Debating Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Conflicting Perspectives on Causes, Contexts, and Responses
Publication Year: 2014
Debate is an important part of the classroom experience. However, most debate-style readers do a disservice to students by selecting readings from disparate sources that end up talking past one another. As a part of the Debating Politics series from CQ Press, this reader is different. Featuring paired pron pieces written specifically for this volume, Debating Terrorism encourages students to actively grapple with the central debates and questions surrounding the subject of terrorism and counterterrorism . With topics ranging from the root causes of terrorism, the role of religion in terrorism, whether suicide terrorism is ever justified, whether the spread of democracy can help defeat terrorism, and what trade-offs, if any, should exist between security and civil liberties, GottliebÆs outstanding cast of contributors returns in ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
Part I: Debating Terrorism
- Chapter 1: Is the “New Terrorism” Really New?
- No: The “New Terrorism” of Al-Qaeda Is Not So New
- Yes: Al-Qaeda Is an Example of a “New Terrorism”
- Chapter 2: Does Poverty Serve as a Root Cause of Terrorism?
- No: Poverty Is a Weak Causal Link
- Yes: Poverty Is an Important Cause
- Chapter 3: Can Terrorism Ever Be Justified?
- No: Terrorist Violence Is Never Justified
- Yes: Terrorism Is a Just Tool of the Weak
- Chapter 4: Does Islam Play a Unique Role in Modern Religious Terrorism?
- Yes: Islam Has a Unique Impact on Modern Terrorism
- No: Islam Itself Is Not the Problem in the Current Wave of Global Terrorism
- Chapter 5: Is Suicide Terrorism an Effective Tactic?
- Yes: Suicide Terrorism Is a Pragmatic Choice
- No: Suicide Terrorism Is a Political Failure
- Chapter 6: Is Nuclear Terrorism a Real Threat?
- Yes: The Threat Is Very Real
- No: The Threat Is Overblown
Part II: Debating Counterterrorism
- Chapter 7: Counterterrorism Strategies: Do We Need Bombs Over Bridges?
- No: There Is a Need to Focus More on Building Bridges
- Yes: More Creative Military Strategies Are Needed
- Chapter 8: Can Spreading Democracy Help Defeat Terrorism?
- No: Democracy Promotion Is Problematic as a Counterterrorism Priority
- Yes: Promoting Democracy Can Help Combat Terrorism
- Chapter 9: Can International Organizations Make a Difference in Fighting Terrorism?
- No: International Organizations Are Limited in Their Ability to Combat Terrorism
- Yes: International Organizations Are Necessary for Fighting International Terrorism
- Chapter 10: Is an Outright Ban the Best Way to Eliminate or Constrain Torture?
- Yes: Torture Violates U.S. and International Law and Should Never Be Allowed
- No: There Is a Need to Bring an Unfortunate Practice within the Bounds of Law
- Chapter 11: Counterterrorism and the Constitution: Does Providing Security Require a Trade-off with Civil Liberties?
- Yes: The United States Needs to Reasonably Limit Civil Liberties and Bolster Executive Powers
- No: Respecting Civil Liberties and Preventing Executive Overreach Are Critical to Preserving America's Security and Its Ideals
- Chapter 12: Conclusion: Is the Threat of Terrorism Being Overstated?
- Yes: The Threat of Terrorism Is Overblown and More Manageable Than Suspected
- No: The Threat Is Profound and Will Remain So for Some Time
The Debating Politics Series from CQ PRESS[Page ii]
- Debating the Presidency: Conflicting Perspectives on the American Executive, Second Edition
Richard Ellis and Michael Nelson, Editors
- Debating Reform: Conflicting Perspectives on How to Fix the American Political System, Second Edition
Richard Ellis and Michael Nelson, Editors
- Debating Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Conflicting Perspectives on Causes, Contexts, and Responses
Stuart Gottlieb, Editor
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As events since this volume was first published in 2010 have shown, the international terrorist threat has evolved, even in that brief three-year period. The demise of Osama bin Laden has, of course, been a watershed event and demonstrates that America's proficiency in tracking and eventually hunting down individual high-value terrorist targets has improved dramatically. U.S. special operations capability is currently at peak performance, and it is important that this asset be nurtured and maintained.
