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Fighting terrorism

Frank J. Cilluffo and Daniel Rankin urge adoption of a flexible, comprehensive and coordinated strategy to fight terrorism.

Anthrax alert: The events of 11 September and the subsequent anthrax attacks have shown that greater attention must be paid to the terrorist threat

T he events of 11 September have transformed America, American attitudes, and the world in which we live. The United States can no longer rely on the protection of the two oceans that have historically shielded its country and people. The terrorist attacks brought home the fact that, since the end of the Cold War, threats have become more complex and far-reaching. Instead of facing a single, predominantly military threat capable of wiping out the entire nation (and the world), we are faced with a myriad of threats, smaller in magnitude

Frank J. Cilluffo recently chaired two committees on home- land defence and counter-terrorism at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS). Since writing this article, he has become special assistant to President Bush for home- land security. Daniel Rankin is a defence and national secu- rity analyst at CSIS.

and harder to see and counter. Because these new threats are by their nature dynamic, amorphous and moving tar- gets, efforts to combat them must be flexible, comprehen- sive and coordinated.

Terrorism does not emanate from one country, one reli- gion, or even one group, but from networks that span the globe from East to West and North to South, irrespective of national boundaries. It is a transnational threat that requires a transnational response. The attacks against the Pentagon and the World Trade Center may have been carried out on US soil but the shockwave continues to echo around the world. How now are we to respond? How should the United States act to protect itself, its interests and its allies? What should our goals be in the short term? And what should they be in the long term?

The response must be holistic. Organisation, coopera- tion and coordination are the keys to successfully dealing

12 NATO review

Winter 2001/2002

© Reuters

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