U S President Barack Obama Made an Announcement Research Paper

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U.S. President Barack Obama made an announcement to the nation that the Al Qaeda top leader Osama bin Laden had been killed by the U.S. special forces. He said that earlier that day, he had ordered a an elite military team to go deep into Pakistan and kill the mastermind of the September 11 terrorist attacks; attacks that shocked the nation and the world alike. In the course of his speech, the president indicated that he had told his CIA director, Leon Penetta that capturing or killing of Osama bin Laden was United State's counterterrorism strategy's main strategy for crippling Al Qaeda.Upon receiving this news, most Americans broke out into a spontaneous celebration. This sent pundits into speculating about the operational and symbolic importance of the mission. The main question that came into the mind of many is what the death of Osama bin Laden meant ad if it meant anything to the future of Al Qaeda. In broader terms, what is the implication of performing leadership decapitation to a terrorist group. Decapitation tactics are aimed at capturing or killing the leader or leaders of a terrorist group (Price,2012,p.9).The nations that mainly employ this counterterrorism strategy are the United States and Israel.The increasing frequency and sophistication of terrorist activities has meant that radical steps must be taken to protect the lives and interest of the United States government and its citizens. In this position paper, we present an in-depth analysis in argument for and against the use of EXPLOITING and TARGETED KILLING OR CAPTURE in taking care of "Criminal Terrorists." In essence, the paper is a position paper arguing whether the U.S. government should pursue assassination or exploitation in its fight against terrorism. Our particular concern is the mitigation of threats posed by al-Zawahiri and Al Qaeda.

Defining terrorism

The concept of terrorism has attracted several definitions. Martyn (2002) defined terrorism as the systematic employment of terror tactics which are often violent by means of coercion. The definition of terrorism within the international community is not binding in terms of legal and criminal law contexts .However, the common definitions of the concept only refer to the violent acts that are ideally intended to create terror (fear), and are perpetrated for a political, religious as well as ideological goal. These attacks deliberately targets people with total disregard of the safety of civilians. Some definitions of terrorism may include the unlawful acts of war and violence. It is worth noting that if similar tactics are employed by criminals as a way of enforcing a code of silence or protection then they are never labeled terrorism even though if similar acts are committed with a political motive then they are deemed terrorists (Boll,1979,p.4).

A. State the 'Problem'.

Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the search for the most effective counterterrorist strategies has become an important and urgent priority for the nation's policy makers.One . Dr. Audrey Kurth Cronin argued that the U.S. has made several missteps in its development of counterterrorist strategies due to the nation's limited experience with acts of terror. The use of Quantitative tests on the existing databases of terrorism activities may help the U.S. In examining the effects of various counterterrorist strategies and in doing so examine the impact of these strategies. One of the strategies that is considered to be effective in the conventional wisdom is the use of "decapitation." This tactic involves the capture or killing (removal) of the leadership of a given terror organization. Other than its assumed efficiency, this strategy is also regarded as a matter pf criminal justice and is aimed at reassuring the general society that is targeted by the terrorist that the government is indeed taking the necessary action on its behalf. This paper presents an in-depth analysis in argument for and against the use of EXPLOITING and TARGETED KILLING OR CAPTURE in taking care of "Criminal Terrorists." In essence, the paper is a position paper arguing whether the U.S. government should pursue assassination or exploitation in its fight against terrorism. Our particular concern is the mitigation of threats posed by al-Zawahiri and Al Qaeda.

B. Present your 'Recommendation' at the outset.

I believe that it is better to pursue exploitation a policies aimed at ensuring that as much information as possible is gained from captured criminal terrorist. This is because exploitation would help the military and internal defense in knowing the way the enemy think and act. The benefits of these are numerous including the ability to proactively prepare for the attacks as well as know the actual thinking and extent of the terrorist network.

C. Identification of relevant 'Background Information'.

The use of decapitation tactics; special tactics that are designed to either kill or capture the main leader or leaders of a terrorist group is highly controversial. Certain scholars have argued that the use of decapitations strategies effectively reduces its operational capability through the elimination of its highly skills members and thereby forcing the terrorist group to divert its valuable time as well as limited resources towards the protection of its key leaders (David,2002).decapitation tactics are aimed at disrupting the terrorist group's organizational routine while also deterring others from assuming power (Byman,2006,p.103). Several scholars have credited decapitation tactics with the creation of inter-organizational turmoil as well as pat after the arrest of its key leaders (Jordan,2009). Even though there are several question on the legality and the moral legitimacy of these targeted killing. Since President Barack Obama was elected for the first time, the U.S. government has expanded its targeted killing program and even authorized the lethal targeted killing of Anwar Awlaki, a U.S. citizen who lived in the Yemen. This move was fraught with various constitutionality concerns on due process. This did not stop the U.S. government from sending a drone to kill Anwar-Awlaki instantly.

The other option called exploitation involves leaving informants and spies in place to transmit important information about the movements of the key terror leaders, their activities and possible their mechanisms of funding and operation. Counterterrorism operations should be targeted at exploiting the divisions as well as infightings within the terrorist groups. The overall goals is to make fewer mistakes than the terrorists, help in increasing the inter and intra-group tension as well as increase their disconnection from the general public. The use of strategic psychological operations (PSYOP) that have a focus on the exploitation of the rifts in leadership as well as the differences in the strategic planning, tribal, ethnic as well as national difference existing within and among the terrorist organizations can be an integral part of the overarching counterterrorism strategy (Garner,2011).

D. Identify the possible 'Courses of Action' (COA)

As indicated in the background information section, the possible 'Courses of Action' (COA) are;

(1) COA 1

Assassination/leadership decapitation

As noted earlier, the use of decapitation tactics; special tactics that are designed to either kill or capture the main leader or leaders of a terrorist group is highly controversial. Certain scholars have argued that the use of decapitations strategies effectively reduces its operational capability through the elimination of its highly skills members and thereby forcing the terrorist group to divert its valuable time as well as limited resources towards the protection of its key leaders (David,2002,p.6).decapitation tactics are aimed at disrupting the terrorist group's organizational routine while also deterring others from assuming power (Byman,2006).

(2) COA 2

Exploitation

As noted earlier, exploitation involves leaving informants and spies in place to transmit important information about the movements of the key terror leaders, their activities and possible their mechanisms of funding and operation. Counterterrorism operations should be targeted at exploiting the divisions as well as infightings within the terrorist groups. The overall goals is to make fewer mistakes than the terrorists, help in increasing the inter and intra-group tension as well as increase their disconnection from the general public

E. Present an Analysis of the Courses of Action:

(1) COA 1

(a) Advantages

Assassination or leadership decapitation has several advantages. This strategy is also regarded as a matter of criminal justice and is aimed at reassuring the general society that is targeted by the terrorist that the government is indeed taking the necessary action on its behalf.

(b) Disadvantages

There are several opponents of leadership decapitation. These opponents point out that leadership decapitation as a counterterrorism strategy is ineffective and counterproductive (Jordan,2009). These opponents note that even though the strategy of leadership decapitation has lead to the collapse of terrorist organizations, it has also led to an increase of terrorist activity (Kaplan et al.,2005,p.226).They also note that it is morally and ethically wrong and therefore has a backlash effect. The number of recruits willing to join the terrorist cells has increased thereby leading to an increase in the size and popularity of the terrorist groups (Kaplan et al.,2009).Certain scholars have noted that decapitation strategies are not necessarily effective. This is because certain states like Israel are known for their targeted killing policy and yet "no compelling evidence exists that targeted killings have reduced the…[continue]

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