But we all know that intelligence and derring-do, though important and at times decisive, are factors that represent but part of the picture.
Indeed, dealing with terrorism and its underlying causes brings into play a broad range of instruments of statecraft in the fields of politics, economics, security, and development. Notwithstanding more than a decade of intense contemporary experience, the relative weight and relationships between these factors are still imperfectly understood. So it is important to update the discussion, which is exactly what this excellent second edition of Debating Terrorism and Counterterrorism has done under the editorial leadership of Stuart Gottlieb.
Can poverty be an underlying cause of terrorist recruitment and behavior? Where do religion and democracy fit in? Our recent experience certainly suggests that poverty can be an important element in recruiting foot soldiers of terrorism; but it is more ambiguous about the socioeconomic profile of terrorist leaders themselves, and the types of political systems from which they are most likely to emerge. And what about the perennial tension between the imperatives of human rights and civil liberties on the one hand and the need for order and security on the other? We now have a larger body of contemporary experience against which to measure each of these issues, which this volume accomplishes in cutting-edge fashion.
I should note that this edition contains a particularly welcome and more expansive discussion of what the international community and international organizations can do to help deal with terrorism. I arrived as Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations in New York barely a week after the 9/11 attacks. Within a matter of days thereafter our delegation was able to secure unanimous approval of UN Security Council Resolution [Page x]1373 (September 28, 2001), which became a basic reference document in the council's subsequent work in the fight against terrorism. Also, as a decision binding on the entirety of the UN's state members, Resolution 1373 became a benchmark for use by states in drafting their own domestic legislation, especially in the field of combating terrorism finance. Rather than being dismissive of the UN and international institutions, it is important to explore ways by which we can even further strengthen cooperation through them, instead of focusing exclusively on unilateral tools. Combating modern, global terrorism is a worldwide endeavor that can benefit immensely from cooperation with others, and it may be that we collectively have devoted insufficient imagination or attention to the opportunities for increased international collaboration.
There is no doubt that from the perspective of the United States we are safer today than we were before 9/11 from the kind of attacks that were perpetrated on that day. Our intelligence community is better coordinated and integrated. Our defenses are stronger, and we have successfully put the most significant international terrorist group, al-Qaeda, on the defensive.
But the threat from al-Qaeda and its expanding list of affiliates has not disappeared and remains a threat to the U.S. homeland and problematic for a number of countries in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. In other words, America's domestic security and interests abroad remain exposed to ongoing terror threats. Therefore, as this book so capably illustrates, now is not a time for complacency, and there remain many important, indeed fundamental, issues that require continued attention. The stable of outstanding authors render us service by virtue of their very thoughtful discussion of these issues and in so doing help us to think creatively about next steps regarding a problem that is likely to be an important policy concern for some time to come.
Max Abrahms is a postdoctoral fellow in the political science department at Johns Hopkins University. Previously, he has held fellowships at Dartmouth College, Stanford University, Tel Aviv University, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and West Point Military Academy. His research focuses on the consequences of terrorism, its motives, and the implications for counterterrorism strategy. He has published on these topics in Comparative Political Studies, International Security, International Studies Quarterly, Perspectives on Terrorism, Security Studies, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Terrorism and Political Violence, and several edited volumes.
Matthew Bunn is an associate professor at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and one of the principal investigators for Harvard's Project on Managing the Atom. His research interests include nuclear theft and terrorism; nuclear proliferation and measures to control it; the future of nuclear energy and its fuel cycle; and innovation in energy technologies. Before coming to Harvard, he served as an adviser to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, as a study director at the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council, and as editor of Arms Control Today. He is the author or coauthor of more than twenty books or major technical reports (most recently Transforming U.S. Energy Innovation) and over a hundred articles in publications ranging from Science to the Washington Post.
