One of the core duties of a government is to protect its citizens from all forms of harm, especially those that threaten to cause destabilization on a large scale. Two types of activities that can cause harm to citizens are terrorism and organized crime, which not only threaten to change the way individuals carry out their daily operations but threaten to end their lives given the nature of this activities. However, it is problematic for the government to instigate effective measures in fighting terror and organized crime necessitating a policy statement that highlights the reasons why one should be picked over the other, and how. The purpose of this policy statement, therefore, is to offer a comprehensive analysis as to why the law enforcement units should be geared towards counterterrorism instead of fighting organized crime.
This policy applies to all lawmakers, law enforcement agencies, security personnel public, and private security firms as well as the intelligence community since these are the people at the forefront towards fighting actions that seem to create insecurity. However, as already stated this policy request the persons mentioned above and agencies to adopt a policy that fights more of terrorism than organized crime. Detailed in this document is the statistics for both actions, both on home soil and abroad, and how such affects Americans and the nation’s foreign policies.
Since the 9/11 attacks, the United States has deployed more resources towards the fighting of terror at home and abroad. This action is not futile since following the terrorist attack of September 11; it became clear that the United States was vulnerable. However, while intensifying the war on terror abroad, a new breed of terrorists, the homegrown terrorists seems to be rising fast within the borders of the United States, something that needs to be capped at its base (Englund, 2015; Global Terrorism Database, 2017).
Home Grown Terrorism
Homegrown terrorism implies terrorist’s threats that emanate from within the United States borders, while at the same time could be identified as actions that are carried out by persons of American origin, as opposed to the popular view that terrorism comes from the Middle East. In recent years homegrown terrorists have been more active carrying out attacks with a different type of approach as opposed to the conventional bomb and chemical-based weapons that are used by terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Al-Qaida. However, despite the change intact the most of these attacks bear sentiments that resemble those of the growing ISIS problem, and general terrorist threats in the world (Global Terrorism Database, 2017; Bergen, 2018).
A Bigger Problem: Homegrown terrorism
Between 2015 and 2017 at least 120 persons have been killed in the United States as a result of homegrown terrorism making it even harder to ignore. This terrorist ac includes mass shootings, as well as cases where drivers have plowed into pedestrians (Global Terrorism Database, 2017; Bergen, 2018). Additionally, others have been racially motivated while anti-Semitism is equally responsible for the death of several Jews in the same period. The reason why these occurs is the fact that they are harder to monitor since these persons are well aware of the American infrastructure and security features. On the other hand, cyber terrorism is on the rise making it difficult to prevent the occurrences of terrorism on an off the internet. On the other hand, while organized crime is equally on the rise, these groups tend to operate in a more discrete function, and where possible, they will attempt to avoid actions such as mass murders, or anything that will bring more attention onto their organization. They are, therefore, relatively easier to control. As such, this policy requires that resources be channeled towards all law enforcement and other security stakeholders to combat homegrown terrorism.
An Even Bigger Problem: Terrorizing American Allies
While it may be argued that international terrorism does not affect Americans, this policy statement wishes to refute such stands for the following significant reasons. Firstly, the American government must ensure the safety of its citizens within and outside American borders. Therefore, regardless of where an American is situated, it is imperative that the government through its diplomats liaison with the foreign governments to offer safety to such individuals (Englund, 2015). On the other hand, it is important to note that given the hate that is channeled towards the United States by international terrorists offering protection through foreign governments is quite tricky since a good number of allied nations cannot prevent such attacks, making them soft targets and overly susceptible to terrorist attacks.
Secondly, given that these countries are susceptible to terrorists’ attacks, and the presence of American influence and personalities increases their chances of being attacked American foreign policies may fail to actualize since these nations may view America as the source of threat rather than a source of security and protection. For instance, a close look on terrorist attacks carried out in Kenya, for example, shows that most targeted areas and groups have American personalities. This is also true in several countries across the globe where American troops and tourist are targeted. This negatively affects the host countries who may then wish to eliminate the cordial relations that they share with the United States. This will more likely result in the countries creating ties with other nations that are anti-American, or those that propagate forms of governance that do not sit well with American democratic Ideologies. This way, America may lose the so much needed satellite countries that it uses to gather intelligence over the happenings within a region.
Why the government should adopt this policy and focus more on counterterrorism
Terrorism is used to spread fear, as well as create sentiments within the population that push the governments towards a particular policy trajectory. In most cases, the ideology behind terror is more of personal opinion; hence it is essential that the government focus more resources on fighting terror than organized crime. Continued successive attacks may see a push for reforms based on fear, which may equally result in destabilizing the government. For instance, individuals have different sentiments towards the need to remove American troops from the Middle East. This is mainly caused by the fact that individuals are worried about increased home ground attacks. However, such sentiments cannot be used to establish policies since they do not weigh the importance of having the troops abroad.
Secondly, homegrown terror is on the rise, and while the governments focus on terrorist bases abroad individuals and groups at home area getting stronger by day which if left unchecked will prove difficult to hands in the coming years. Additionally, the reasons for homegrown terror are also diverse, moving away from the notion that most terror is religiously based. This diversification in motivation not only makes homegrown terror challenging to control but also highlights the need to prevent several terrorist groups from establishing themselves in the United States. For instance, white nationalism and anti-Semitism, as well as other racially motivated actions must, therefore, be eliminated (Bergen, 2018).
Finally, fighting terror on the international front helps solidify America’s foreign policy. Political and economic interests to be more precise, are necessary for the propulsion of America’s growth. For instance, America depends on several nations for markets and raw materials. Ensuring safety in these regions, therefore, should help increase trade and other ties all of which are beneficial to the government and citizens alike.
Bergen, P. (2018, October 28). Homegrown terrorism: A plague we cannot ignore. Retrieved from CNN: https://edition.cnn.com/2018/10/28/opinions/homegrown-terrorism-a-plague-we-cannot-ignore-bergen/index.html
Englund, S. (2015). At What Cost? United States’ Counter-Terrorism Strategy, Reputation, and Public Opinion. Perspectives on Terrorism, 1(1), 1-24.
Global Terrorism Database. (2017). Information on more than 180,000 Terrorist Attacks. Retrieved from Global Terrorism Database: https://www.start.umd.edu/gtd/