Evolution of US Policy Post-9/11: Combating Global Terrorism Through Multilateral Cooperation and Intelligence Sharing

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The 9/11 US aggression revealed that global terrorism has evolved to a new dimension. Its attendant effects lie in the US effort to deter further attacks and combat international terrorism. Since that devastating raid, the US has pursued a broad foreign policy that addresses the complex challenge posed by international terrorism. In other words, the challenges are directed at the critical components of US policy on the war against terrorism.

The US policy on global terrorism links to its military measures toward deterring and responding to terrorist dangers before they are executed. The post-9/11 US nuclear policy presents a paradigm transition from the Cold War nuclear deterrence to a preventive strike that highlights proactive action against a sensed threat or enemy. The presentation of the policy abounds in the US-led attacks in Iraq in 2003 and Afghanistan in 2001, and the deployment of military forces dislodged and disassembled al Qaeda terrorist networks by disrupting their processes and eliminating their leaders. Accordingly, Bush argues that “our military power will be directed to remove safe havens from terrorists and undermine their capacity to carry out attacks.”

Indeed, the United States, in fulfilling this, engaged in training and equipping partner nations to build counterterrorism capacities. For example, counterterrorism forums and bilateral military partnerships, transferring expertise in intelligence, surveillance, and particular operations to enhance the capacity of the United Nations were all measures embraced by the US to combat terrorism. 

Despite the US’s active attention to multilateral forums and partnerships, US military cooperation with NATO members has improved global counterterrorism measures. The US supports and participates in international organizations, such as NATO and the G7, to deliver platforms for coordination, cooperation, and the evolution of common strategies to combat terrorism. 

For example, in recent times, the United Nations assignments have been the frequent target of terrorist attacks in such countries as Mali; however, non-UN operations have battled against violent extremist groups in Afghanistan and Somalia. Given the possibility of UN peacekeeping operations in countries like Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and Yemen, which function as the hotbeds for terrorism and violent extremism, multilateral partnerships have helped to stop global terrorism. 

Smit maintains that the spread of terrorism and violent extremism in parts of Africa and the scope of peace operations such as the Global Collation against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the Multinational Joint Task Force against Boko Haram, and the Joint Force of the Group of Five Sahel are some of the common strategies for combating terrorism.

The effectiveness of multilateral cooperation manifested in the ‘international coalition’ adopted by the US and its allies during the post-9/11 terrorist attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq. The collaboration in doubt produced the aggressive search for Osama bin Laden and hastened the removal of Saddam Hussein by American coalition forces.

Information and intelligence were other steps that were pivotal in the US fight for the global war on terror. The US policy stressed collecting, analyzing, and sharing intelligence among domestic and international partners. The intelligence community included agencies such as the CIA, FBI, and NSA that collaborated with foreign counterparts to recognize and disrupt terrorist networks during and after the September 11 attacks. The agencies were liable for tracking their financiers to prevent potential attacks. 

Indeed, the USA Patriot Act, though legislated in response to the 9/11 attacks, emphasizes information sharing. To that extent, the Act granted US law enforcement agencies an extended power to gather intelligence, monitor communications, and share information on terrorism. In this context, the US prioritizes information gathering and carries that intelligence sharing should include covert processes in all sectors of the world and keep with the information management in other countries to perform a full-scale assault on the terrorist network’s financial infrastructure.

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