David Cole is a law professor at Georgetown University Law Center, the legal affairs correspondent for The Nation, and a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books. He is author of several books, including Enemy Aliens: Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism (2003) and The Torture Memos: Rationalizing the Unthinkable (2009).
[Page xii]Bruce Cronin
Bruce Cronin is a professor and the chair of political science at the City College of New York. He has published several books and numerous articles on international organization, the United Nations Security Council, international law, and human rights. Most recently, he coedited The UN Security Council and the Politics of International Authority (2008). He is currently writing a book titled Civilians at Risk: Noncombatant Casualties and the Collateral Damage Exemption in International Humanitarian Law.
Alan M. Dershowitz
Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. One of the world's best-known criminal and civil liberties lawyers, he has published more than one hundred articles in magazines, newspapers, and journals, including the New York Times Magazine, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New Republic, The Nation, Commentary, Saturday Review, Harvard Law Review, and Yale Law Journal. He is the author of nearly thirty works of fiction and nonfiction. He has been honored by the New York Criminal Bar Association for his “outstanding contribution as a scholar and dedicated defense of human rights.”
Lindsay Fritz is an analyst at the Center for Civil-Military Relations at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. She has studied at Tulane University, the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and the University of Hamburg.
F. Gregory Gause III
F. Gregory Gause III is a professor of political science at the University of Vermont and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Doha Center. His most recent book is The International Relations of the Persian Gulf (2010).
Fawaz A. Gerges
Fawaz A. Gerges is the director of the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science and a professor of Middle Eastern politics and international relations. His interests include Islam and the political process, and mainstream Islamist movements and jihadist groups (such as the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda); Arab and Muslim politics in the twentieth century; and the international relations of the Middle East. He is author of several acclaimed books, including The Arab Uprisings: A New Era of Politics (forthcoming); Obama and the Middle East: The End of America's[Page xiii]Moment in the Middle East? (2012); The Rise and Fall of Al-Qaeda (2011); The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global (2005); America and Political Islam: Clash of Cultures or Clash of Interests? (1999); and The Superpowers and the Middle East: Regional and International Politics (1994). His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, International Herald Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Guardian, Independent, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Newsweek, Middle East Journal, Survival, and many others. He has given scores of interviews for various media outlets throughout the world, including ABC, CNN, BBC, PBS, CBS, NBC, NPR, CBC, and Al Jazeera.
Rohan Gunaratna is head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research and professor of security studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He has more than twenty-five years of academic, policy, and operational experience in the fields of terrorism and counterterrorism. Author of twelve books, including Inside Al Qaeda (2003), he serves on the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Terrorism. Gunaratna has debriefed terror detainees in Asia, the Middle East (including Iraq), Europe, Australia, and North America, and testified as the U.S. government's expert in the José Padilla trial. He was invited to testify before the 9/11 Commission.
Ted Honderich is one of Great Britain's best-known and most prolific political philosophers. He has been the Grote Professor of the Philosophy of Mind and Logic at University College London and visiting professor at Yale University and the City University of New York, and he is now visiting professor at the University of Bath. Among many other books and dozens of articles, he is author of How Free Are You? The Determinism Problem (1993, 2002); A Theory of Determinism: The Mind, Neuroscience and Life-Hopes (1998); The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (2005); Humanity, Terrorism, Terrorist War: Palestine, 9/11, Iraq, 7/7 (2006); and Philosopher: A Kind of Life (2001). His 2003 book After the Terror sparked controversy in Germany and elsewhere for its moral defense of Palestinian terrorism against Israel.
