Select Page

Does US national security strategy focus too much on the threat of terrorism from overseas and not enough on on domestic threats?


Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
US national security strategy Discussion
Just from $10/Page
Order Essay

Unformatted Attachment Preview

Dean L. Dwigans ar:d Michael N. Schmitt
International Law
and Counterterrorism
Since the tragic criminal :maeks of 11 September 2001, the interaationallegal regime gov­
eming the response by states to trrmsf-tltjonal terrorism has been a subject of inrens(; scru­
tiny, [0 tbe twentieth 0.:ntury, transnational terrorism had generally been viewed as a subject
almost exclusively in the domain of domestic aiminal law regime)c and international co­
operative law eIlfo~T~cment arrangeruents. When states acted beyond tha: context-tis, for
instance, the United States did in conducting Operation El Dorado Canyon against rcrrorist
bases and Libyan government facilities in response to an attack on Aelericoos in Ber11n—­
international cO:ldemnalion followed.:
As the severity a.”1d frequency of’ lransmitional renoris::u grew dllring the 199(5) the
stTict nonnative divide between responses based on Jaw enforcement and lho’se involving
thc use of military force began to hreak dOWD. For instance, in 1998 the United States
responded to ten-mist attacks against jts cmbassjes in Tanzania and Keny:o. by launching
cruise rr.tiss:~e strjkes agains[ terrorist camps in and a pharmaceutical plant
purportedly tied to terrorist activities in Sudan.- The fonner re~ponse met with de minimlts
object ion; wherf;(:Js the latter wa::; criticized on the basis thal the US strike had been mounted
with insufficient evidence of a terrorism nexus to the t~lcility (rather than on the fact of an
atblck ill i1seH). This example of stat::: practice, …·h.ich is used 10 evaluate the existence of
cnslOmary international ;;lV norms and the interprcta~ion of trea~y 1m’, illustrates that by
the 1990s states vere increasingly comfortable witb forceful countertenorist options, al··
though rhey ,IdE set a high evidenri2.ry bar before operations could be monnrc,d.
The rcJative acceptance of these US strikes for~shadowcd intemational reaellor;,s to
GS and coa~ition operations in Afghanlstan. Conducted in re·sponse to rhe 9/J I attacks;
the international community actively s.;Jpported Operation Elldur:ng Freedom against the
TalibzTl aud aI Qaeda as necessary and legally justified. Such a response signaled a dra­
malic paradigm shift in the prescriptive architecl11rc govemiug countertorrorlsITI. While
law enforcen~ent remains a key cumponer:t of counterterrorist stralegy, and although a
thick web of cooperative law enforcement schemes exists to facilitate such efforts, robust
mililary responses are now inarguably among the tools available to states in combating
transnational te!Torism.
Whether the response to international tenOrlsm occurs primarily through domestic
law cafofrement (v/ith international cooperatioa) or the uSe of mGtalY force, the sine qua
IlOJ1 is strict complim1ce with the rule of Jav. Obviously, deraocraci~ are bonud to respect
the limits establj::;hcd by international and JOlnesLic lav.’ through the democratic process.
However, quite as{de from the moral 3tgument, thert: is the reality thLt extralegal activities
tend to ulldcrcn: the international COOpcT8tion and domestic support that are requjreJ to
fasbion effective and efficient ~afcguards against terrorist activity
2.1 lnterrwtio,w} lilYr and Counterterrorism
