Politics of Terrorism
Many scholars dig deeper on the root causes and circumstances on why and how the global phenomenon of terrorism evolves. Empirical evidences points out to the finding that terrorism is entangled in the so-called “bad politics”, wherein the problems of politics need political solutions. Therefore, politics of terrorism must be provided with essential understanding on the depth and breadth of its existence. One the other hand, the emerging “state terrorism” poses critical challenges to the existing state policies and functions of governments throughout the world.
The political agenda in preventing state terrorism remains in the mainstream of every governmental system. Generally, state and non-sate terrorism is viewed as one of the ills of every society where governments and its politics need to continuously address the issue. In the United States, the incident of the 9/11 tragedy is embedded in the political agenda of the Federal government, in which homeland security measures is a leading political agenda of Federal agencies, Congress and the Judiciary.
Thus, homeland security and responsive actions on the threats of terrorism retains as a priority of every Executive decision. This paper will discuss and examine the strategic preemptive measures of the US Department of Homeland Security, relating the results of assessment on the threats of terrorism and the reclassification of hostile political groups. Discussions The 9/11 tragedy have been reflected by global government leaders as a wake up call for the United States and its allied governments to redefine and reclassify the pandemic nature of terrorism.
In which case, redefining and reclassifying terrorism must ascertain “knowingness” on the domestic and international hostile forces as potential threats that leads to terrorism. In 2007, the US Homeland Security Council has redefined and reclassified its “strategic intent” on how to prevent, preempt and defend the threats of state (domestic) and non-state (international or foreign) terrorism. Thus, the ‘National Strategy for Homeland Security’ (NSHS) has been enacted as an executive decision.
To cite, the NSHS serves as guideline of US Federal agencies in organizing and unifying a “homeland security strategy” that purposely focuses on four key objectives, such as (1) to formulate preventive and disruptive tactical measures against attack of terrorists, (2) to enhance protection of citizenry, main infrastructural installations and economic resource, (3) to be more responsive and recoverable from occurrences of unfavorable circumstance, and (4) maintain a stronger institution to guarantee successful and continued achievement of goals (NSHS, 2007).
With the enactment of NSHS, the US Department of Homeland Security (USDHS) plays a vital role in coordinating with various Federal agencies, wherein the main mandate of USDHS is to monitor the situation of homeland security measures. Recently, the USDHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis (OIA) have documented threats assessment. Based on the document, domestic “rightwing extremist” group is observed to be recruiting by way of taking advantage on issues.
The USDHS-OIA described and wrote the following findings in bulleted list (USDHS, 2009): ? The US economic recession and the first African-American elective post president introduce a political issue for the radical rightwing extremist group, waging the “white supremacist” ideologies and anti-government sentiments; ? The domestic problems on real property repossession, unemployment and failure gain crediting from government banks are potential issues carried out in recruitment;
? The existing rightwing extremist mobilizes their supporters to expand the extent of political propaganda, but observed to have not planned yet to show aggression; ? The existing socio-economic-political condition indicates similarity to the “rightwing extremism” in the 1990s, wherein the domestic problems were triggered by the issue on economic recession; ? The expansion of the rightwing extremist groups die down due governments in response to the 1995 bombing incident in Oklahoma City;
? The non-restrictive acquisition of firearms and the homecoming of military serviceman who faces social anxieties after reintegration to their respective families may adopt socio-cultural-political sentimentalism and may tend to “lone wolf extremism” or vigilantes that are capable of launching violence and may potentially recruited by the rightwing extremist group. The “threats assessment” of the USDHS-OIA focuses on the “observed capabilities” of the rightwing extremist groups, from which the resurgence of domestic violence can be capably carried out by the group.
However, it may be noted from the assessment report that it do not extend or provide “data sheet” or possible target demographics ranging from any statistical information in order to validate and thoroughly examine the “magnitude” of impact on the potential threat. Similarly, the USDHS-OIA has conducted threats assessment on the so-called “leftwing extremist” group. Accordingly, the “leftwing extremist” group capitalizes on socio-cultural issues, namely animal rights, environment, social justice, criminality to name a few.