Walter Laqueur is one of the world's foremost authorities on political violence and terrorism. Over a long and distinguished career, he has been director of the Institute of Contemporary History in London, founding editor of the Journal[Page xiv]of Contemporary History, chairman of the International Research Council of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, and founding editor of the Washington Quarterly. Author of countless articles, he has also written more than twenty books, including Guerrilla (1976), Terrorism (1977), The Age of Terrorism (1987), and, most recently, Voices of Terror (2004), The Last Days of Europe (2007), and Best of Times, Worst of Times (2009).
Susan B. Martin
Susan B. Martin is a lecturer in the Department of War Studies at King's College London, where she is also affiliated with the Centre for Science and Security Studies. Her research focuses on a neorealist explanation of the role of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons in international politics. She is a coeditor of Terrorism, War or Disease: Unraveling the Use of Biological Weapons (2008). Her work has appeared in International Security and Journal of Strategic Studies, as well as various edited volumes.
Andrew C. McCarthy
Andrew C. McCarthy is the executive director of the Philadelphia Freedom Center, a senior fellow at National Review Institute, and a contributing editor to National Review. He formerly served as assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, where he led the prosecution against the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman. McCarthy is the recipient of the U.S. Justice Department's highest honors: the Distinguished Service Award (1988) and the Attorney General's Exceptional Service Award (1996). His most recent book is Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy (2012).
Gordon H. McCormick
Gordon H. McCormick is a professor and the founding chairman of the Department of Defense Analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He was formerly a senior social scientist with the RAND Corporation and has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His interests lie in the areas of international politics, mathematics, and classical history and philosophy.
Tamar Meisels is a professor of political theory at Tel Aviv University in Israel. Her primary research interests are liberal nationalism, territorial rights, and the philosophical perspectives on war and terrorism. She is the author of Territorial Rights (2005, 2009) and The Trouble with Terror (2008), as well as [Page xv]various articles on related topics. During 2009–2010, she served as the visiting Goldman Professor at Georgetown University's Government Department.
John Mueller is the Ralph D. Mershon Senior Research Scientist at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies and is an adjunct professor of political science at The Ohio State University. He is also a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. Mueller is currently working on terrorism, and particularly on the reactions (or overreactions) it often inspires. His books on the subject include Overblown (2006), Atomic Obsession: Nuclear Alarmism from Hiroshima to Al-Qaeda (2010), and (with Mark Stewart) Terror, Security, and Money (2011). His book on international and civil warfare, The Remnants of War, was awarded the Lepgold Prize for the best book on international relations in 2004.
Brigitte L. Nacos
Brigitte L. Nacos has taught for more than fifteen years at Columbia University, following a career as a newspaper correspondent. Her research and teaching interests are the links between the media, public opinion, and decision making, and domestic and international terrorism and counterterrorism. She has published many articles and book chapters as well as eight books, among them Terrorism and the Media (1994, 1996), Mass-Mediated Terrorism (2002), and Terrorism and Counterterrorism (2006, 2008, 2010, 2012), and is coauthor of Selling Fear: Counterterrorism, the Media, and Public Opinion (2011).
James A. Piazza
James A. Piazza is an associate professor of political science at The Pennsylvania State University. His research examines the socioeconomic root causes of terrorism, terrorism and human rights, state failure, and the impact of illicit narcotics trade on terrorist groups and activity. His work has appeared in a variety of journals, including the Journal of Politics, International Studies Quarterly, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Peace Research, Terrorism and Political Violence, Conflict Management and Peace Science, and Studies in Conflict and Terrorism.