This chapter ~U1″ve’y~ scve::-al of the key international kg;J! issues that states crafting
counterterrorist p:)~icies cOnf!:oEt. Some is;:;t:cs have am·acted particular con:roversy, which
usuaUy arises lit> a [ of uS1ng military force to c{xJnter fl lr,n:at that has tr3dillonally
been wlderswod in l’:”1c conreXT of law eflforccmcnt.ln light ofIcrmrlsm’s pore>l6al tor dcv~
as~ating conseq!tcnccs, partiCUlarly when weapons of rEa:’)s destruction may be inv(,lvcu,
such a tranSili()o is sen;;,ibie.
To some extenl, a rebaJar.cJug 0;- sorrs·-a rebslancing of 111e rights of society at
large again~1 thost:.’ of indivjdllals~-has ta”L;:en place. The former are c.s.se11tia!ly “.sC’cur~ty
rights,” wherea.;; the latter are “civl1 Jiberties.” Orderly societies typically favor dvilliher~
:ic.s, which imp!.) both ;vell· defined laVS 2…”1d a tl:1ck web of procedural protections during
cn:niual ic:vestigation. arre,::.L triai, and imposition or punishment. Favorieg tf,e PlOtcclion
of the individual requires socie!)’ t;) as,~ume greater risk vis··a-vi.Q security; thus, typical
civillibertieR include ‘arIel evidentiary and procedural ~1l1es to preserve tht’ integdty of the
Cl”i!nirwJ proec~s (including the rctpirement tha1 arrcst and &::”,arc~) be based OIl probab!e
CaliSe), the exdu.<;it)n flY improperly obtaiiled e·vidence, th::: presumption that all snspects are innocent with ti,e slale bearing the burden of pr0of, a requirement for reasonable ~ind consisrcnt sentences. and appellate rcyiew. When lhe halance tips toward tile S::'CUJily ..ights of socicry as a whole, Taw enforce­ mc:nt efforts may prove illSuHicif:'ll1. After all, even a single error could lead to dcsin:clJOn far h~yond ihat of 91 J 1. III rc.spoud to this greata (hre-at, military force may be required. This chapter begins by !<.)oking at the inlernationa! law governing tile resort to DliUtary force as a tool agoinsl countcrtenorii>m. It L’1en tums to law enforcement, with particular
err:phasis on the cooperative legal regime, Ultimately, i~ concludes tlut the dedsio:l to u&c
one or lhe other mus.t be made on a cas<>by”case ba&j:” althongh always 10 a mar.ner COll·
s;stcnl wi~h the m1c oflaw.
Counterterrorism and the Jus ad Bellum
The international lav bcming on the use of military force·–not in support of law enfor;.:e~
meul, out rather as a core aCj·jvity·-·~car; be tinbdi·vided into tl1e jw ad htlh!m ;;~d ~he jus
in :)(:llu. Tht’ fOlTIv:r goveru:s vhen il [5 that states may resort to force, typicaJly wjth !.heir
military, in pars nil of Ll-teir naLiond intcre~ts. It gOYCr11S s~lch ma,ters as selfdefen-“e col­
lective defense, n:,ing force pursnmn IO ;’1 Security Co~mcU lL:lIldate, and hnnanitarian
i:llervent!OIL By contrast, the latter, also labe10d internDlional humanitarian law, addre,<;ses lssaes of how tlvj f();T~ may be applied O:lce hostilities have begun. Tllas, it addresses such 1l1Elters as targeting norms 2nd the rules governing dercntiO:l dmi:lg .1!ri.l:it2xy ~jperations. These complex and controversialjus in heLlo iSSUe" are no( dealt with in this chapter. In terms of thE jus ad belium, tITre lire esserJial1y '--wo jns(;fic:lLlol1s for employing military force to comhat tcrror:i~r:1. The firs.t 1,;; 2Ct10n pursuant lo a mandate by [he Secu~ rlty Council nnd;:r Chapter VIJ of we 0.1 Charter. Article 39 of the CharleT provides mal lb.c Security Council may detennlne- that a par;:lcl,lar sit·ctatior. amounls to B breach of the peace . .