Since the dawn of the new millennium, combating terrorism has become a primary focus of security professionals throughout the world. The attacks of September 11, 2001, inaugurated a new global era of counterterrorism policy and activity, led by the United States, while many countries—from Algeria and Spain to Sri Lanka and Indonesia—have redoubled their efforts to combat their own indigenous terrorism threats. In the Unites States, the counterterrorism goals identified in the "National Strategy for Combating Terrorism" (2006) can only be achieved through significant multinational cooperation. These goals are to advance effective democracies as the long-term antidote to the ideologies of terrorism; to prevent attacks by terrorist networks; to deny terrorists the support and sanctuary of rogue states; to deny terrorists control of any nation they would use as a base and launching pad for terror; and to lay the foundations and build the institutions and structures we need to carry the fight forward against terror and help ensure our ultimate success.
At this point in the development of the global counterterrorism efforts, it is particularly important to pause for reflection on a number of critical questions.
What do we know about effectively countering terrorism?
What are the characteristics of successful or unsuccessful counterterrorism campaigns?
What do we need to learn in order to do this better?
"Countering Terrorism and Insurgency in the 21st Century" addresses these and related questions, contributing to national security policy as well as to our understanding of the terrorist threat and how it can be defeated. "Volume 1: Strategic and Tactical Considerations" examines issues of hard power, soft power, and intelligence/counterintelligence. "Volume 2: Sources and Facilitators" covers state failure, border controls, democracy promotion, networks and trade and trafficking, and societal issues. "Volume 3: Lessons Learned from Combating Terrorism and Insurgency" includes case studies of counterterrorism operations (e.g., the hijacking of the Achille Lauro, the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, and the capture of key terrorist suspects like Ramzi Youssef and Khalid Sheikh Mohamad); and case studies of long-term efforts to combat terrorism (e.g., the Basques in Spain, the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, Israel's struggle against Palestinian terror organizations, Peru and Sendero Luminoso, and Japan and Aum Shinrikyo).
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