Prior to the attacks of 9-11, the US did not have a comprehensive national counterterrorism strategy. Terrorism was seen as one of many threats that could be addressed through policy directives and law enforcement. The trauma of 9-11 completely changed perceptions of the threat posed by terrorism. Overnight it came to be seen as the preeminent threat facing the US. President Bush declared a global war on terrorism and in less than a month US forces were engaged in Afghanistan. The fight against terrorism is now seen as the primary focus of the military but this expansion of roles is not without costs. This thesis examines US counterterrorism strategy before and after 9-11 with a focus on the role of the military. It evaluates changes in strategy and the implementation of strategy. It also reviews and assesses military roles in domestic and international counterterrorism efforts before and after 9-11. Finally it evaluates the implications of the expanded role of the military and prospects for success in the war on terror if the current strategy is pursued.
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