.)
Social change (e.g., France headscarf ban)
Economic change (e.g., stop resource export)
Religious change (e.g., fundamentalism)
• Overall goal: create a “better” world
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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Some Strategic Objectives of Terrorism
• Recognition: Gaining national or international recognition for their
cause; recruiting new personnel; raising funds; demonstrating their
strength
• Coercion: Force a desired behavior of an individual or government
• Intimidation: Prevent individuals, groups, or governments from acting
• Provocation: Provoking overreaction by a government to the attack on
symbolic targets or personnel, thereby gaining sympathy for their
cause.
• Insurgency support: Forcing the government to overextend itself in
dealing with the threat, thereby allowing the insurgency to gain support
and commit further attacks against the government.
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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Marine Barracks Beirut, Lebanon
23 October 1983
• 241 Dead
• 105 Injured
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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“We couldn’t stay there and run the
risk of another suicide attack on
the Marines.”
-- Ronald Reagan, An American Life
Khobar Towers - Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
25 June 1996
• 19 Dead
• 240 Injured
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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New York, World Trade Center
12 October 1993
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6 Dead
1,042 Injured
Murrah Federal Building
Oklahoma City
19 April 1995
• 168 Dead
• 490 Injured
• Some religious motivation,
but different religion
• Same tactics (ammonium
nitrate truck bomb) as 1993
WTC attack
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American Embassy Bombings,
Kenya and Tanzania
August 1998
224 Americans, Kenyans,
and Tanzanians dead
Over 4,025 injured
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1999 LAX Attack Plan
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USS Cole, Aden, Yemen
October 12, 2000
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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17 Dead
39 Injured
Terrorism as Strategy
• Increasing interest in “soft targets” (economically strategic
impact, and less protected) such as:
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pubs in Northern Ireland & London UK
open markets & cafes in Israel
international airport, Sri Lanka
bus in Manila, the Philippines
shopping mall in southern Philippines
nightclub in Bali, Indonesia
banks in Istanbul, Turkey
hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia
nightclub in Berlin, Germany
– and, of course . . .
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New York City & Washington, DC
September 11, 2001
2,973 Dead
10,000+ Injured
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Karachi, Pakistan
May 8, 2002
Bus attack
14 Dead, including
11 French engineers
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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June 14, 2002
Attack on U.S. Consulate
12 Dead
50 Injured
Bali, Indonesia
October 12, 2002
202 Dead
350 Injured
Citizens from 21 countries, mostly Western tourists, were killed in the blasts
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Casablanca, Morocco
May 17, 2003
44 Dead
107 Injured
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Jakarta, Indonesia
August 5, 2003
12 Dead
60 Injured
J.W. Marriott Hotel, Jakarta
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Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
November 8, 2003
3 simultaneous suicide car bomb
attacks on Al-Muhaya apartment
complex
April 21, 2004
Attack on Security
Services Headquarters
4 Dead
148 Injured
17 Dead
122 Injured
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
at West Point
Istanbul, Turkey
November 20, 2003
27 Dead
400 Injured
Primary Targets: British consulate and the HSBC bank headquarters
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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Madrid, Spain
March 11, 2004
191 Dead
1,035 Injured
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Jakarta, Indonesia
September 9, 2004
9 Dead
173 Injured
Australian Embassy was primary target
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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London, UK
July 7, 2005
54 Dead
716 Injured
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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Strategy and Recruitment
• Terrorism is an individual’s strategic choice most often
driven by a combination of:
– Intense grievances
– Sense of crisis
– Address a power imbalance - empower the disenfranchised
• The ties that bind: training camps, extended family, social
networks; trusted networks = key
• Combination of ideology and psychology
• No constraints re: geography, organizational
affiliation, etc.
