Literature Review Chapter: Intelligence Counter-Terrorism Protection

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Intelligence & Counterterrorism

The intelligence community and the changes in counterterrorism tactics in the past decade have been outstanding examples of fundamental change in both the direction and the mindset of America's defensive forces. Several journal outlets have shaped the value of these strategies since the September 11th attacks, and academics and private individuals alike have had valuable input through the last decade in the arena of intelligence, counterterrorism, and protection in their suggestions and critiques published in the journals International Security, Foreign Affairs, and the Middle East Journal. These three journals each have their own audiences, writers, editorial boards, biases, and agendas, which will allow for the analysis of different research methodologies and conclusions based on varying audiences and establishments.

In Thomas Hegghammer's, 'The Rise of Muslim Foreign Fighters: Islam and the Globalization of Jihad', published in International Security, the question of Jihad is approached. Hegghammer is a senior research fellow at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment in Oslo and a nonresident fellow at New York University's Center on Law and Security. This means that he is approaching the question as an academic would. Hegghammer's article is a traditional academic inquiry, with an academic emphasis and a question posed that can only be measured through scientific means. The article is not using methods specifically for the fields of intelligence, counterterrorism, or protection, but rather is asking why individuals would choose to join the Jihad without economic incentive or even material support. The article addresses a sociological problem, rather than an institutional and terrorist network specific one.

Hegghammer, does suggest future research be conducted on this matter. He determines that there are two paths that terrorists joining Jihad may take, the first is a reduction in Jihad as the war on terror slows down in the future, and with increased government crackdown in countries like Saudi Arabia, there will likely be less opportunities to attack the United States than before September 11th. The alternative, however, may be a rise in random individual attacks around the world because of the ease of Internet propaganda and social networking tools that keep global terror networks together. Hegghammer's article does not necessarily fit into the journal in which it has been published, International Security, because its topic is more about the mental motivators for Jihad, rather than the study of the field of security itself.

International Security approached the issue of terrorism again in the autumn of 2006, with a piece by Danial Byman entitled, 'Friends like These: Counterinsurgency and the War on Terrorism.' (Byman, 2006). Byman is the director of the Center for Peace and Security Studies and Associate Professor in the Edmund a. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Byman talks about how the United States put so much money in the 1980s in South America, and especially El Salvador, to fight communist influence it nearly ignored all other issues in the region. As a result, very little was accomplished by using this money to confront the Communists. What was required in El Salvador was ultimately a political resolution to the problem. This concept is being repeated in Afghanistan in the War on Terror, with a seemingly unlimited number of insurgents prepared to attack the United States and Afghani government, and with little movement on the ground as far as reaching the conclusion of conflict and finding the beginning of a peace settlement.

Byman criticizes the policy of alliance building in Iraq, because he does not believe that illegitimate regimes are able to quell civil unrest when the population does not have confidence in its leadership. These alliances we form are weak, they suffer from poor strategy, poor operationability, and poor tactics. Also, the ability of the United States to control the behavior of foreign actors in these team building exercises is limited, further reducing the amount of control American commanders have on the ground. Byman is a very conservative writer, and uses very unique counterterrorism and intelligence methods in his analysis. For example, he looks at military strategy as the most important aspect of counterterrorism, rather than civil enforcement mechanisms. Byman is a good for International Security, because his interests and topic is directly in line with the purposes of the journal. Byman represents a silent component of those who opposed the Bush strategy of working with the new Iraqi military, which was struggling greatly in 2006.

Richard Betts wrote about terrorism and intelligence in Foreign Affairs journal about the political shifts in the intelligence community since the 9/11 attacks. (Betts, 2004) Betts advocates for a strong public demand for a functional intelligence apparatus, calling into question the entrenched institutional interests that each agency represents. Betts is director of the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University, and served on the staff of the Senate's Church Committee investigation of U.S. intelligence agencies. Since Betts is from an academic background, and is critical of the institutional bureaucracy of the intelligence community in 2004, he exhibits bias in his views that Washington will adapt. Betts does not like the recent politicization of terrorism, because it creates an uncomfortable position for those who do not want to pick sides on domestic politics. It is important to keep in mind that Betts wrote this article in 2004, an election year for President Bush. The topic of terrorism was too young to be considered resolved, and indeed attacks by al-Qaeda continued throughout Europe and the Middle East.

Betts approaches the current state of America's counterterrorism strategies by comparing professionals and politicians, with politicians as reactionary individuals with self-interests for reelection, and professionals with different counterterrorism expertise, but with different institutional mandates and funding. Politicians compete for the spotlight, while professionals compete for resources, and this relationship needs to be worked out in order for the intelligence community to better its activities. Betts uses a traditional academic approach to his article, in order to quickly and efficiently outline his problems with the combining of America's intelligence services, while expecting each to still perform to its maximum mandate. Betts is an outsider looking into Washington, trying to recognize the problems in the intelligence community, and then correcting these problems by removing the politicization of terrorism.

The next Foreign Affairs article is by Bruce Riedel, and is entitled "Al Qaeda Strikes Back," from 2007. Riedel states that Al Qaeda is more dangerous today than it has ever been before, and despite suffering setbacks since September 11th, 2001, the organization has been able to expand in several operation bases around the world. (Riedel, 2007) Riedel blames the Bush decision to go into Iraq for the refocusing of America's foreign policy away from counterterrorism, and this article is being written at the height of the Iraq war in 2007. Ridel is a senior fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institute. He worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for 29 years. Riedel is a CIA man, and has his bias towards the intelligence community, rather than the military and the invasion of Iraq. Riedel had access to the most sensitive information on Al Qaeda before and after September 11th, and uses this to his advantage in the article.

The Brookings Institute is known to be extremely right wing, with policies that denote realism and isolationism, even during the Bush years of foreign policy expansion on the ideas of American liberty and democracy. Riedel thinks about terrorism as a practitioner of counterterrorism methods, and his views vary radically from the academic consensus, and even the Washington policies at the time. Riedel suggests no future research, but does call on Washington to refocus its efforts on Afghanistan, because even though the Taliban fell quickly in 2001, Al Qaeda is still using the country as a breeding ground for young terrorists. Foreign Affairs has a very good mixture of both government insiders and academics in its writings on intelligence and counter terrorism. The journal seeks to be a forum for ideas, rather than an authoritative guide to any specific foreign policy recommendation. The fact that Foreign Affairs is widely published and available to the public means that it is for a much wider audience, and does not go into as deep of detail as more academically oriented journals, such as International Security.

The final journal to be studied will be the Middle East Journal, which covers a constant spread of terrorism and counterterrorism situations in the Middle East, with contributions from within the American system as well as from academic abroad. The first article from the Middle East Journal is by Judith Yaphe, and is entitled, 'War and Occupation in Iraq: What Went Right? What Could Go Wrong?' And was written in 2003. The article is about the occupation of Iraq, and the counter-insurgency conflict that sprung up almost immediately in the aftermath of the removal of Saddam Hussein and the Baath party. Specifically, Yaphe looks at historical precedent for former invasions in Iraq to see if the resultant problems in Iraq from the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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