Counter-Terrorism Strategies

Today, terrorism is a global issue that almost every state is struggling with. Therefore, with time some counter-terrorism strategies emerged and were used for different cases. There are three main strategies such as strengthening state security, military repression, and political deals. These strategies have some strengths, weaknesses, limitations, and criticisms.

In my opinion, the most effective and powerful strategy is strengthening state security. Along with strengthening state security, more civilians can be prevented from being affected by terrorist movements. One of the biggest criticisms of this strategy is that people's freedoms can be restricted by giving the state more powers. However, in cases that affect everyone, such as terrorism, the priority of the state should be to protect its citizens.

So far, terrorist attacks have led to the loss of many civilians, so the state must be strengthened, albeit at the cost of losing some freedoms. In this way, the loss of civilians can be reduced when terrorist attacks or an attack occur. But the fact that the state is ready for a possible attack by increasing its security importance does not mean that it can use unlimited force. Along with increasing powers, disproportionate use of these powers can also occur. But just as freedoms are restricted, this can be ignored at some points because terrorism can do more harm in the long run than limited freedoms and disproportionate authority. Where there are serious acts of terrorism, the first priority should be people's lives.

On the other hand, it is aimed to counter terrorism through military repression or political deals. Although these two strategies have some effective sides, their weaknesses are more. For example, it has almost never been seen that a terrorist group has disappeared under military repression. However, military intervention against terrorist groups, which can kill people regardless of whether they are civilians, can again harm vulnerable people. Countering terrorism with military repression, assuming that violence breeds more violence, is insufficient at most points. Another option, political deals, is the strategy that seems weakest to me because it cannot be assumed that all terrorist groups have political aims. Also, terrorist groups are far from solving their problems in democratic ways. In addition, an element of terrorism is not in a position to be mutually agreed upon. Such an agreement or request for an agreement only gives terrorist groups the courage to take tougher actions because with some kind of agreement, at some point states recognize these terrorists and accept them as a party.

As a result, the most effective strategy against terrorism, in my opinion, is the strengthening of state security. Military repression remained weak, as too much violence was used and civilians' lives were endangered. Also, unfortunately, political deals prepare a ground that can legitimize the activities of a terrorist organization.