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Strategy and Recruitment
• Recruit individuals with differing talents
or attributes to offer
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Locals with knowledge of customs, culture
Foreigners with passports, language skills
Sleepers or operationalists who can “fit in”
Individuals who can serve as critical functionaries
• Sleeper cells were key for the 9/11, Madrid and
London attacks
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Terrorists as Strategic Actors
Even though it’s a decentralized network, there are still critical
functions that enable the network to operate
• Critical functionary roles – can become a hub of multiple networks
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weapons procurement
financier (funder or banker) (particularly in Halawa system)
document forgerer
human traffickers
• Support individuals (trusted contacts) can and sometimes do
support multiple networks; can provide supplies/facilitate trafficking
of weapons & funds to multiple networks
• Example: 60% of day spent moving legitimate charity money
around; 20% of day on Hamas transactions, other activity on side
• Some may get profit for doing these support/function roles
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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Different members
of the network
play support and
action roles
Strategy and Training
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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Strategy and Training
Establish training camps – developing the will to kill and the skill to kill
• Operational space: Geographic isolation
• Teachers: Experts in relevant knowledge, e.g., military combat experience
• Committed learners
• Time, money, and basic necessities
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Afghanistan
Algeria
Bosnia
Chechnya
Colombia
Egypt
Indonesia
Japan
Kashmir
Lebanon
Libya
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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Northern Ireland
Peru
The Philippines
Somalia
Spain
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Syria
Turkey
United States
Uzbekistan
Strategy and Training
• Psychological dimensions
• Moral disengagement
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Displacement of responsibility
Disregard for/distortion of consequences
Dehumanization
Moral justification
• Group power over behavior, personal decisions
• Preparation for martyrdom
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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Strategy and Training
Lessons for new recruits include:
• education in explosives and detonators: how to assemble bombs (e.g.,
TNT, C4), mines and grenades, pressure and trip wire booby traps, and
the basic knowledge of electrical engineering
• how to mount rocket launchers in the beds of pickup trucks
• how and where to launder money
• how to successfully conduct a kidnapping
• how to conduct target identification, surveillance and reconnaissance
• how and where to build camouflage-covered trenches
• how to covertly communicate with other members of a group or
network
• how to fire handguns, machine guns and rocket propelled grenade
launchers
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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Strategy and Training
Lessons for new recruits include:
• the rudiments of chemical and biological warfare
• field command and escape tactics
• marksmanship and camouflage
• the use and employment of Soviet rocket-propelled grenades and
shoulder borne STRELA missiles
• sniper rifle skills; how to fine-tune a rifle sight at short range to ensure
accuracy at longer distances
• how to direct weapon fire at targets on the ground and in the air
• training in four-man unit deployments and formations—including wedges,
columns, echelons and lines—techniques similar to those used by
U.S. Marines and Army Rangers
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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Strategy and Training
Increasing use of the Internet
• Provide free tactical advice (print or online dissemination of information on
bomb making, computer hacking, etc.)
• Advise sleepers on how to adapt to local surroundings (e.g., dress, friendly
relationships with locals, etc.)
• Examples of online resources include:
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The Terrorists’ Handbook
How to Make Bombs, Book Two
13 volume Encyclopedia of Jihad
Manual of Jihad
The Green Book (IRA)
The Turner Diaries (US extremists)
Mu’askar al-Battar (The Al Battar Training Camp, an Al Qaeda magazine)
The Mujahideen Poisons Handbook
The Anarchist Cookbook
Field Manual for Free Militia
Sabotage Handbook
Special Force – first-person shooter game, developed by Hizballah
Cyber-attack tools and instructions
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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Example of Tactics:
Ammonium Nitrate
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Millions of tons produced each year for use as fertilizer
Mining companies mix small amounts of explosive grade ammonium nitrate
with fuel oil to create explosives
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Used in several IRA bombings
Used in World Trade Center bombing, 1993 (1,200 lbs in truck bomb)
Used in the Oklahoma City bombing, 1995
Used in the U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, 1998
Used in the Bali bombing, 2002
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March 30, 2004: More than half a ton of ammonium nitrate fertilizer is found
in a lock-up in West London. Eight British citizens, one American and one
Canadian were arrested on suspicion of being involved in the commission,
preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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Strategy and Training
• These are Learning Organizations = committed to capturing
knowledge, analyzing it, forming new doctrine and tactics which are
informed by lessons from the past
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Learn from each other
Learn from trial and error (IRA example)
Media showcasing ‘best practices’ to others
Managing public image (PR)
(becoming more sophisticated)
• Terrorists are learning many things in Iraq, like:
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Manufacturing and concealing IEDs
Urban warfare
Sniper and ambush techniques
Hostage taking
Media manipulation
• OVERALL: How to recruit, fund, and execute assymetric warfare
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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Suicide Terrorism as Logical Strategy
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Suicide Terrorism: Who?