Michael H. Posner
Michael H. Posner is U.S. assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor—the country's chief human rights official. Throughout his term, Posner has engaged in a wide range of human rights and democracy issues. He has been a vocal proponent of the Obama administration's integrated [Page xvi]approach to human rights and the inexorable relationship between national security and economic, social, and political opportunities. He has played a leading role in implementing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's vision for promoting sustainable democracies through partnerships with civil societies worldwide. He has also played a leading role in implementing Secretary Clinton's vision for Internet freedom, and frequently speaks on the role of the Internet in advancing human rights and helping people build sustainable democracies. Before entering government service, Posner was president of Human Rights First and served as its executive director from its founding in 1978 until 2006. A frequent commentator in newspapers across the country, he has testified dozens of times before Congress on a number of human rights issues and is a frequent speaker at conferences in the United States and abroad. From 1984 to 2009, he served as a lecturer at Columbia Law School, and he was Yale Law School's 2009 Bernstein Distinguished Human Rights Senior Fellow.
Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School. From 2004 to 2009, he edited the Middle East Quarterly, and from 2002 to 2004 he was an adviser for Iran and Iraq in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, during which time he was seconded to Baghdad. Rubin has also taught at Yale University, Johns Hopkins University, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and three universities in Iraqi Kurdistan. He is author of two books about Iran and is completing a study of engagement with rogue regimes, Dancing with the Devil: The Promise and Perils of Engagement.
Zachary C. Shirkey
Zachary C. Shirkey is an associate professor of political science at Hunter College, City University of New York. His research focuses on the causes of war, deterrence and balancing, conflict resolution, and terrorism. He has published articles in journals including the Journal of Peace Research and the Journal of Theoretical Politics. He is the author of two books, the most recent of which, Joining the Fray (2012), explores the role that revealed information and commitment problems play in why and when states join ongoing civil wars.
Alexander Spencer is assistant professor in global governance and public policy at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich. His research centers on the potential of constructivist international relations theory for the field of terrorism research. His work has been published in journals including Foreign Policy Analysis, Security Dialogue, Journal of International Relations and Development, and Critical[Page xvii]Studies on Terrorism. He recently published a book titled The Tabloid Terrorist: The Predictive Construction of New Terrorism in the Media (2010), and an edited volume titled Reconciliation after Terrorism (2012).
Karin von Hippel
Karin von Hippel serves as the deputy assistant secretary for overseas operations in the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations. Prior to her current position, she was a senior adviser in the State Department's Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism. Before joining the State Department, she spent five years as codirector of the Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Von Hippel has advised the United Nations on peacekeeping, peace building, and its humanitarian system; the U.S. Agency for International Development on the development potential of Somali remittances; and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on the role of development cooperation in discovering the root causes of terrorism. Her numerous publications cover the full conflict spectrum, and include Democracy by Force (2000), which was short-listed for the Westminster Medal in Military History. She received her PhD in international relations from the London School of Economics, her master of studies from Oxford University, and her bachelor's degree from Yale University.
Jennifer L. Windsor
Jennifer L. Windsor is the associate dean for programs at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Previously, she served for ten years as the executive director of Freedom House. From 1991 to 2000, Windsor worked at the U.S. Agency for International Development, last serving as the deputy assistant administrator and director of the Center for Democracy and Governance. She is a graduate of Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School and received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University. She has written numerous articles on issues of democracy and human rights.
John Yoo is a professor of law at the University of California at Berkeley School of Law and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. From 2001 to 2003, he served as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice, where he participated in the development of counterterrorism policy in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. He has published more than seventy scholarly articles on foreign affairs, national security, and constitutional law in some of the nation's [Page xviii]leading law journals. His work has also appeared on the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. He is the author of The Powers of War and Peace (2005), War by Other Means (2006), Crisis and Command (2010), and, most recently, Taming Globalization (2012). He also coedited a book of essays on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Confronting Terror (2011).
In many ways this book was an outgrowth of the crash of United Airlines Flight 175 into the south tower of New York City's World Trade Center at 9:03 a.m. on September 11, 2001. Seventeen minutes earlier, American Airlines Flight 11 had crashed into the World Trade Center's north tower. Even though the initial Flight 11 crash and subsequent collapse of the north tower would alone have been the deadliest terrorist attack in world history, the vast and skilled coordination shown by the al-Qaeda organization with its follow-on airliner attacks against the south tower and the Pentagon and the disrupted attack against the U.S. Capitol instantly, radically, and perhaps permanently transformed global perceptions of terrorism and counterterrorism.
