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TACKLING TERRORISM A talk-through exercise. WHAT CAN BE DONE? Not to ‘eliminate’ terrorism or defeat it in a ‘war’- it can be cut back/phased out here.

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Presentation on theme: "TACKLING TERRORISM A talk-through exercise. WHAT CAN BE DONE? Not to ‘eliminate’ terrorism or defeat it in a ‘war’- it can be cut back/phased out here."— Presentation transcript:

1 TACKLING TERRORISM A talk-through exercise

2 WHAT CAN BE DONE? Not to ‘eliminate’ terrorism or defeat it in a ‘war’- it can be cut back/phased out here or there, but never eliminated from the human mind or the toolbox of violence But to reduce and ‘contain’ it, discourage as many as possible from doing + supporting it, and avoid/ minimize/quickly repair the damage to ourselves

3 SIX BASIC APPROACHES Physically stop them (catch, kill) Outlaw and criminalize them ‘Starve’ them by cutting off money, equipment, info, free movement etc etc Make them change their minds and methods Persuade others not to support them ‘Harden’ + protect ourselves as a target, improve resilience

4 FOR EACH METHOD: When and how could it be done? With what measures and tools? Who has to help - national or international, state +non-state actors? Are any international institutions useful? LET’S TALK THROUGH…..

5 PHYSICAL COERCION (Kill, catch, disarm, pre-empt/prevent) Only works in specific circs. when you have a physical target – you know that they are terrorists and where they are Extreme option if terrorists cannot be changed/blocked any other way More legitimate versions: block an imminent attack, use regular (proportionate) military force against clear target (large-scale military action never precise enough; methods like assassination and some long-distance strikes illegal) Typically a method for one state (and perhaps its close allies); multi- state institutions v unlikely to agree (even if this option is within NATO and ESDP doctrine!) Or action by a part of a state/state proxy, eg a sub-state vigilante group using perhaps equally terroristic methods (vicious circle)

6 METHODS OF LAW AND JUSTICE Can be used against multiple, scattered and even unknown targets; weeds out the terrorists from the lawful majority (and from criminal killers, etc) Tools: legal definition of terrorism and penalties, intelligence, police, courts – but can they actually reach the terrorists, is enforcement effective and lasting? Relies on national enforcement, but wide international action v desirable to catch mobile/networked terrorists: example = EU actions in 2001 and 2004; not yet fully working at UN level because no single global definition, no international court where terrorism as such is an offence

7 CUTTING OFF SUPPLIES AND ACCESS (‘TURN OFF THE TAP’) Also good when you don’t know ‘who is out there’ but you know what they need in order to operate Cut off: money flows and cash deposits (legal or illegal) weapons, explosives, MANPADS, WMD, WMD-related knowhow; also access to international travel, passports/visas International cooperation essential and as wide as possible: some UN measures (moneylaundering, WMD), large ‘export control groups’, multiple EU measures Relies very much on help of non-state business actors Always loopholes if measures not truly universal; v hard to stop huge loophole of the Internet But measures not too costly or risky, and hamper other badguys

8 CHANGE THEIR MINDS Works if terrorists have a clear political goal which is (to some degree) achievable, and the concessions needed are a fair price for stopping/reducing terrorist violence Typical methods of ‘peace settlement’: mediation, negotiation using political/economic/social ‘carrots’, independence or autonomy deals, handled within state or with international or NGO help But who do you bring into the settlement and who leave out? – splinter, ‘spoiler’ groups v likely; or settlement could unravel

9 CHANGE THEIR SUPPORTERS’ MINDS Relevant where terrorists are basing themselves on wider popular grievances and public are harbouring/tolerating/supporting them Method can be offering carrots to terrorist leaders or direct to the people: economic/social changes and general democratization most useful in latter case. Generally done within a state but can use international/institutional funds and skills. Success in winning over non-state groups and actors vital for success, pro-peace NGO/civil groups can help

10 ‘HARDEN’ THE TARGETS Always relevant, but most efficient if you know bits where terrorists are most likely to strike and/or which are most vulnerable (eg transport systems, VIPs) Physical protection, access control; conceal or multiply key facilities; efficient emergency response, fast recovery International action v relevant for protecting transnational systems: transport + travel, energy assets, communications + Internet etc; can pursue cooperation in UN, EU, specialized instititutions; NB EU ‘solidarity clause’ on post-strike aid Very dependent on business, society + individuals to be safety- conscious and calm; volunteer rescue + humanitarian groups

11 SO WHICH ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS? Generally: Institutions with power to make laws and regulations; to set standards for and coordinate national action; to pool and apply resources; to maintain respect and legitimacy (eg for negotiating with terrorists or converting their supporters) UN, EU, specialist (eg transport regulating) bodies, export control groups, aid and humanitarian agencies Collective military groups (NATO, SCO) have narrower relevant competences and are less likely to agree on collective (military) action

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