(;ct of aggr-::-slon, or threat to the pe~,cc.: Tn this regard, the '"Ibrcat to the peace" cliteior. J5 of particular jmpo::'l. for it enab~ef, the authorization of proactive measure;-; in Lhe f3ce of a ,situalioll ~hi:lt has r.ot yet marared intu a breach of the pea::-e or act of ~1.ggressi()n, but that rn(~rcly evidences the pote.ntjai to do so. Once th-: SEcurity Cuuncil recognizes that j 87 88 Una 2 LJYG Force. and the kfililalJ' Opt/Cll ... __ ._---_.._--_.. _----: eN Security COllncil Resolntions Mandating a Response to Terrorism Under Chapter VII L UNSCR 1267 (1999). Sanctions aglinct [rom a defacto threat) endcr Article 39 is ul1quc:')tionable. The Securily Council has made just su:::-b a finding on repeated occ<1sions. Tn particuhl!', in RcsoJution ] ::68, adopted the day following the notorious tenor attacks by oj Qaeda f1gainst the United -States, ihe Conncil so labeled international terrOlism, a practice reaffin11cd in n::uncwus subsequent ..x. solutiOD_c, addJesS1I1h the sHuatlOn box ;;bo;e)." In ~o'ember 2001 the Council Hkc\-i;e adopted a Resclntioo cont8in:ing a minjsterial-Icvel dedar2tion lbat styled international terrorism 2.5 "one of the mo::t serioHs rhrc2.ts 10 international peace 3lld security in the twenty-first cellwry."-: lodeed, it is now corrunon pract:ce for the SeC"Jrity Coundl to issJe conclcnma­ tory resolutions in the aftcnnmh of major terrulist attack:.. Ihat typically cite them as threats T to lhe peace:. S Des::,ite such pronmmcenlems, me Council hils sto?ped sh0:.i of authorizing the nsc of force against terrorb.:s pursu~mt to A111ck :!L Rathcr, it has encouraged, and even re·­ quired, international cooperation in co::nhating tenorism,9 and imposed sanc~ions: on states deemed to h3VC overtly or implicitly sw.pported terrorist groups, for example, by olTering them sZillcluary.10 Nc:verthe1e-ss, t11e fJ£l Ihat rerrori:mJ ~as been labelxl an Article 39 threat to peace leaves no room for doubt that the Coonci; could kgally mandate Illilitdty action if it wished. That it na'lllot merely int~jcates thp.t it -vie"vs the .second legal gl"(1ucd fur sueh actior!, selJ~ defense, as usua:ly sGfflcient 111 this regard, The ~'ight of states to 2ct rnihtarily iiI selrdcfense is basec. in .4rtkle 51 of the UN Charter, vhich prov1des: )iotbng b l-lE present ClUlrrer stall irr.;nlir the- inherect right of :ndiv~dual Or coJ;ectivc self-Gefense if t1n armed artack occur~ ags.ini'c ..'. :'vren:ber of the tTmted Nations, unlil 2.J Intcmiltiur?a! Law and Counferterrorism the Security C()undllKw taken mtasur-2& neccssJry to mJir::ain in!("TmtiOl1aj pedce ({;:d security. Mca<;nrcs taken by MeTJ1bcrs ll1 the exercise of this right of ;,df~deleESC shall be immedia:eiy rcp(lrled to il:e Security CO:lncii G.nd shall fl!)t in ,my way Jl1ec~ the auttority ilnd respoClSlhility of ~lle Sccmily Council uLder tl:e presem C;a;·~er to t:;}(e at aEY time sue!! aClion ill) H de::ll1s nec.:.S:;ary border tc cr n::store jnten:ational p:::aCe atHi secUf:ty.l1 It is important to note that the dghr is deemed "in~ere::lL" thereby Jecogni71ng its irl(1ejJen~ and preexisting Dcl'sis in cnstomar}' inte:-n&tjonal law. Artidc 51, however, provides no elaboration of irs terms, nor of the condilions prec~ edcnt for acting in self~defensc. Key in this regard is the phrase '"arn;ed i.:~.ttack." Prior to 9/J 1, il \.'as generaUy understood that the right of se1f~defeme applied to aHac:cs by states, as di;.;tiect fro.m crimi.nru ac~ions taken by nonsJlc actor~ such as teaorists. Indeed. "hen

Order your essay today and save 10% with the discount code ESSAYHSELP