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This is not an isolated incident, many experts believe there are many other biological weapons available to terrorist organizations, and the biggest problem they face is how do disperse them effectively.
Many considerations must be handled in order to control these types of attacks. First, the country must attempt to block these items from entering the country. Intelligence, monitoring, infiltration, and higher security at the nation's borders and ports can fend off at least some of these weapons. Second, if they do enter the country, there must be ways of locating and disarming them before they are set off. Of course, that is much easier said than done. Local and national response experts will need to be trained in how to deal with these weapons. Expert Steven Simon states, "Emergency response teams will need to be able to pinpoint the location of a device, identify its type, and know in advance how to render it safe once it has been seized. Local authorities will have to detect and identify biological and chemical agents that have been released."
There must also be ways of blocking their release into the country. Author Simon believes that buying and/or destroying surplus military equipment around the world can help ensure that these devices are not purchased by terrorists who hope to use them to disperse WMDs on a global scale.
Another area where the United States is vulnerable is our ports. There is little scrutiny of the cargo that enters and leaves America's ports, and many studies have indicated how easy it would be to smuggle WMDs or even nuclear weapons into the country through containers loaded on ships. Because a majority of these shipments originate in foreign countries, it is difficult to monitor them as they are loaded and make their way into this country. There must be much greater effort put into security at the nation's ports. First, port workers must be screened and checked, just as security workers at the nation's airports are screened and checked. In addition, there must be a way to easily screen or view the contents of the containers to ensure that terrorist organizations are not smuggling weapons into the country. The country has several areas that are weakly enforced and scrutinized, and the ports are high on that list, because of the sheer volume of material that surges through them each day. Thus, securing the ports and checking container cargo needs to be high on the agenda of Homeland Security, before a terrorist attack is launched from that arena.
Future Strategic Theories
One of the most controversial ways to combat global and national terrorism is with the use of deadly force. While not everyone agrees with the use of force to counter terrorism, many experts believe it is one of the only ways to successfully counter the new terrorism and render in ineffective. Author Mockaitis continues, "The Western alliance led by the U.S. must assist countries such as the Philippines to combat indigenous insurgencies backed by Al
In addition, most experts agree that this must be a joint effort between nations, and that others must be convinced that the threat is dangerous enough to warrant this use of deadly force as a means of control.
One way to do this is to enlist the aid of other Middle Eastern nations and their moderate populations. Mockaitis states, "Finally, the moderate majority in key Arab states must be persuaded to support the war or to at least stop supporting Al Qaeda. This last task will be the most difficult to achieve since it requires some significant changes in U.S. foreign policy."
So far, gaining the support of other Middle Eastern countries has not been accomplished, and those that do have good relations with the West often suffer attacks inside their borders from terrorist organizations. This is true of Saudi Arabia, who Osama bin Laden feels has turned its support to the West and so has become a nation of infidels.
Many experts recommend a change in U.S. foreign policy to gain more support from Arab nations and their populations, rather than driving them away with actions such as the invasion of Iraq, which has resulted in animosity toward the U.S. By many nations around the world, including the Middle East neighbor, Iran.
There is another important way to combat terrorism that many people overlook. Global terrorism doe not threaten only one country. It is not waged by only one or two terrorist organizations or factions. It is a global threat, and one way to combat it is for the first world countries to help aid under-developed nations. Lack of educational opportunities, good governing, and the ability to make a decent living are all problems facing many nations around the world, and these conditions can foster unrest and even jealousy in populations who have little hope of ever achieving the opulence of modern Western life. Fully developed nations such as the United States must make an effort to create a higher standard of living in other nations to help foster better understanding, more opportunities and satisfaction that may ultimately lead to a less volatile world and fewer terrorist activities.
Many experts believe that the greatest long-term solution to the war on terror is to become more understanding of what causes terrorism, and to treat the "symptoms rather than the disease."
In other words, experts must understand the underlying beliefs that cause terrorism, and work to understand them rather than simply control or remove them.
Another global problem that is leading to national terrorism in Latin America is the drug trade. Drug dealers and suppliers are becoming increasingly violent in their business, and this violence has spread throughout the area. While this does not seem to be a threat to America directly, this violent reaction to drug control has become an accepted way of life in many Latin American countries and has led to violence in other areas as well. That violent lifestyle can spread to America when dealers and drug lords bring their business to the streets of American cities, and this form of "acceptable" violence can escalate into a lifestyle of violence and destruction if it is not controlled and eliminated. Part of the global war on terror should be to control drug trafficking and the violent lifestyle it supports.
Finally, many believe in the future that cyberterrorism will continue to be a great threat to the infrastructure and economy of the entire country. Another expert proposes joint agreements or ownership in many large, currently private companies. He writes, "What the U.S. government does not own, it cannot completely defend. Private owners do not necessarily share the government's perception of the terrorist threat and are often able to resist regulation."
While many companies and stockholders might baulk at joint-ownership with the government, it might ensure the infrastructure is safer and more secure than if security is left only to the private business sector.
In conclusion, countering and controlling the new terrorism threats is an ongoing challenge for all the countries of the world. One thing seems certain. The threat of global terrorism continues to multiply, and it is only a matter of time before they strike the United States again. The terrorists around the world are determined and fanatic about their need to destroy the "infidels" and they will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. In the 21st century, it seems there is little any nation can do to totally combat terrorism. There will always be terrorists, and there will always be victims. To counter the new terrorism, the nations of the world must join together, share intelligence, and work to rid terrorists from their nations and their borders. Terrorism will never go away entirely, but effective control measures, like those discussed here, along with global cooperation, could keep terrorism at least under some semblance of order and control.
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Lsser, Ian O., et al. Countering the New Terrorism. Santa Monica, CA: Rand, 1999.
Mockaitis, Thomas R. "Winning Hearts and Minds in the 'War on Terrorism'." Grand Strategy in the War against Terrorism. Ed. Thomas R. Mockaitis and Paul B. Rich. London: Frank Cass, 2003. 21-38.
Noricks, Darcy M.E. "Can the U.S. Counter the New Terrorism? Counterterrorism Leadership Must Shift from Dept. Of Defense to State Dept., Says Defense Analyst." Whole Earth Fall 2002: 25+.
O'Brien, Kevin a. "Information Age, Terrorism and Warfare." Grand Strategy in the War against Terrorism. Ed. Thomas R. Mockaitis and Paul B. Rich. London: Frank Cass, 2003. 183-206.
Mockaitis, Thomas R., and Paul B. Rich, eds. Grand Strategy in the War against Terrorism. London: Frank Cass, 2003.
Simon, Steven. "The New Terrorism: Securing the Nation against a Messianic Foe." Brookings Review Wntr 2003: 18+.
Ian O. Lesser, Bruce Hoffman, John Arquilla, David Ronfeldt, and Michele Zanini, Countering the New Terrorism (Santa Monica, CA: Rand, 1999) 1.…[continue]
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