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Asymmetric Warfare: The 21st Century Challenge to U.S. Law Enforcement Executives

NCJ Number
Police Chief Volume: 69 Issue: 4 Dated: April 2002 Pages: 183,185,187,188
Jayanto N. Choudhury
Date Published
4 pages
This article discusses asymmetric warfare and its challenge to U.S. law enforcement.
The first step in formulating a law enforcement response to the asymmetric threat should be to identify the enemy and understand its methods. The article claims that failure to accomplish this would be an unacceptable failure of law enforcement as the first line of defense in this new war. The earlier generation of terrorists sought to publicize their actions to spread fear. Today’s terrorists have found that anonymity and deception provide greater leverage, create more confusion, and serve as weapons against Western-style democracies wedded to the rule of law. The article describes some of the changes to U.S. law enforcement that will be needed to meet the challenges of terrorism, including major changes in its basic philosophy. In addition, the model of global law enforcement cooperation will need to change. The boundaries are blurring between law enforcement and intelligence, between police and military action. The article claims that what is needed is a broad-based forum to match goals with methods for defeating global terrorism.