A Strategic Response to Terrorism A Framework for U.S. Policy; Strategic Insight: v.2, issue 2 (February 2003)
Smith, James M.
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Deterrence by denial is the ultimate objective of the terrorism response framework. Although most counter-terror strategies begin with deterrence, their aim is to prevent an attack, not to deter the terrorist strategy. Some also describe deterrence of terrorism in terms of deterrence by punishment. While it is possible to deter a specific attack by threatening punishment, it is unlikely to succeed in terms of deterring a terrorist campaign in the first place. This framework depicts deterrence as the net result of operational, tactical, and strategic programs that range from pre-attack policies through the long-term response to a terrorist incident. This is ultimately deterrence by denial. Delegitimized and marginalized, the terrorists' message falls on deaf ears, and recruits no longer rush to their cause. They are denied sanctuary, funding, and logistics support. Their organization, communication, and movement is disrupted. Their planning, training, and access to weapons is curtailed. They are denied victims. They are denied the ability to generate fear and as a result are unable to influence targeted government. With this across-the-board denial, the terrorists and the terrorists' message are marginalized, and their strategy is rendered impotent. At that point terrorism is deterred.
This article appeared in Strategic Insights (February 2003), v.2 no.2
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