Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency

Jason Rineheart


This article focuses on current counterterrorism and counterinsurgency doctrines.  It argues that the more traditional frameworks for analyzing counterterrorism campaigns, which structure debates around a military  (or war) model or a criminal justice model, need to be updated in the light of the current state of terrorism.  As a potential new framework, the author restructures the debate around hard and soft power tactics. He also describes how the existing counterinsurgency literature primarily focuses on two frameworks: classical and modern (or global) counterinsurgency.  Using the war in Afghanistan as an example, he compares and contrasts the strengths, weaknesses, and potential offsetting effects of modern counterterrorism and counterinsurgency strategies, arguing that in order for the United States to be successful in its battle against Al-Qaeda’s brand of international terrorism, it must take its struggle from the open battlefields of counterinsurgency into the shadowy world  of counterterrorism.

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Perspectives on Terrorism is  a journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

ISSN  2334-3745 (Online)

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