Intelligence and counterterrorism

Intelligence and counterterrorism

10/2017  |  2017A03, Length: 10 pages

Let me begin with a slight change of title, but one that is important, I believe, to our discussion. How you think about the problem matters, as it frames much of your response. We customarily talk about counter-terrorism, but, as former Director of the CIA John Brennan notes, we should think about counter-terrorist activity, not counter-terrorism. We are trying to stop people, not a “thing.” We can defeat those who decide to become terrorists. We can make terrorism very costly and ultimately unattractive to would-be terrorists, but we cannot defeat the concept per se. It may recede and even disappear for a while, but it will return again in some other guise.

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