However, the leftwing extremist group is perceived as a potential radical group as it allies with “anarchist-extremist movement” (USDHS, 2009). To cite, the USDHS-OIA has enumerated the following findings that are considerably threats to homeland security of the leftwing extremist group: ? Numerous “trends” indicates leftwing extremist as growing and increasing “cyber attack capabilities” in the coming years; ? The cyber attacks can injure the flow of domestic economy; ? The growing dependence business enterprises on Internet technology and other remote electronic access are potential targets of cyber exploits;
? The propagation of Internet technologies and skills are available methods to be adopted by leftwing extremist in launching “online hacking tools” and offer their talent-services for hacking; ? The cyber technology can be an “attractive option” of leftwing extremist to attack a commercial target, like corporate-businesses; ? The “no-harm doctrine” disguises on environmental advocacy while attacking corporate-business operations; ? The result of “extreme advocacy” may lead to violent actions, like bombing and arson of corporate-businesses or commercial establishments of related enterprises;
? The manifestations of “indirect violent actions” varies in releasing of animals from custodial observation or examination of a government agency, conduct of public agitation, vandalism, theft of property, and hacking of public and private commercial web sites; ? The action plans “to inflict economic damage” was outlined in the press statement of the North American Earth Liberation Front Press Office (NAELF), being the “Media” component of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) which is classified as a leftwing extremist movement;
? The leftwing extremist improves recruiting those who have cyber-skills in support of enhancing cyber sophistication that would be used for an extensive cyber attacks to corporate-business-commercial targets. The above articulation of UDHS-OIA on the leftwing extremist can be viewed as a “predictive” threat assessment, considering that the bases were derived from observed trends or indicative only to current circumstances on the way the “leftwing extremist movement” publicly demonstrates actions.
However, the mass actions of the so=called leftwing extremist groups [or its movement] patterns the preventive and preemptive response of the USDHS-OIA which is emanating from the USDHS guidelines in formulating strategic security measures. As indicated in the USDHS-OIA threats assessment report, the prevalence of cyber attacks correlates in the “action plans” of the NAELF, in which it publicly expressed “to inflict economic damage”.
What could then manifest in the “responsive actions” of the USDHS-OIA is to conduct a threat assessment which can be revalidated by the “key indicators” that may revalidate the initially observed findings. It may be compared and contrast with the rightwing extremist groups, from which the comparison is by determining the “actions” of the group. But, it may be contrasted that the rightwing extremist group do not actively and publicly manifest the actions, in the “predictability” may not be measured or gauged. Empirical findings recommend that “indicators” provide the “assessed value” of information.
Meaning, indicators may quantify the observation of a condition or situation based on prevalence in a monitored and displayed environment. To cite, the volume of information or data can be documented from an “oppositional” political group that manifests the “qualitative” observation that is evocative of an account for state or non-state terrorism (Rich, 1996; in Babbie, 2001; in Ross, 2004). It may be reflected from the works of Ross (2004) that the USDHS-OIA threats assessment indicates “bias” on the issue.
From which the information or relevance of data was only “quantified” by the explicit actions of the leftwing extremist groups, but contrasting with the “actions” of the rightwing extremist group which do not engage public display of actions. However, it is also a given “assumptions” that the quantification of threats can be based on trends, forecasts and the patterns that has been experienced in the past, of which the two extremist groups have been observed to manifest the “assessed value”, Stohl (2007) has discussed the situation of “cyber terrorism”, which is depictive of the findings of USDHS-OIA on the leftwing extremist cyber attacks.
According to Stohl (2007), the “gap” of analysis underlines the presumptive beliefs on threats, but the continuing presumption on the “seen and unforeseen” situation submits to the idea of interpreting the environment and behavior. To cite, the cyber terrorism happens almost every second of every minute and can be analyzed to wasting “commercial resources”, equating losses of profits of an enterprise which therefore inflict economic failure and being “the sum of all fears” in the profitability of business (Stohl, 2007).
The examination of Stohl (2007) may support the findings of USDHS-OIA in assessing the “extent” yet immeasurable damage of cyber-hacking to the economic resources of the State. The strategic component of the USDHS-OIA extends the significance of the USDHS Strategic Security Plan “to enhance protection of citizenry, main infrastructural installations and economic resource” (USDHS, 2007). From this particular undertaking of actions, the “economic resource” is one that is at stake from the cyber attacks.