Perception:
Reality
• Generalized profile of suicide
terrorists, including:
• The “profile” is wrong
• Terrorists are:
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Young
Single
Male
Uneducated
Religious fanatics
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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Preteen - mid-sixties
Both single and married with families
Both male and female
Both educated and uneducated
Not motivated by religious fanaticism
World’s leader in suicide terror are
Hindu; Tamil Tigers who are
conducting insurgency against Sri
Lanka
Suicide Terrorism: Why?
Perception:
Reality
• Seemingly irrational act
• Part of a strategy that is:
– Well planned
– Logical
– Designed to achieve specific political
objectives
• Suicide attacks have increased
over the past two decades
• Why?
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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• Does two things:
– Inflicts immediate punishment
against target society
– Threatens more punishment in the
future
Suicide Terror Attacks are . . .
• inexpensive and effective; extremely favorable per-casualty cost
benefits for the terrorists
• less complicated and compromising – no escape plan needed, and
success means no assailant to capture and interrogate
• perhaps the ultimate “smart bomb” – this “weapon” can cleverly
disguise itself, use various modes of deception, and effect last minute
changes in timing, access, and target
• a strategic communication device – successful attacks are virtually
assured media coverage
• effective because the weaker opponent acts as coercer and the
stronger actor is the target
• Key difference from other attacks: The target of suicide campaign
cannot easily adjust to minimize future damage
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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Suicide Terrorism: Where?
Three types of attacks are most likely to occur:
• High value, symbolic targets involving mass casualties
– Important government buildings, installations, or landmarks
– Major means of personal or commercial transportation
• High value, symbolic targets against specific persons
– Political assassinations (e.g., head of state, regional governor, etc.)
• Deliberately lethal attacks targeting the public
– Bus, train, subway bombings; attacks on shopping malls, cinemas,
sports stadiums, public gathering spaces
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Understanding
Counterterrorism
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2. MIDLIFE (formerly DIME) CT Approach
Question: Once we understand the threat, how do we address it?
Answer: We employ all the instruments of national power available to us.
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Military
Intelligence
Diplomacy
Legal
Information
Financial
Economic
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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• Case studies of groups and
events help us learn about
each of these dimensions
Example of the Financial/Economic Dimensions:
How does the LTTE Sustain its Operation Financially?
In Areas heavily dominated by Tamils
Local Enterprises
Taxes from local Population
Taxes from Business
Robbery
Blackmail & Ransom
Taxes from Fishermen
LOCAL
Tax on Liquor
Drug s/ Crime
Investing/ running Local
Business Ventures
Fund raising Projects
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Taxes from Visitors
Taxes on Goods
Playing the Stock Market
INTERNATIONAL FUNDING
Funding from state Parties
Aiding International Criminals
Donations from Supporters
(Tamil Diaspora)
Terrorist training
Credit card Fraud
Foreign residence Tax
International
Propaganda/ Fund raising projects
Asylum Seekers tax
Money laundering/ Forgery
Foreign Investments/Business
Shipping/Gunrunning
Human
Trafficking
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Drug Smuggling
US Counterterrorism Strategy
• Helped Sri Lankan military develop 4 key
capabilities
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Operate behind enemy lines
Engage in night fighting
SEAL, special boat operations
Psyops capabilities
• Helped Sri Lankan banking and commerce
tracking systems locate & disrupt money
laundering networks
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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The “L” in MIDLIFE
• Legal/Law Enforcement
• Rule of law is vital, both domestically and
internationally
• The primary intelligence gatherers and first
responders are local law enforcement officers
• Help countries develop their law enforcement
capabilities and legal institutions
• Must conduct CT within ethical and legal
frameworks, to avoid exacerbating existing
grievances
COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER
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Intelligence: Learn from our own mistakes
• We assumed simultaneous 9/11 attacks in U.S. were
beyond the capabilities of terrorists
• Overestimated the significance of past successes & the
