A photograph of soldiers in action during a drill on day three of the China-Russia counter-terrorist Cooperation.

Europe should not become complacent.

Counterterrorism at a Crossroads

July 2011, Zahl 02.03

“Two numbers illustrate the huge imbalance in resources needed to combat terrorists and their sponsors: The perpetrators of the September 11, 2001, attacks spent an estimated $250,000 to set in motion a worldwide counterterror leviathan that has consumed more than $2 trillion.

Yet despite multiple successes borne on the back of this large security outlay, allied counterterrorism strategy is “not as good as it should be,” said Jamie Shea, Deputy Assistant Secretary-General in NATO’s new Emerging Security Challenges Division. Fears of Mumbai-style attacks, further security breaches at airports and crippled computer networks have tempered NATO’s self-assessment in the realm of counterterrorism and called forth demands for improvement.

Viewing the past decade through the prism of al-Qaida, Shea said terrorists, despite repeated defeats on the battlefield, can take credit for creating persistent worldwide havoc. Al-Qaida has spun off franchises that act in its name with little guidance from the “home office,” Shea noted. It’s so well-known, it can claim credit for lethal acts it had no hand in. Even its failures, magnified by the media, can produce the destabilizing fallout of a mini-9/11...”

Excerpt from per Concordiam Staff, “Counterterrorism at a Crossroads,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 2, No. 3, 2011: 58-59.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.