It may be further perceived that the Bush Administration has formulated and enacted the National Strategy for Homeland Security (NSHS) as strategic guidelines of the Federal state agencies in monitoring the threats to homeland security and implementing the necessary measure in defense of and to protect the citizenry, business stakeholders and government infrastructures. In which case, the present Obama administration may do the same security-program component which can be outlined accordingly on his program of governance.
In Boyns and Ballard (2004), it claimed that it’s the ultimate purpose of the State to protect its political and economic interests, in which the enforcement must subsist in implementing the need to protect the popular public interest at all cost. To cite, the “motivation” of law enforcers is drawn from what they sees in the “frontline” and the “wide spectrum” of human ways and the contextualization of increasing public consciousness against terrorism (White, 2003; in Boyns & Ballard, 2004).
Reflective of the findings of Boyns and Ballard (2004), it may be analyzed that the “extensive observation” or monitoring of USDHS-OIA on the activities of rightwing and leftwing extremist groups has heightened their “deductive” presumptions, specifically the leftwing extremist group who has public displayed actions. It can be well said that the forecasting is an “alarmist” response, but the sensibility or sensitivity of the trends manifest that an early warning plan of action be implemented, in which the “threats assessment” has been done.
Like what Boyns and Ballard (2004) implied, the law enforcers are on the frontline of state circumstances, sensing the co-existing (spectrum) activities or interactions of people and environment. In this case, the “context of the environment” could have the motivating or encouraging factor of the USDHS-OIA in formulating the threats assessment, in a way nothing could be lost at the initial “outlook” of the impending events. Findings and conclusion
It may be found that the enactment of the National Strategy for Homeland Security (NSHS) will serve the purpose of the Federal government in protecting the popular interest of the state, learning from the experiences of the 9/11 tragedy. Although it may be said that the USDHS-OIA could have the “bias” on threats assessment, that initial documentation can be further revalidated and expound with objective actions. What has been proven by the USDHS-OIA must be reexamined. In conclusion, the enactment of homeland security measures is a necessity of every government to ensure the normal way of life of the population.
Thus, monitoring and familiarizing the activities of domestic and foreign hostile forces provides a vitally normative function to the government on how politics of terrorism can be more examined within the context of national perspectives. References Boyns, D. and Ballard, J. D. (2004). ‘Developing a Sociological Theory for the Empirical Understanding of Terrorism’. The American Sociologist. Retrieved 02 May 2009 from http://www. springerlink. com. www. libproxy. wvu. edu/ content/? k=politics+of+terrorism&sortorder=asc&o=20. Ross, J. (2004). ‘Taking Stock of Research Methods and Analysis on Oppositional Political
Terrorism’. The American Sociologist. Retrieved 02 May 2009 from http://www. springerlink. com/content/pj2rc1jbc9bcjh9r/. Stohl, M. (2007). ‘Cyber terrorism: a clear and present danger, the sum of all fears, breaking point or patriot games? ’. Springer Science and Business Media. Retrieved 02 May 2009 from http://www. springerlink. com/content/y816117ww6058jp7/. US Department of Homeland Security (2009). ‘Leftwing Extremists Likely to Increase Use of Cyber Attacks over the Coming Decade’. The Strategic Analysis Group, Homeland Environment and Threat Analysis Division. Retrieved 02 May 2009 from http://thetruthorthefight.
wordpress. com/2009/04/23/us-dhs-leftwing-extremists-likely-to-increase-use-of-cyber-attacks-over-the-coming-decade/. US Department of Homeland Security (2009). ‘Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment’. The Extremism and Radicalization Branch, Homeland Environment Threat Analysis Division. Retrieved 02 May 2009 from https://wikileaks. org/leak/us-dhs-right-wing-extremism-2009. pdf. US Department of Homeland Security (2007). ‘National Strategy for Homeland Security’. Retrieved 02 May 2009 from http://www. dhs. gov/xlibrary/assets/nSample Essay of PapersOwl.com