terrorists’ own incompetence
• Attention was focused exclusively on opposite ends of
the terrorist technological spectrum
• Believed terrorists were still
interested in publicity and not killing
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3. U.S. Strategy for Combating Terrorism
National Strategy for Combating Terrorism
(released in February 2003)
Four main objectives:
• defeating terrorist organizations with global
reach
• denying sponsorship, support and
sanctuary to terrorists
• diminishing the underlying conditions
that terrorists seek to exploit
• defending U.S. citizens and interests
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Elements of the National CT Strategy
4 D’s:
• Defeat terrorist organizations of a global reach
• Deny terrorists the sponsorship, support, and
sanctuary they need to survive
• Diminish the underlying conditions that promote
the despair and destructive visions of political
change that lead people to embrace terrorism
• Defend against terrorist attacks on the U.S., our
citizens and our interests around the world
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Defeat terrorist organizations of a global reach
Objectives:
• Identify the terrorists
(DIMEFIL dimensions: Intelligence, Diplomacy, Information)
• Locate the terrorists
(DIMEFIL dimensions: Intelligence, Diplomacy, Information)
• Destroy the terrorists
(DIMEFIL dimensions: Military, Financial, Legal)
Requires considerable interagency coordination and multinational cooperation
Particular importance given to organizations with combination of high
motivation and significant capabilities
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Deny terrorists sponsorship, support, & sanctuary
Objectives:
• End state sponsorship
(DIMEFIL dimensions: Diplomacy, Intelligence, Economic, Financial, Information, Legal, and in the
most extreme cases, Military)
• Establish & maintain international accountability
(DIMEFIL dimensions: Diplomatic, Intelligence, Information, Economic, Financial, Legal)
• Strengthen international will to combat terrorism
(DIMEFIL dimensions: Diplomacy, Military, Intelligence, Economic, Financial, Legal)
• Interdict & disrupt material support for terrorists
(DIMEFIL dimensions: Diplomacy, Intelligence, Economic, Intelligence, Financial, Legal)
• Eliminate terrorist sanctuaries and havens
(DIMEFIL dimensions: Diplomacy, Military, Intelligence, Economic, Intelligence, Financial, Legal)
Requires considerable interagency coordination and multinational cooperation
In particular, we must work with willing and able states, enable weak states, persuade
reluctant states, and compel unwilling states
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Diminish the underlying conditions
Objectives:
• Strengthen international capacity to combat terrorism
(DIMEFIL dimensions: Diplomacy, Intelligence, Military, Economic, Financial, Information, Legal)
• Win the war of ideas
(DIMEFIL dimensions: Diplomatic, Intelligence, Information, Legal)
Requires considerable interagency coordination and multinational cooperation
Special attention is already being given to developing SOF capabilities in places
like the Philippines, the Horn of Africa, and the Sahel Region (e.g., TSCTI)
We need to focus on strengthening law enforcement/rule of law; intelligence
gathering & sharing; public diplomacy
Local communities must de-legitimize terrorism
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Defend against terrorist attacks
Objectives:
• Implement National Strategy for Homeland Security
(DIMEFIL dimensions: Intelligence, Economic, Financial, Information, Legal)
• Attain domain awareness
(DIMEFIL dimensions: Diplomatic, Intelligence, Information, Economic, Financial, Legal)
• Enhance measures to protect critical infrastructure
(DIMEFIL dimensions: Diplomatic, Intelligence, Information, Economic, Financial, Legal)
• Integrate measures to protect U.S. citizens abroad
(DIMEFIL dimensions: Diplomatic, Intelligence, Information, Economic, Financial, Legal)
• Ensure an integrated response capability
(DIMEFIL dimensions: Diplomatic, Intelligence, Information, Economic, Financial, Legal)
Based on the mindset that “the best defense is a good offense”
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U.S. National Security Strategy,
September 2002 (Replaces 2000 Clinton Edition)
Table of Contents
Introduction
I.
Overview of America's International Strategy
II.
Champion Aspirations for Human Dignity
III.
Strengthen Alliances to Defeat Global Terrorism and Work
to Prevent Attacks Against Us and Our Friends
IV.
Work with Others to Defuse Regional Conflicts
V.
Prevent Our Enemies from Threatening Us, Our Allies, and
Our Friends with Weapons of Mass Destruction
VI.
Ignite a New Era of Global Economic Growth through Free
Markets and Free Trade
VII.
Expand the Circle of Development by Opening Societies
and Building the Infrastructure of Democracy
VIII. Develop Agendas for Cooperative Action with the Other
Main Centers of Global Power
IX.
