Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism

Richards, Julian (2018) Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism. In: The Routledge Handbook of Terrorism and Counterterrorism. Routledge, Abingdon. ISBN 9781317592709

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Intelligence can be seen as a critical tool of power for states in conventional conflict scenarios. Since the end of the Cold War which defined security through the second half of the twentieth century, many states have shifted a large portion of their national security discourse towards international terrorism rather than threats from other state actors. The interaction between terrorist and state actors has often been analysed using Game Theory approaches, since these allow for a notion of the critical interdependence between each side of the equation. In this way, the gathering of intelligence by a state on a terrorist group can be seen as a legitimate and effective element of proactive and pre-emptive counter terrorism policy: essentially the “foreknowledge” of which Sun Tzu spoke. Similarly, terrorists will always be aiming to outwit the state, and they themselves will need information about the capabilities of counter terrorist policies and agencies in order to do so. All of this leads to a complex contemporary debate in Western liberal democratic states in particular, whereby the expansion of intelligence capabilities runs up against civil liberties lobbies, who sometimes recall memories of totalitarian states such as communist East Germany in opposing their government’s supposedly oppressive designs. In response, the spectre of terrorism is often invoked to provide moral justification for enhanced intelligence gathering capability. Thus we can see an inextricable link between an appropriately articulated terrorist threat, and the intelligence component of counter terrorism policy.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Intelligence, Terrorism, Counterterrorism
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Divisions: School of Humanities & Social Sciences > Economics
Depositing User: Julian Richards
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2019 10:46
Last Modified: 22 May 2020 00:15

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