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National Strategy For Counterterrorism 2011

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2011
26 pages
This National Strategy for Counterterrorism embodies the Federal Government's approach to dealing with the terrorist threat and identifies the range of tools that are critical to the strategy's success.
First of all, the strategy uses the word "war" to describe the ongoing campaign against al-Qa'ida. It is not a war against the tactic of terrorism itself or the religion of Islam. The strategy targets al-Qa'ida and the defeat of its affiliates, adherents, and ideology. The Nation's counterterrorism (CT) efforts are guided by core principles that consist of adherence to core values of the United States, building security partnerships, applying CT tools and capabilities appropriately, and building a culture of resilience. Adherence to core U.S. values means that all CT actions maintain the values of freedom, fairness, equality, dignity, hope, and opportunity. The building of security partnerships is critical in CT efforts, since the United States alone cannot address the worldwide threat of al-Qa'ida. The application of CT tools and capabilities appropriately involves pursuing a "whole-of-government" effort and balancing near- and long-term CT considerations. The CT strategy also involves building a culture of resilience that enables the United States to prevent or respond to and recover from any attack by al-Qa'ida directed at the United States. Specific goals to be pursued under this strategy are to protect the American people, homeland, and American interests; disrupt, degrade, dismantle, and defeat al-Qa'ida; prevent terrorist development, acquisition, and use of weapons of mass destruction; eliminate "safehavens;" degrade links between al-Qa'ida and its affiliates and adherents; counter al-Qa'ida ideology and its resonance while diminishing the drivers of violence that al-Qa'ida exploits; and deprive al-Qa'ida of its enabling means. This report also provides an overview of how the aforementioned strategy is being pursued in the homeland and various parts of the world.