Essay Sample on the Concept and Trends in Terrorism

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Carnegie Mellon University
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Terrorism threatens not only the world peace but also undermines the serenity of human right to life. In the recent decades, many countries have experienced the threat of terror attacks that lead to casualties, anxiety, deaths and suspicions. The net effect of terrorism is an unstable world with reduced economic productivity and uncertainty about the responsiveness of in-grown national and regional counterterrorism frameworks. In the advent of the growing insurgency by terrorists, countries have realized the importance of forming a united front to identify criminal networks, share intelligence, and destroy terror plans before they cause mass deaths and suffering to defenceless civilians (Clark, 2007). In Europe, the Council of Europe plays a critical role in the war against terrorism. Nonetheless, in most cases the perpetrators continue to use innovative ways such as concealed improvised explosive devices, employing suicidal bombers or colluding with local terror networks to cause violence on people especially in public places such as joints, restaurants, or major cities.

Despite the fact that countries recognize the necessity of collaboration in fighting terrorism, every region, and state incline towards developing their strategies for dealing with the challenge as it undermines the foundations of a peaceful society and undermines the safety of individual life. The Council of Europe uses a three-pronged approach to resolving the issue of terrorism. The three-pronged approach consists of strengthening legal framework, addressing the causations for terrorism, and protecting fundamental values such as dignity and sanctity of human life. On the other hand, countries such as the United States of America have sometimes exercised a lone ranger policy in dealing with terrorism. The policy entails the use of its internal capacity without any forms of international support to identify, trace and destroy terrorist networks. The primary target for the US counterterrorism policy is the Middle East region, which is prone to terror groups and links that spread to other parts of the world thus making it a target for world states such as the United States of America in their international policy on terrorism.

Terrorism and its Links with the Undermining of Human Rights

The destructiveness of terrorism and its negative imperatives on human rights to life and enjoyment of life has been recognized even at the highest levels of international community such as the United Nations Security Council, the Commission on human rights, and the General Assembly. The common perspectives provided by these diverse organizations and member states is that terrorism is a threat to human dignity and security and creates an unpredictable environment. There is also a universal agreement that terrorism undermines the establishment of the rule of law, subverts a pluralist civil society and destroys the democratic foundations of the society. Furthermore, the terror has linkages with the proliferation of other social vices such as illegal weapon smuggling, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and extortions (Winkler, Ebnother, & Hansson, 2005). Whenever terror thrives in a country, it undermines its relationship with the wider realm of international society hence must be suppressed at all costs to enable the establishment if a peaceful and secure world community.

Classically, human rights include all the universal values and legal safeguards that cover individuals and groups against any forms of actions by state or other agents, which may amount to subversion of their freedoms. The rights also protect the entitlements and human dignity. A wider continuum of human rights incorporates the respect for, protection and fulfilment of cultural, social economic, political, and social rights. Human rights ae cardinal and universal, which implies that they belong naturally to all people, are indivisible and interdependent. The human rights law provides for various obligations of states to undertake certain activities and prevents them from pursuing others. At the national level, every country has a duty to its citizens to respect, protect, and fulfil human rights (Winkler, Ebnother, & Hansson, 2005). The aspect of respect for human rights deals primarily with non-interference with the enjoyment of human rights while protection focuses on taking positive steps towards ensuring that other people or groups do not undermine the space for exercise of rights. Ultimately, the fulfilment of human rights integrates adoption of appropriate legislative, judicial, administrative, and educative measures for the attainment of their legal duties.

Apart from the individual costs of terrorist activities, they result in unprecedented destabilization of government operations, undermine peaceful coexistence among civil societies, jeopardize security and threaten the social, economic development. Whether individuals or a society undergoes the effects, the net consequences are on the quality of human life and effectiveness of civility. From the perspectives of human rights and liberties, the security of individuals and their protection is a fundamental concern that every state must guarantee. Therefore, every nation has adopted national anti-terror policies that reinforce the international cooperation against terrorism (Winkler, Ebnother, & Hansson, 2005). For instance, the US anti-terror policy provides for an aggressive pursuit of suspected terrorist or their networks beyond the countrys boundaries and bringing the perpetrators to justice. The killing of Osama Bin Laden by the US special military is an example of the application of the US policy on terror, which has various merits and demerits.

