Thoughts, Words and Actions - Disunity in the British and American Struggle Against Global Terrorism?   [open pdf - 245KB]

"Currently Britain and America are engaged in an unprecedented struggle against global terrorism. This new, complex and challenging threat is proving difficult to overcome and the struggle against it, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq, is not going well. One of the major reasons for this issue is that disunity of effort in the struggle exists between the two countries. This disunity stems from the lack of a common concept and definition of terrorism both in and between the two countries. This has led to differences in approach when dealing with the threat. Essentially the UK views terrorism as a criminal matter where the US deals with terrorism as an act of war. Therefore the UK and US ends, means and ways are different with detrimental effects. The implications of this disunity cab be seen from the strategic to the tactical levels and felt both domestically and globally. They include wasted resources and growing opposition to the different means of combating terrorism which have led to a longer struggle and an increasing threat of terrorism. For this disunity to be reduced, greater discourse, ideally leading to common consensus on a concept and definition needs to be conducted. Whether this is achieved or not other actions can also help reduce the friction. These include greater emphasis and utilization of countries' strengths and better synchronization between the UK and US. Global terrorism is predicted to be a long term threat. For the UK and US to have greater success in dealing with it there needs to be improvement in their unity of effort."

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