EU Counterterrorism Strategy

Interesting journal article evaluating the EU's counterterrorism efforts.

Posted on July 21, 2010 at 5:50 AM • 22 Comments

Comments

DavidJuly 21, 2010 6:22 AM

Dopey site... it seems to generate a session cookie just because it's bored! Can't think of any other reason!

Anyway, this link is a search on the key terms sorted by date. The article Bruce mentions is (I believe) the second one on this list.

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/search/allsearch?mode=fromsortby&product=journal&Sort=IDate+desc&products=journal,book,mrw,db&FromYear=1990&Since=1&ToYear=2010&Issue=All&FromMonth=01&WISindexid3=&WISsearch3=&WISindexid2=&WISsearch2=&WISindexid1=WISall&WISsearch1=counterterrorism+strategy&subjects=all&ToMonth=12&WISoperator2=&WISoperator1=

Rich WilsonJuly 21, 2010 10:20 AM

Might not be a bad idea to include the full text of the link in the 'plaintext'. That is, include the full url in the text between the opening and closing tags. That way people can see where they'll be going. Of course, it's not like anyone who is paranoid can't just copy/paste the link or view source to look at it first. So maybe it's not such a hot idea after all.

Mike BJuly 21, 2010 10:27 AM

Dear Marc B,

please stop leaving passive aggressive messages to security gurus.

oh wait ...

Dave AronsonJuly 21, 2010 12:14 PM

@Rich, you don't even need to View Source or copy/paste. Most browsers will reveal the URL if you just hover over the link.

(Yes, a malicious site can play games with displaying false info there, but I trust Bruce... and I trust that Bruce is the one who put the post together... and I trust that DNS sent me to the right site... and so on....)

ChristianJuly 21, 2010 5:11 PM

Ok my 5 cent..

The worst counterterrorism activities after 9/11 in Europe were often pressed by the US.

Example 1. Swift data is now again sent to the US for surveilance reasons...

This kind of data exchange is unidirectional. And breaks alot of privacy here.

Example2 EU data retention laws... that some states try to get somhow in accord with their constitutions (which terribly fails)
------
Also we (Germany) had worse kind of Terror... e.g. RAF was way more effective (in kills and in terrorizing people) which might explain that people seem sometimes more relaxed.
Also some people might have the hope that we have less to fear as Europe doesn't have the same kind of history in creating terrorism in the near east as the US have.

WoofleJuly 21, 2010 6:19 PM

@ Christian
...e.g. RAF was ... ... as Europe doesn't have the same kind of history in creating terrorism in the near east...

Well, if we're talking historically:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades
Back when Western European civilisation was a bunch of bully-boys roaming around the countryside beating each other up, they exported their hobby and created Middle Eastern terrorism.

Davi OttenheimerJuly 21, 2010 6:39 PM

@Woofle

"[western europe] exported their hobby and created Middle Eastern terrorism"

so that would be starting with the 11th century?

sorry but plenty of prior terrorism, although i think we might be using the term loosely.

i mean i would give credit to the english for inventing concentration camps and certain forms of terror, but terrorism was around long before.

the roman empire comes to mind (509 BCE)...although some might argue they too were terrorized by the gauls

WoofleJuly 21, 2010 9:50 PM

@ Davi Ottenheimer
"so that would be starting with the 11th century?" ... ... er ... yeah ...

"sorry but plenty of prior terrorism,"

Of course you are correct. I was going to try and continue my one-upmanship but I just can't locate that wikipedia article on two troops of Chimpanzees fighting over a banana tree...

I am therefore forced to concede to your superior knowledge and intellect.

Have a good 'un.

WinterJuly 22, 2010 1:58 AM

@Woofle:
"Of course you are correct. I was going to try and continue my one-upmanship but I just can't locate that wikipedia article on two troops of Chimpanzees fighting over a banana tree..."

Chimpanzees are much to "civilized" to need such a meager object to make war over. Chimpanzees will try to exterminate the male members of another group just for existing. They do not need a pretext.

However, no one has reported wars under Bonobos yet. Genetically, we are squarely in between these two species.

However, war has been endemic under humans from the very start. As Jared Diamond already wrote, "if two Papuas met in the highlands of New Guinea, they would desperately try to find some mutual relatives or friends just to have a reason NOT to bash each others head in" (I am paraphrasing from memory here). Mr Diamond has been known to mix facts sometimes, but the area has been infamous for widespread head hunting before the Indonesian pacification.

And there is a chapter in "Millennium" (Tom Holland) about the 9th+10th century, aptly called "Knigthmare", about the rise of the castles and knights in medieval Europe. Modern day Afghanistan/Tribal Pakistan comes to mind while reading that.

Winter

Clive RobinsonJuly 22, 2010 3:18 AM

@ Winter, Woofle,

You have to be very careful with primate studies the suffer baddly with "observer is part of the experiment".

It has been shown that much of the reported aggression in chips is actualy due to learning it of humans, especialy the reported "meat eating".

