Combating terrorism has become one of the major problems of humanity after the terrorist attack on the US World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001. Since then, the number of anti-terrorist and terrorist response organizations has significantly increased and cross-national links among them have also improved (Linden, 2007). The organizations started cooperating with each other, which gradually resulted in stronger protection of the country and its citizens. Responding to terrorist attacks and preventing them became the primary objective of the US government, especially after the tragedy. Currently, along with numerous anti-terrorist organizations, the country is protected by multiple specialized terrorist response organizations and single large multi-task ones which, though both these types ensure national security, still perform differently. Compared to multi-task organizations, special terrorist response ones have more benefits due to the special training which their personnel undergoes, the limited number of staff, and narrow specialization which altogether contribute to their high efficiency.
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To begin with, members of specialized terrorist response organizations undergo special training which allows them to respond to emergency situations more quickly. As a rule, the agents of such organizations are selected according to numerous complicated criteria even before they are permitted to go through this special training. Besides, it includes not only physical preparation but psychological as well. Since the agents have a weapon and are always exposed to potential danger, they have to take psychological tests which show whether they have an adequate reaction to stressful situations, whether they will use the weapon only when it is indeed needed, whether they are able to evaluate a situation and find such a way out which would bring the least damage to the object and to him/herself, etc. Apart from this, there are also intelligence tests, different theoretical and practical subjects, and, of course, physical training which all should be passed before a person becomes a member of such an organization. The agents of multi-task organizations also undergo special training, but it is less specialized and demanding than that with terrorist response organizations.
Another benefit of specialized terrorist response organizations is that their staff is more reliable than that of single large multi-task organizations due to the fact that it consists of fewer employees. People get into such organizations mostly by recommendations or if they are transferred there from similar institutions. The personnel is experienced or, if they are young, they are trained to be experienced quite fast. It is not a secret that organizations with a limited number of employees have much better performance and productivity than those which consist of incalculable people. This, however, does not mean that the personnel of multi-task organizations is incompetent, but since their staffs are more numerous, there exists a danger of the leakage of information that may be difficult to trace. Leakage of information is fatal with any of these organizations, but it is indeed more likely to happen in an organization where the data are transferred from one department into another and all the employees have access to it. When it comes to terrorism, the data should be kept secret because their disclosure may result in hampering the execution of the operation.
The final benefit is a narrow specialization of smaller terrorist response organizations which makes their activities more goal-oriented. The agents of specialized terrorist response organizations are all involved in one and the same task, namely preventing the terrorist acts which they are aware of and negotiating the terrorists which make spontaneous attacks (if negotiations are possible). Large multi-task organizations, in their turn, consist of several departments dealing with different issues, such as drug abuse, criminal offenses (the departments dealing with these are further subdivided into several departments), prostitution, rights violation, etc with terrorism being only one of these departments. The difference is approximately the same as between an accountant firm and a firm having an accountant department. The organization seems to deal with the problem, but not so efficiently as the one which specializes in it. Thus, for instance, specialized terrorist response organizations operate with fewer databases that contain more exact information; this allows tracing potential terrorists more quickly than in the case with multi-task organizations’ databases for a person suspected in terrorism may be found at other databases as well, which significantly complicates the search.
Therefore, though both specialized terrorist response organizations and single multi-task ones ensure the proper level of national security to the country, the efficiency of their performance is different. The matter is that the former has three major benefits which allow it to perform more effectively, though this does not mean that the latter’s performance is much worse. Firstly, due to the special training which the agents of specialized organizations undergo, they are better prepared for emergency situations and can cope with the problem faster. Secondly, their personnel is less numerous, which minimizes the risk the information leakage. And thirdly, their narrow specialization allows them to concentrate on a specific problem and fight with it. Thus, both types of organizations perform well, but specialized ones have important benefits, which makes them more efficient in fighting terrorism.
Linden, E.V. (2007). Focus on Terrorism, Volume 9. New York: Nova Publishers.