The European Union: Measuring Counterterrorism Cooperation

By Armitage, David T., Jr. | Strategic Forum, November 15, 2007 | Go to article overview

The European Union: Measuring Counterterrorism Cooperation


Armitage, David T., Jr., Strategic Forum


Key Points

The United States and European Union (EU) are natural partners in the global war on terror, but cooperation, although absolutely necessary, is inherently difficult. Primary responsibility for most European counterterrorism policies remains with the separate governments of the 27 EU countries, which has presented coordination problems both within the EU and between the United States and European Union. Asymmetries in capacities and perceived vulnerabilities affect how different member states address counterterrorism. Institutional dynamics--not only among the various EU institutions but also between the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)--influence the degree of cooperation as well.

The EU has made progress generally as a result of the shock of actual or attempted terrorist attacks. Because Europe has been both a terrorist launch pad and a target in its own right, EU governments tend to focus on preventing terrorist attacks at home rather than fighting terrorists abroad.

Nevertheless, over the past 6 years, the United States and European Union--despite different historical traditions, legal approaches, and capabilities--have demonstrated an ability to work together. The key is to remain cognizant of the different dimensions (such as military, diplomatic, and financial) related to countering terrorism, as well as the time horizons. The tactical-operational considerations should not impede the longer-term strategic goal of delegitimizing terrorism as an instrument for political change.

One of the major concerns is that the threat crosses not only borders but also sectors. To date, the major terrorist attacks in Europe have been against soft-target transportation infrastructure, but critical information systems, energy distribution networks, and food supplies also are vulnerable.

A multilevel, multisectored approach may represent one answer to this situation. The United States should continue to pursue avenues of cooperation where appropriate at the national, EU, and NATO levels. Dialogue has the potential of building trust among stakeholders, which is the key to taking effective actions against terrorists.

Natural Partners?

The United States and European Union (EU) are natural partners in the global war on terror, but bureaucratic, cultural, and tactical differences threaten to hinder progress. Multilateral counterterrorism cooperation is inherently difficult because the degree of threat perception and capabilities to fight terrorism vary significantly among the different actors. Even if Americans and Europeans agree on the need to fight global terrorism, especially after clear evidence (for example, the 9/11, 3/11, and 7/7 terrorist attacks), there may be a lack of consensus on the mix of causal or aggravating factors, as well as what steps to take to overcome those factors. One thing that everyone does seem to agree on is that this is a fight no country can undertake alone.

The United States recognizes the challenge ahead and is working with partners, including the European Union (member states and institutions), in all areas of counterterrorism. As then--Coordinator for Counterterrorism Henry Crumpton told the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in 2006, "Dealing with the threat from violent extremism ... requires that we and our partners wage a traditional campaign using our judicial, law enforcement, financial, military, and diplomatic resources." He went on to say that this effort would not be easy or quick or one in which the United States could succeed on its own: "Countering violent extremism involves a world-wide effort. It will last decades, if not longer." (1)

Legacies of the Past

Europeans are quick to note that they had been dealing with terrorism long before September 11, 2001. The British confronted the Irish Republican Army, the Spanish fought the Basque separatists, and Germans struggled with the Baader Meinhof gang, to mention just a few of the more famous examples. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The European Union: Measuring Counterterrorism Cooperation
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.