Since the events of 9/11, and in the years since this volume was first published, a tremendous amount of global activity has, of course, surrounded terrorism in terms of both terrorist incidents and government responses. The United States remains at the forefront of recent counterterrorism efforts—Washington has spent many hundreds of billions of dollars since 2001 on new Pentagon priorities, homeland security initiatives, and increased counterterrorism-related activities around the world. And while the land wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have wound down (with mixed results), America's covert operations across multiple continents have only expanded. But the United States is certainly not alone. Terrorism, whether ethno-religious, territorial, or ideologically based, remains a top security and policy priority from western Europe to western China; from South America to South, Central, and Southeast Asia; and from northern and eastern Africa to the Middle East and Persian Gulf.
And yet, even though the world continues to live through what can fairly be described as an unprecedented era of terrorism, it is important to remember that terrorism as a form of political violence is as old as civilization itself. While much raised in its profile (and its purported lethality) by the 9/11 attacks, terrorism itself has not been transformed as a human social phenomenon. It will continue to be used by those around the world who choose violence as a means of redressing grievances and challenging established orders.
Along with the upsurge in global terrorism and counterterrorism activity since 9/11, there has been a tremendous amount of intellectual (and [Page xx]not-so-intellectual) discourse on the topic within and among academic, public policy, and think-tank communities, and across the spectrum of media. Whether measured by quantities of spilt ink or decibel levels, these debates can be enervating, difficult to navigate, hugely partisan, and simply overwhelming.
The purpose of this book is straightforward: to isolate, engage, and enrich debates on the most important contemporary terrorism and counterterrorism issues. To accomplish this goal, leading authorities from policy, academic, and think-tank communities were invited to write timely and original essays that juxtapose pro and con arguments on hotly contested topics of clear importance to understanding the past, present, and future of terrorism and counterterrorism. In a testament to this book's first edition, all of the authors have returned with fully updated essays for the second edition, with one significant change: a new debate chapter focusing on international organizations.
This book's contributors benefited, as will its readers, from the evolving hindsight of the last twelve-plus years. The intense flurry of counterterrorism-related activity that defined the first months and years after 9/11 has since become more settled, thereby giving the authors a unique opportunity to pause, reflect, and carefully analyze what the 9/11 attacks and the al-Qaeda organization have meant (or not meant) in the context of the broader history of terrorism and age-old questions related to terrorism. It has also allowed them to assess more recent events—such as the emergence of the so-called Arab Spring—in a deliberative fashion.
Both editions of this book have also benefited from the change in U.S. presidential administrations in 2009. The transition from Republican president George W. Bush, who had declared “war on terrorism,” to Democrat Barack Obama, who has moved away from the hard-line rhetoric of his predecessor while maintaining nearly all of his hard-line counterterrorism policies, has helped to illuminate the consistencies in perceptions of the present threat and the ongoing challenges facing those who must address it.