Transform America's National Security Institutions to Meet
the Challenges and Opportunities of the Twenty-First
Century
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National Strategic Framework for the GWOT
Ends
Overall Goal: Preserve and promote the way of life of free and open societies
based on the rule of law, defeat terrorist extremism as a threat to that way of life, and
create a global environment inhospitable to terrorist extremists.
Ideological support
Comms & Movement
Protect the
Homeland
Ways
Funds
Safe havens
Enemy
Leadership
Weapons
Foot soldiers
Access to Targets
Disrupt and Attack
Terrorist Networks
Counter Ideological
Support for Terrorism
Help create and lead a broad international effort to
deny terrorist networks the resources they need to
operate and survive.
COMBATING TERRORISM
CENTER partner and international instruments of power
National,
at West Point
Means
UNCLASSIFIED
Ends
Military Strategic Framework for the GWOT
Strategic Goal: Preserve and promote the way of life of free and open societies based on the
rule of law, defeat terrorist extremism as a threat to our way of life, and create a global
environment inhospitable to terrorist extremists.
END-STATE Termination Objectives from the Contingency Planning Guidance
Ideological support
Comms & Movement
Ways
Military Strategic Objectives
Protect the
Homeland
Funds
Safe havens
Enemy
Leadership
Weapons
Foot soldiers
Access to Targets
Disrupt and Attack
Terrorist Networks
Counter Ideological
Support for Terrorism
Deny terrorists the resources they need to operate and survive.
Enable partner nations to counter terrorism.
Deny WMD/E proliferation, recover and eliminate uncontrolled
materials, and maintain capacity for consequence mgmt.
Defeat terrorists and their organizations.
Persuade, coerce, and when necessary, compel states and non-states to
cease support for terrorists.
Establish conditions that counter ideological support for terrorism.
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Means
Combatant Commands, Services, and Combat Support Agencies
Counterterrorism Strategy
• Our strategy must involve denying terrorists sanctuary;
separating terrorists from the population
• Must isolate them, take away their support, force them to
continually be on the run
• Organizing for force protection based on battle line
mentality won’t work
• UAV’s aren’t as useful as you might think; over-reliance
on technical wizardry has been a problem in the field
• Attrition – we must keep after them, never give up, while
making sure they don’t recruit new members
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Counterterrorism Strategy
• Human intelligence networks are critical (although non-efficient
use of manpower)
• Must have continual presence – cannot go into a village “looking
for the terrorists”
• Focus on the enemy’s ideology, in addition to their tactics
• This is a War of Ideas: We need to convince them (potential
supporters and recruits) that we (liberal democracies) offer a
better way than separatist Islamic Jihad (but without attempting
to convert them to our way of life)
• We must work to bolster the image of American morals and
values being compatible with those of the Arab and Islamic
world, where we are too often portrayed as greedy, selfish
hedonists
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Counterterrorism Strategy
• Evaluate trends and potentials, capabilities and intentions,
and provide an operational net assessment
• The contemporary terrorist threat involves a series of
adversaries linked in networks. Combating networks requires
an understanding of networked threats
• Must not over-react; terrorist strategy may be to provoke overreaction, leading to further alienation and possible supporters
among populace
• Tactical level: thwart an attack, pursue and bring to justice
attack perpetrators
• Strategic level: build resilient communities
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Counterterrorism Strategy
Information warfare
- We must develop an effective counter-ideological message
- Manage perceptions/be more proactive in the information battlespace
- Undermine the perceived legitimacy among supporters
• How well do we invest in and support the “extremists whom
we like” (a.k.a., “moderates”) and support ways to amplify
their voices?
• We must invest in educational & social institutions; media
organizations
• Our National Strategy for Combating Terrorism can only be
achieved through
– Multinational partnerships
– Interagency coordination
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Coordination Levels
ALLIES
ALLIES
Coalition
OTHER
AGENCIES
DOD
DOS
Interagency
CIA
Joint
Army
Navy
Air Force
Marines
Army
Combined
Arms
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Interagency Coordination Process
President
Principals
Committee
Deputies
Committee
Counterterrorism
Security Group (CSG)
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Secretary Level
Deputy Secretary Level
Core Group: NSC, DOS, DOJ/FBI, DOD, CIA,
Treasury (Secret Service), and
Department of Homeland Security
The National Security Council
NSC Staff
DOS
Nat’l Security
Advisor
DOD
POTUS
JCS
INTEL
Community
Sec of
Home. Sec.
