SMARTLY ENGAGING SELECTED ASPECTS OF OVERALL U.S. COUNTERTERRORISM STRATEGY: AN EMPHASIS ON DOMESTIC TERRORISM, FOREIGN POLICY AND CYBERSECURITY
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Not unlike the threats it strives to avert, counterterrorism strategy evolves and adapts to changing conditions. Given that terrorism is an ever-present threat to our national interests – security, prosperity, and values – one could reasonably prescribe a deductive logic-driven counterterrorism strategy whereby resources and capabilities focus on threats as they exist. In a representative democracy, elected officials or those appointed and confirmed by elected officials possess the authority to develop policies and strategies to further national interests. These men and women maintain varying worldviews, political ideologies, and specific interests that combine to influence not only how the United States contends with threats, but how it defines them. Strategies and policies are subject to varying degrees of Congressional approval and judicial review, but the simplest measurement of effectiveness may just be a measurement of elected officials’ performance. Should a prevailing strategy prove ineffective, detrimental to the United States’ interests, or even unpopular, its architects will face electoral consequences. This work examines U.S. counterterrorism strategy as an aspect of domestic security, foreign policy, and cyber security, attempting to illuminate how and where politics caused otherwise avoidable setbacks that delayed or prevented the United States from achieving its basic stated objective: security. The primary contribution of this work is the development of policy prescriptions informed by reflective analysis. While this work concedes the benefit of hindsight, its conceptual guide is the idea that the past is the best light by which to see the future.