The United States has over the decades deployed its military to countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq in an attempt to destroy the operations of terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Even the international organization such as the United Nations has suffered tragic fatalities and deaths due to terrorist attacks. On August 19th, 2003, terrorists attacked The United Nations offices in Baghdad. The attack resulted in the deaths of the Special Representatives of UN Secretary General and 21 others. It also caused injury to over one hundred and fifty others. Looking at this example, it becomes more evident that terrorism imposes a real and direct impact on human liberty with devastating effects on the free enjoyment of the right to life, liberty and physical integrity of the affected.

The United States Policy Response to Terrorism

The United States of America continues to frame its policies with an express intention to take a leading role in sustaining world peace. It also champions for the protection of human rights against any forms of aggression, advocating for democratic ideals and ensuring adherence to major international agreements such as the policy on the use of chemical weapons (Bush, 2002). The United States counter-terrorism policy is one of the most progressive globally and is based on the understanding that no course justifies terrorism and that every state has a great obligation to work in earnest to destroy all forms of terror organizations (President, 2003). The policy responds to the ideas that despite its deliberate efforts to destroy terrorism as a social, economic and political vice, it must protect the rights of its diverse population and the world as a whole (President, 2003). In essence, the policy does is premised on the fact that the enemy targeted is not an individual, a political regime or religion but an intricate network of terrorists that threaten international peace and order.

The United States anti-terror policy appreciates that terrorist is individuals, groups or organizations that employ coercion, and subversion of the rule of law to cause violence and fear (Bush, 2002). The plan was drafted as a neutral framework that primarily targets violent extremism and terrorism without the undue discrimination of individuals based on their religious affiliation (President, 2003). The letter and spirit of the US anti-terror legislation identify some of the characterizes of terrorist such as having a misguided perception that killing, extorting, robbing and violence are the legitimate forms of political emancipation.

Nature and Applications of the United States Counter-Terrorism Policy

The United States counter-terrorism policy is an indication of its commitment to ensure homeland security and prevent attacks (President, 2003). After some of the major attacks such as the attack on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon that left more than two hundred people dead and caused a lot of damage to property. Therefore, the US counter- terrorism strategy is a culmination of the appreciation of its obligation to foster a peaceful environment that allows all its citizens at home and abroad to enjoy their fundamental rights and freedoms (President, 2003). The intention of the United States strategy for fighting terrorism is to uphold human dignity and the significance of peace in a progressive society by preventing any forms of aggression against the country, its nationals, interests, friends, and allies in different parts of the world (Bush, 2002). As a superpower state, the creating of the United States policy on terrorism is an indication of its role in creating an international community that is intolerant to violence and all forms of attacks.

The US policy on terror works on four fronts to accomplish its resolve to fight aggression within its borders and outside its territory (Bush, 2002). The four fronts include attacking the terrorist hideouts; confronting the leadership of the terrorist networks; combat terrorist command, and communications; preventing the sources of material support and finances. The policy is intended to affect the widespread terrorist environment and disrupting the ability of terror organizations to plan and execute their heinous attacks on unsuspecting people. Attacking the networks used by the terror groups is intended to cause their dispersion and eventual degradation (President, 2003). Nonetheless, the policy is alive to the fact that the terrorist would attempt to reconsolidate. Therefore, the policy framework provides that the United States will work in partnership with its world allies to execute collaborative mechanism that reduces the space exploited by attackers such as smuggling of weapons and other forms of material supplies. Some of the primary objectives that the US counter-terrorism policy seeks to attain include defeating terrorists and their complex networks; destroy support, sponsorship, and hideouts for the terrorists; reduce the underlying conditions on which terrorism thrive and ; to defend the United States Nationals and interest within its borders and beyond.

The aspect of defeating terrorists and their organization of the US policy against terrorism draws from a 4D strategy that includes-Defeat, Deny, Diminish and Defend provides an integrated approach for defeating the complicated networks of terror organizations (President, 2003). It provides for either the direct or indirect use of diplomatic, economic, military, intelligence or financial capabilities to fight terror. Terrorism continues to evolve with emerging trends such as globalization and advancements in technologies thus the strategy to fight them requires that the United States marshal the world community for a typical course while at the same time using its status as a super power to destroy suspected terror organizations within the boundaries of another sovereign state (President, 2003). The application of the framework is multifaceted and necessitates that the US target not only the actual terro...

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