DOHS
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NSC
Interagency Coordination: Lead Federal Agency Concept
• Terrorist Incident Overseas: Department of State
• Terrorist Incident in United States: FBI
• Consequence Management in United States:
Department of Homeland Security (FEMA)
• Terrorist Financing: Department of the Treasury
• Military Action*: Department of Defense
• *and support lead agency
Intelligence Community Support:
•Identifying, locating and tracking terrorists and organizations
•CIA, FBI, DIA and DoD Intel Orgs, State INR (plus Allies and Partners)
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National Counterterrorism Center
Addressing the first “I” in MIDLIFE
• NCTC currently has assignees (USG staff) from:
• Federal Bureau of Investigation
• Department of Defense
• Central Intelligence Agency
• Department of Homeland Security
• Department of State
• Others – DOE, NRC, HHS, USDA, USCHP
• Assignees to NCTC retain authorities of parent entities
• In NCTC, key organizations involved in the fight against terrorism are
collectively fulfilling shared responsibilities
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Terrorism Information Access and Integration
• Many U.S. Government networks are available in NCTC
• Integrated architecture will enable a simultaneous,
federated search capability against the terabytes of data
available to the U.S. government
• Advanced analytic tools are facilitating the
automated sourcing and tailoring multi-use products;
enhancing data exploitation and integration
• “Terrorism information” covers an exceptionally
broad array of data
• Active information acquisition effort underway
• Seeking awareness and integration of non-obvious
terrorism information
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Terrorism Analysis and CT Requirements
• What do we know? What do we need to know?
• Providing daily terrorism analysis for the President,
senior policymakers, and the U.S. Government
• NCTC produces integrated and coordinated analysis – if there are
analytic differences on the nature or seriousness of a particular threat
or issue, they are incorporated into the analysis
• Producing special analysis and other in-depth, strategic, and alternative
analyses
• Counterterrorism Requirements - Identifying gaps in knowledge;
prioritizing transnational terrorism information needs
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Toward a Counterterrorism “System”
• Beyond implementing Center responsibilities, the greater goal
is facilitating a counterterrorism “system” as part of a greater
U.S. Government (USG) system-of-systems
• All USG elements need not be centralized; however, a distributed but
integrated framework must be consciously agreed upon and orchestrated
• Roles and responsibilities of USG CT elements must be as unambiguous and
straightforward as possible; intentional rather than haphazard redundancy
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Conclusion
• You must thoroughly know your enemy before you can
successfully defeat him
• You cannot address terrorism in isolation
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Root causes (socioeconomic, religious extremism, etc.)
Facilitators (criminal networks, arms trafficking)
Finances are key
Ideology, other motivators
Information/public diplomacy is vital
All must be done in the context of moral, ethical & legal principles
• Bottom line: CT goes way beyond strategy and tactics; we
must focus on environmental factors that facilitate terrorism
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Suggestions for Teaching Counterterrorism
• Use case studies to frame the key issues/challenges (particularly
the moral, legal, tactical dimensions)
• Assign National Security Strategy and other White House
documents as required reading
• Have students analyze National Strategy for Combating Terrorism
from MIDLIFE perspective, noting that effective CT requires
integration of all dimensions
• Assessment (papers, presentations, quizzes) – students should
demonstrate
- understanding of threat
- the strategy behind the threat
- dimensions of DIMEFIL model, and
- the integration of DIMEFIL dimensions into holistic CT strategy
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Suggestions for Teaching Counterterrorism
Integrative Exercise/Capstone Experience:
• Complex terrorism scenario
• Assign different readings to different groups of students;
integrative exercise should focus on the complex requirements for
information and force collective strategic thinking and action
• Questions for groups to answer can include:
– What will you recommend?
– What are the moral, legal implications of your actions?
– Who (what national assets) will you involve?
• Overall goal is to integrate lessons learned throughout the course,
and to learn while engaged in the exercise
• Outcome should give you a sense of what they’ve learned, whether
or not they “get it”
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Questions?
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