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Terrorism and U.S. Intelligence

There is a difference between the counterterrorism policy before and after the 9/11 attacks. Although the administration did address terrorism, it devoted far more attention to missile defense, a controversial idea, both in the U.S. and abroad. The question of whether the administration was properly focused on the terrorist threat before 9/11 has been the central focus of discussion after 9/11.

Did the terrorist group behind the 9/11 attacks achieve its goals? In what ways were the 9/11 attacks successful? In what ways were the 9/11 attacks unsuccessful? Discuss.

What has been the impact of terrorism on U.S. and its counterterrorism policies? Has there been any change in the U.S. policies on counterterrorism following the 9/11 attacks? Compare and contrast the U.S. counterterrorism views and activities before and after the 9/11 attacks?

Describe what makes the U.S. unique in the international terrorism scenario in terms of a context for developing counterterrorism measures.

Does the U.S. legal system have restrictions that limit the ability to develop counterterrorism tactics? Explain your statement regarding this with proper reasoning and references.

Solution Preview

The US has been worried about terrorism since the Cold War. The situation in the Mideast did not spring up overnight. The sheer size of the defense budget, plus that endless array of intelligence organizations make the distinction between "missile defense" and "anti-terror" a false one. Both have been, were and are well funded together. This question remains highly controversial. The Patriot anti-missile system has been used against terror besides, so again, its a false distinction.

What does "properly focused" mean?

Did it achieve its goals? That assumes anyone knows what the goals really are. The best answer is really to focus on whose interest these attacks served. The 9-11 attacks make no sense from the point of view of the Islamic or secular groups alleged to have carried this out. This is because:

1. It would play right into the hands of American "warhawks." It would be considered a gift by them.
2. The US response would be immediate and violent, killing God knows how many Muslims, Arabs, etc.
3. It would set the Palestinian cause back many, many years
4. It would give Israel the green light to do what it wanted in the occupied territories (they did).
5. It would guarantee the US presence in the Mideast for a long time.
6. It would lead to the freezing of all assets for all groups even remotely tied to terrorism.
7. It would cover over Israeli crimes in the Mideast.
8. It would unite the west to support Israel more than ever.
9. It would unite the west so as to assure that Arab movements are watched very closely. The CIA, Mossad, MI6 etc would be ...

Solution Summary

This answer deals with the problems of 911 in terms of intelligence and American politics. It also describes the limits of government in dealing with terrorism and the questions of the "rules of war" in international conflict.

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