Combatting International Terrorism

The Role of Congress

by Brian Michael Jenkins


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Coping with terrorism is not a matter of legislation. It is the ability to respond effectively to a new range of threats, and Congress can promote the development of the necessary instruments to combat terrorism. This paper discusses various issues that must be reviewed by Congress: (1) The utility of seeking an international consensus, or depending on a unilateral approach. (2) Effective response to threats of mass destruction. (3) Organizing U.S. antiterrorist military units. (4) Safeguarding nuclear facilities and material. (5) Continuing arms sales while preventing the possibility of man-portable advanced weaponry in the hands of terrorists. (6) The ability of the U.S. government to assist U.S. corporations abroad. (7) Dealing with U.S. domestic extremist groups that may create international incidents. (8) Forming a specific government entity to deal with terrorism. (9) Gathering intelligence on terrorist activities in the post-Vietnam, post-Watergate era.

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