Counterterrorism as a topic is complex, but it is clearly important in today’s world and will continue to be important. Critics of contemporary counterterrorism strategy argue, however, that counterterrorism would be more effective if efforts were focused more on the economic, social, political, and religious aspects of terrorism rather than expending heavy efforts in military, security, and law enforcement measures.

For this short paper, you will examine the concept of endorsing softer measures to counter terrorism as a more effective, long-term approach. When writing this paper, you should consider the following questions: How would you characterize the current U.S. approach and measures to counterterrorism? How does it compare to the approach advocated by critics of security and military measures?

For additional details, please refer to the Short Paper Guidelines and Rubric document.

Textbook: Global Terrorism, Chapter 12
This chapter discusses counterterrorism techniques and potential issues with civil liberties.
As you read this chapter, consider the following question:

  • Is there an optimal balance between effective counterterrorism techniques and the protection of individual civil liberties?

PDF: National Strategy for Counterterrorism (Optional)
Read the U.S. Government’s National Strategy for Counterterrorism. This strategy sets out the U.S. approach to disrupting, dismantling, and eventually defeating terrorist threats to the United States to ensure the security of our citizens and interests.
As you read this strategy, consider the following question:

  • Is the United States postured to effectively disrupt potential threats from violent extremists?

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