What Can the United States Learn from India to Counter Terrorism?   [open pdf - 749KB]

Terrorism is the principal threat to global and national security in the post-11 September world. Facing terrorist threats at home and abroad, the United States has declared counterterrorism its top priority. As the United States embarks on its global counterterrorism campaign, it must draw on the experience of other countries. Specifically India, with an extensive history of counterterrorism efforts, can reveal important lessons applicable to America's endeavors. India offers three primary examples of counterterrorism strategies: Punjab, its northeast region, and Kashmir, from which four findings emerge. First, aggressive military operations are central to beating terrorism. Second, economic and social development programs, though not enough to end terrorism alone, are essential components of the larger national strategy. Third, terrorism cannot be stopped without international assistance. Terror networks export personnel, knowledge, weapons and money across international boundaries with growing frequency. This cannot be effectively stopped without a coordinated national and international effort. Fourth, to be successful, a counterterrorism strategy must engender the public's support for the government and promulgate a sense of public ownership to the conflict. By applying these lessons from the Indian case study, America's efforts to end terrorism both domestically and internationally will be significantly more productive.

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