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POLSC313: US Intelligence and National Security

Unit 8: Terrorism and US National Security   Contrary to what pundits and politicians may say, terrorism is neither a new, nor a 20th century phenomenon. Strategists from Sun Tzu to Clausewitz to TE Lawrence to Mao have written about it for centuries. Terrorism and insurgency also are not merely the result of psychotic or fanatical ideation—many terrorists view themselves as soldiers fighting an enemy with superior numbers and weaponry.

The claimed root causes of terrorism are varied, as are the strategies used by terrorists. In assessing threats to the US by terrorist groups, policymakers and intelligence analysts must consider a variety of factors, including the impact that each specific group does or could have on strategic and national security interests of both the US and its allies.

Unit 8 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take you approximately 18.25 hours.

☐    Subunit 8.1: 4.5 hours

    ☐    Reading: 2.5 hours

    ☐    Lecture: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 8.2: 3.5 hours

☐    Subunit 8.3: 7.25 hours

    ☐    Reading: 5.25 hours

    ☐    Lecture: 2 hours

☐   Unit 8 Activity: 1 hour

Unit8 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
- define terrorism, and identify examples of terrorism;
  - explain the root causes of terrorism;
  - assess the success and failures of anti-terrorism policies and programs;
  - analyze the priority that alleviation of terrorist activities should have in the context of US national security planning; and
  - evaluate the relative risks and benefits to US national security of action vs. non-action with respect to terrorist activities abroad.

8.1 Contemporary Threats to US National Security Rooted in Terrorism and Insurgency Movements   - Reading: The Library of Congress: Rex A. Hudson’s *The Sociology and Psychology of Terrorism: Who Becomes a Terrorist and Why* Link: The Library of Congress: Rex A. Hudson’s The Sociology and Psychology of Terrorism: Who Becomes a Terrorist and Why (PDF)
 
Instructions: This reading is optional. Read Rex Hudson’s report on terrorist ideation.  

 Reading this optional report should take approximately 8 hours.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Columbia University Press: Bruce Hoffman’s Inside Terrorism: “Chapter 1” Link: Columbia University Press: Bruce Hoffman’s Inside Terrorism: “Chapter 1” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read chapter 1, which seeks to provide a definition of terrorism.
     
    Reading this chapter should take approximately 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Harvard University: Thomas Hegghammer’s “The Rise of Muslim Foreign Fighters: Islam and the Globalization of Jihad” Link: Harvard University: Thomas Hegghammer’s “The Rise of Muslim Foreign Fighters: Islam and the Globalization of Jihad” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: After the summary, click on the hyperlink of the title “The Rise of Muslim Foreign Fighters: Islam and the Globalization of Jihad” to download the PDF file. Read this article, which traces the modern history of radicalization of Islamic fighters for terrorism and unconventional conflict.

    Reading this article should take approximately 2 hours.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Lecture: YouTube: National University of Singapore: Shaukat Aziz’s “Causes of Terrorism and Possible Solutions” Link: YouTube: National University of Singapore: Shaukat Aziz’s “Causes of Terrorism and Possible Solutions” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Watch Shaukat Aziz’s video lecture on the root causes of terrorism. Shaukat Aziz is the former Prime Minister of Pakistan.

    Watching this video lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 2 hours.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

8.2 Counter-Terrorism Operations   - Reading: Harvard University: Jim Armstrong, Candace J. Chin, and Uri Leventer’s “The Language of Counter-Terrorism: When Message Received Is Not Message Intended” Link: Harvard University: Jim Armstrong, Candace J. Chin, and Uri Leventer’s “The Language of Counter-Terrorism: When Message Received Is Not Message Intended” (PDF)
 
Instructions: After the conclusion section, click on the hyperlink titled “Download the Full Report in PDF” to access the complete text. Read this report, which discusses the successes and failures in counter-terrorism policy.

 Reading this report should take approximately 2 hours.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Web Media: National Center for Strategic and International Studies: Mike Lighter’s “The Changing Terrorist Threat and NCTC’s Response” Link: National Center for Strategic and International Studies: Mike Lighter’s “The Changing Terrorist Threat and NCTC’s Response” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Watch this video presentation on terrorist threats and the National Counterterrorism Center’s response.
     
    Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

8.3 Counterinsurgency Operations   - Reading: The Rand Corporation: John Mackinlay and Allison Al-Baddawy’s “Rethinking Counterinsurgency” Link: The Rand Corporation: John Mackinlay and Allison Al-Baddawy’s “Rethinking Counterinsurgency” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Click on the PDF file link under “Download e-book for free.” Read this report on counterinsurgency strategy.

 Reading this report should take approximately 3 hours and 30
minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Military History Online: Andrew Wright’s “Basic Counterinsurgency” Link: Military History Online: Andrew Wright’s “Basic Counterinsurgency” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this article on counterinsurgency.

    Reading this article should take approximately 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: DTIC Online: Daniel S. Roper’s “Global Counterinsurgency: Strategic Clarity for the Long War” Link: DTIC Online: Daniel S. Roper’s “Global Counterinsurgency: Strategic Clarity for the Long War” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Select the link next to “PDF URL” to download the text. Read this article, which explains strategies that the US can use in addressing insurgencies and terrorism.

    Reading this article should take approximately 45 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: US Air Force: Dr. Kalev I. Sepp’s “Best Practices in Counterinsurgency” Link: US Air Force: Dr. Kalev I. Sepp’s “Best Practices in Counterinsurgency” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Read this article, which explains counterinsurgency strategies that the US can employ throughout the world.

    Reading this article should take approximately 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Lecture: YouTube: National University of Singapore: Dr. Adam Roberts’s “Counterinsurgency Doctrine and Asian Realities” Link: YouTube: National University of Singapore: Dr. Adam Roberts’s “Counterinsurgency Doctrine and Asian Realities” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Watch this video lecture on the root causes of terrorism.

    Watching this video lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 2 hours.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

Unit 8 Activity   - Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s “POLSC313 Course Discussion Board” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “POLSC313 Course Discussion Board”
 
Instructions: After you have studied the material in this unit, consider the following questions. Post your responses to these questions on the course discussion board, and review as well as respond to other students’ posts.
 
1. What are the relative risks and benefits to US national security of action versus non-action in regard to terrorist activities abroad? Provide supporting evidence for your response.
 
Completing this activity should take approximately 1 hour.