We know that many creatures such as birds "mimic" not just man' words but even the sounds his technology makes.

And this has resulted in people questioning primate studies in the same way "rats in a maze" psych experiments became questionable nearly fifty years ago...

SnallaBolagetJuly 22, 2010 6:49 AM

Why are we suddenly defining war as terrorism? Conventional (as in soldiers on a battle field, etc.) warfare isn't terrorism, everyone should be aware of that. It's when you venture outside of the laws of war that you land in either the war criminal category, or the terrorist category.

The definition of terrorism is: "The calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear."

That doesn't include bombing runs during war, it doesn't include POW camps which some here seem to think is the same as concentration camps, and it doesn't include "Western Europe" waging war on invading muslims hundreds of years ago.

"Historically" speaking, you guys should read up on history, or you'll be the ones to repeat it.

SnallaBolagetJuly 22, 2010 6:52 AM

...and why would people post 8 comments raving about cookies from a site that can obviously be trusted? If you don't trust that this site's owner won't send you somewhere bad, why are you even daring to read the blog?

WinterJuly 22, 2010 7:17 AM

@SnallaBolaget:
"The definition of terrorism is: "The calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear.""

How does head hunting fit in?

This was a widely spread practice (Amazon, Indian ocean). It consisted of small raids to terrorize and weaken competing villages. The direct motivation was revenge (alleged witchcraft) and pure rivalry. The well known effect was driving away competing clans.

The Hashshashins would fit in, I think?

Roman policies were often based on pure terror. Colonial policies, in general, too (Central Africans learned mutilating enemies from the French and Belgians, scalping was an invention of American "head" hunters). But these were the "governments" so that cannot be terrorism, can it?

The same for Spartans against the native helots.

Berber war bands looting northern Iberia and France out of Iberia in medieval times. Normans in England after the 1066 conquest. But that would be the "legal government" again.

Just calling it "terrorism" if it is not state run is rather arbitrary, I think. Terror is often used against the enemies. Any enemy by any actor.

Winter

SnallaBolagetJuly 22, 2010 7:32 AM

@Winter;
Okay, so everything is terrorism then, because things cause people to be afraid?
Clowns are terrorists, because they actually do scare a lot of people. Spiders too, must be terrorists.
Not to mention open spaces. They are terrorists too - or are they just put there by architects who are terrorists using open spaces to scare a percentage of any given population?

Installing fear is one thing, terrorism is another.

Marian KechlibarJuly 22, 2010 7:51 AM

Terrorism is obviously a subset of "Instilling fear". Of course that Hitchcock is not a terrorist. On the other hand, a terrorist who does not instill fear, is laughing stock.

For most of its history, terrorism was part of warfare. Laws of war are of relatively recent origin, and they weren't always observed even by parties that signed appropriate treaties.

SnallaBolagetJuly 22, 2010 8:43 AM

@Marian;
Terrorism would be instilling fear put into system and organization. Hitchcock isn't a terrorist, but if a group of people with some motive or other used Hitchcock's movies against people they knew would be seriously frightened by them in order to attain their goal by manipulating that fear, then that would make Hitchcock's works a tool for terrorism. Now, this isn't likely to happen, but I would say that the "head hunters" Winter talks about for example were not terrorists, but warriors.

Not all practices of war are within the scope of today's agreements, but that doesn't mean that we can deem whatever practices that were mutually accepted by parties at war or in conflict then, as terrorism now.

Terrorism isn't a subset of instilling fear, it's fear organized.

WinterJuly 22, 2010 8:43 AM

@SnallaBolaget
"Installing fear is one thing, terrorism is another."

So you file "head hunting raids", "Spartan death squads", "Hashshashin suicide assassins", "Roman decimation", "Norman retaliations", "Scalp rewards", and chopping off arms and legs (Africa) under the same header as fear of spiders and clowns?

All my examples were of the worst atrocities known to man. They are about enslavement, death squads, and whole counties laid to waste. How you ever can dismiss head hunting raids as simply "scary" is beyond me.

The examples were also all about actors using deadly violence against civilians to instill mortal fear for political and economical reasons. Except for the scalp rewards, which were part of a genocide campaign.

So, explain to me, why should the word terrorism be reserved to marginal political groups resorting to violence against civilians with the aim to instill terror?

Does it mean that the Taliban became terrorists only because they were toppled? And they immediately stop being terrorists the moment they are back in power?

What word would you suggest to the same acts, but perpetrated by the "legal" government?

Winter

SnallaBolagetAugust 10, 2010 1:28 PM

@Winter;
Maybe you should read my comment directly above your last one before posting again...

"Not all practices of war are within the scope of today's agreements, but that doesn't mean that we can deem whatever practices that were mutually accepted by parties at war or in conflict then, as terrorism now.
Terrorism isn't a subset of instilling fear, it's fear organized."

Terrorism has a definition, and so does every one of the scenarios that you describe which fall outside the "terrorism" scope. I'm not saying it's right, I'm saying that we have better, more forceful, and more meaningful definitions and terms for them.

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