Counterterrorism: International Cooperation of the United States
Several strategic partnerships have been forged between the US and a series of nations. Some of them emanate from the Middle Eastern region or other Asian countries that can be viewed as terrorist hubs. This is a step in the right direction because working with governments in such countries sends the message that terrorism cannot be tolerated irrespective of the origin or the area under consideration. For instance the United States has entered into alliances with a country like India. In this arrangement, terrorist activities taking place in India have been investigated with assistance from the US as was the case in May 2010 (ANI, 2010). Additionally, there has been a lot of access to information contained by the US government by investigators emanating from cooperating countries.
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Cooperation has also grown by leaps and bounds through sharing best practices. Some of the key areas in terrorism mitigation that have benefited from these exchanges include: developments in lab training and testing especially in forensics. Furthermore, various areas in law enforcement or policing of large cities have also substantially increased terrorism deterrence. A case in point was a New York incident in 2010 where a plot for planting bombs by terrorists was nabbed before its occurrence. This demonstrates that if it was not for development in gathering information then it would have been likely that the terrorists would have gone unabated (CSIS, 2010).
The United States has worked with some of its conventional allies such as Britain and the European Union too. In this regard, the latter two parties have worked hand in hand in mitigating terrorism through the use of data sharing especially concerning personal details on suspected terrorists. These actions have been based on the Europol-US agreement that was instituted in 2001. It eventually led the way to another agreement in 2004 where both bodies decided to share passenger data as it was acknowledged that the transport sector is one of the most useful routes for terrorism detection or deterrence. Countries that have been doing this include Germany and even the Czech Republic. Issues such as border control have also grown substantially in light of all the information sharing. Immigration policies have considerably improved thus making transnational terrorism less lucrative. Also, cooperation in terms of extradition has also been witnessed between these parties. The United States has been granted the capacity to try suspects who had committed crimes against them in allied countries (Barham, 2010).
Although substantial progress has been made in information exchange, recent developments still indicate that much is yet to be done. For instance, an attack was launched in the Russian transportation system this year showing that transnational terrorist networks are a harsh reality that keep using unconventional mechanisms. Cooperation with this nation may have provided a unique opportunity for detecting and deterring these plots and thus boosting international security. Most cooperation between the United States and other countries has been centered at traditional avenues for terrorism such terrorism financing and training. However, with the advent of technology, terrorism has evolved dramatically. Most groups no longer have to be firmly affiliated to an organization as loose ties are just as sufficient to get their work done. Others are using creative ways of preparing for their attacks such as though hawaal which are money transfer networks made up of Muslim business men who trust one another. All these areas are not receiving as much attention as they should in counterterrorism cooperation yet they are quite risky.
In conclusion, it can be said that US led efforts at cooperation have contributed towards a stronger commitment to antiterrorism globally. They have sent a message to potential or future terrorists that terrorist targets are preparing and are ready. This is why preventive techniques may have seen substantial growth and deterrence may also have been improved.
Center for Strategic and International studies (2010). US-Russian counterterrorism.
ANI (2010). Roemer extends strong support for US India counter terrorism cooperation.
Barham, J. (2008). EU & US counterterrorism cooperation.