The book's six chapters on terrorism and six on counterterrorism focus readers' attention on critical topics on which thoughtful people differ. Few subjects in the realms of policy, academia, and public discourse evoke as much passion and emotion as terrorism and the issues that surround it. This book does not pose straw man questions. Nor does it shy away from any controversial topics. Instead, it addresses these thorny problems head-on, firm in the belief that an open discussion aimed at bridging understanding of different perspectives is the best recipe for making proper sense of the challenges arising from terrorism and fashioning the most prudent and effective responses.[Page xxi]Organization of the Book
Each of the twelve debate chapters—six in Part I, “Debating Terrorism,” and six in Part II, “Debating Counterterrorism”—addresses a vital question related to the challenge of terrorism in a way meant to both evoke and illuminate. The comprehensive headnote at the beginning of each chapter introduces the nature of the controversy surrounding the topic and summarizes the two authors’ forthcoming arguments. The following topics are debated in Part I, “Debating Terrorism”:
- The nature of terrorist organizations, looking specifically at how al-Qaeda and other contemporary groups fit into the historical evolution of terrorism
- Whether poverty and socioeconomic underdevelopment serve as possible root causes of terrorism
- Whether and how terrorist violence can ever be justified
- The role played by religion—particularly radical Islam—in the modern wave of global terrorism
- Whether suicide terrorism is an effective strategy to advance political goals
- The likelihood that the nightmare of nuclear terrorism will become a reality
The following topics are debated in Part II, “Debating Counterterrorism”:
- Whether diplomatic or military strategies should serve as the foundation of counterterrorism strategies
- Whether promoting democracy in the Arab and Muslim world can help combat terrorism
- What role, if any, international organizations can effectively play in fighting terrorism
- Whether an outright ban is the best way to address the practice of torture in counterterrorism intelligence operations
- Whether trade-offs with civil liberties are necessary to protect national security in an age of terrorism
- Whether the threat of terrorism is being overstated, and what that may mean for the future of terrorism and counterterrorism
Although the authors of the twenty-four essays in this volume may disagree on many things, we can all agree that terrorism will remain an important global challenge—both in terms of addressing its causes and in terms of reducing its effects—long after the 9/11 attacks fade from memory. The policy and intellectual activity of the last dozen years has opened an important door to increasing our collective understanding of terrorism—not just that of yesterday and [Page xxii]today, but also that of tomorrow. By isolating the important questions and encouraging open and rigorous debate, this book hopes to seize the moment and contribute knowledge of and insights into one of the world's most enduring, complex, and high-stakes challenges.Acknowledgments
Both editions of this expansive and tremendously challenging project could not possibly have come together without the invaluable assistance of many special people. Brigitte L. Nacos at Columbia University and Zachary C. Shirkey at Hunter College selflessly assisted me with the initial conceptual development, as well as ideas for debate topics and prospective authors. I thank them for this, and for contributing excellent essays to both editions of the book. Erica Chenoweth at Wesleyan University provided helpful advice (and some important editing) early on, and served as a crucial sounding board as I wrestled with the many controversial issues and topics broached. Eric Lorber, Rachel Yemini, and Ahmed Salim provided crucial research assistance, editing, and creative ideas for the first edition, as did Heather Greenslate and Travis Evans for the second. Reviewers provided excellent guidance as we revised the essays for the second edition, and our thanks go to Barry Balleck, Georgia Southern University; John Fielding, Mount Wachusett Community College; Ryan Kennedy, University of Houston; Mary Manjikian, Regent University; Kelly Shaw, Drake University; Nahla Yassine-Hamdan, Central Michigan University; and Ayse Zarakol Jajich, Washington and Lee University. Special thanks to the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia for generously providing research support and access to its terrific personnel. I should also note that reviewers of the initial proposal for this volume provided excellent advice and criticism.
Finally, this book would not exist without the outstanding work of the professionals (in every sense of the word) at CQ Press. Special thanks go to acquisitions editors Charisse Kiino and Elise Frasier, as well as the editors involved with both the first and second editions: Allyson Rudolph, Sabra Bissette Ledent, Libby Larson, and Melinda Masson. All of you have made this ongoing project both enriching and far more enjoyable than it had any right to be.
- Debating the Presidency: Conflicting Perspectives on the American Executive, Second Edition
About the Editor[Page 408]
Stuart Gottlieb teaches at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, where he is also an affiliate of the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies. His courses and research focus on American foreign policy, counterterrorism, and international security. He formerly served as a senior foreign policy adviser and speechwriter in the United States Senate (1999–2003), and continues to advise and consult on issues related to foreign policy and terrorism.
Gottlieb received his Ph.D. in international relations from Columbia University, and is an adjunct professor at New York University's graduate politics program.
CQ Press[Page 409]
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