Counter Terrorism You Are a Senior Counterterrorism Term Paper

Pages: 6 (1939 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Level: College Sophomore  ·  Topic: Terrorism

Counter Terrorism

You are a senior counterterrorism official for the federal government in a large American city. Your city has a significant Arab population -- including both Arab-American citizens and immigrants. To what degree are you going to focus your efforts on infiltrating that community within your city? Are you going to send agents to attend Mosques? Are you going to develop informants among those already living in that population? Are you bounded by any ethical considerations other than the need to prevent needless deaths through terrorism?

America is faced constantly with the threat of terrorism, regardless of the particular point of reference. Following the 9/11 attacks and the events that followed, including the continuous war in Iraq, it is clear that the level of vigilance among federal agencies must be at its highest. It is important to consider all the possible points of vulnerability facing our cities. The fight against terrorism cannot be viewed as a singular affair and a regional-based strategy. It must focus on the entire territory of the United States and should engage all the forces necessary to ensure that homeland security becomes a viable reality. However, in order to achieve such a complex goal, each state and city must bring its contribution through the different practices they implement at state and local level.

Detroit is one of the most important cities of the United States. It represents a symbol of economic growth, technology, and industry. At the same time however, it has also one of the most important Arab communities in the country, including Syrians, Lebanese, and Palestinians. The precise number of Arabs, U.S. citizens or immigrants in Detroit is rather hard to determine. However, in the state "The estimates range from 409,000 to 490,000 based on information from the Michigan Health Department and the Zogby International polls respectively" (the Detroit Arab-American Community, 2008). Taking these figures into account, it is obvious that action needs to be taken in order to respect their rights but at the same time ensure that security is kept untouched.

Firstly, it is important that the Arab community is integrated or at least fosters strong ties with the local American society and the community as a whole. In general terms, it can be said that minority groups which are ostracized and feel rejected by the local community become reluctant to the set of values the fostering community shares. Consequently, they develop a sense of violence which in serious cases could even result in clashes between these communities. Therefore, in order to prevent such misfortunes, action aimed at strengthening the links between the Arab community in Detroit and the local American one through various social, educational, and cultural programs.

This however cannot be considered enough from the point-of-view of the security issues such a large Arab community implies. This is why federal agents must have a clear control and surveillance over the activities of the Arabs in Detroit, without being offensive to the Muslim religion or disrespectful of their beliefs. Still, a clear and constant image of the main activities that take place in the Arab community must be built and maintained. The infiltration of undercover agents of the purchase of information from different reliable members of the community would be a means to maintain control over the situation.

The issue of ethics in the fight against terrorism is indeed a sensitive matter. Federal agents often have the misfortune to disregard ethics in their assignments. This is applicable in the war against terror as well. Privacy and the right to a personal life are often placed on secondary levels of consideration due to the fact that maintaining homeland security represents a moral and practical duty a state must have towards its population. Therefore, albeit the rights invoked in various debates, ensuring security implies the respect of the highest of rights: the right to life, and in the name of this right, actions are always justified.

2. Based on the reading assignments, what status, rights and protections would you afford someone who was an American citizen captured in the United States in the act of terrorist violence? How about someone who was a foreign national engage in terrorism in the United States? An American citizen fight American forces abroad? A foreign national, but not a member of a nation's military, fighting American forces abroad? Would torture of any of these subjects ever be justified if it could save lives?

Terrorism and terrorists in general have many faces and endless nationalities. There are now new sophisticated techniques of infiltration in the country which allow terrorist to receive U.S. citizenship which is then used to facilitate the organization of terrorist attacks.

US citizens discovered they masterminded a terrorist attack should be held responsible in the same manner and according to the same standards as any non-national. This can be explained through the fact that any terrorist attack, no matter its perpetrator represents in fact an attack against the state itself, thus the punishment should be in accordance. This is an applicable consideration for any attack on a U.S. national or against a symbol of the U.S. state, such as a representative of the army, a particular location, or any other issue that could be associated with the signs of the U.S. state. Such terrorist act represents a direct attack on the identity and sovereignty of the state.

In terms of punishment, there are various discussions on this issue, due to the fact that it involves an analysis of the moral system. However, should lives be saved and prevent killings and innocent deaths, torture of terrorists cannot be considered as immoral, especially taking into account the fact that in terrorist attacks, the ones who die are innocent. They do not choose to die, whereas terrorists take that chance.

3. What are the different perspectives concerning Just War? Can the war on terror be properly characterized as a just war? Under what circumstances would fighting terrorism cease to be just? Why?

There are various interpretations of the term Just War. On the one hand, "a just war can only be waged as a last resort" (Principles of the Just War, 2006). Therefore, it represents a violent response to a certain action. In general conflicts should be dealt with peacefully or an agreement should be reached on a diplomatic means. However, there may be irreconcilable differences that end up in armed conflict. In this sense, in order to determine whether the war waged is just, it is important to take into account several elements.

The cause and aim of the just is always a reparatory action. More precisely, the war waged in self-defense is considered to be just and motivational. At the same time the final goal of such a war is to reestablish the equilibrium. Yet another issue to be taken into account regards combatants and non-combatants. In just wars, civilians are not targeted and are protected against possible violence (Principles of just war, 2006).

From this perspective, it is rather hard to determine whether the war on terror is just or not. However, despite the fact that the initial aim of the war against terror after 9/11 was to destroy terrorism, nowadays this endeavor seems more and more unlikely. Also, considering the victims of the war, there are numerous casualties among civilians and innocent people, who may never come to analyze the justice of the war they have fallen victims to. Finally, an issue that could somewhat justify especially the intervention of U.S. troops in Iraq is the inception moment. The 9/11 attacks were considered at the time, and still are, a matter related to self-defense; the war against terror was begun precisely for this reason.

Therefore, it is hard to consider the degree in which the war marking our contemporary world is just or not. Nonetheless, terrorism is an issue affecting the entire world. In these circumstances, the war appears to be the reaction of the society to such a massive aggression. However, the balance for a just war in Iraq would suddenly change should more casualties continue to fall and for the troops to forget their mission. This is due in large to the fact that should a precedent exist, any country in the world, considering the right to wage war, may use this tool, and refuse diplomacy. Also, the number of victims is crucial and may very well influence the public opinion in terms of support.

4. How serious is the problem of anti-Americanism here at home? Should people be accountable for inciting violence when they glorify violent acts against America but they do not engage in it? What remedies are available to the government, if any, to deal with schools, mosques, and charities that indirectly support terrorism while not actually engaging in it? What should the remedies be?

The anti-American problems are an important part in the society of the U.S. In this sense, Anthony Gregory considers that "those who genuinely hate America, and all it stands for, good or bad,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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