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National Strategy for Counterterrorism Essay

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Updated: Apr 28th, 2022


It should be stressed that the current report on the National Strategy for Counterterrorism has been significantly improved in comparison with previously introduced strategies. Particular reference should be made to presenting the importance of considering the threat of domestic terrorism. The strategy pays closer attention to the strategies addressing this safety of citizens with regards to potential domestic dangers. Despite the fact that many European countries have already outlined safety measures taken to prevent domestic terrorism, the need for domestic counterterrorism strategies have recently been outlined by the U.S. authorities. Therefore, this new measure has significantly strengthened the defense position of the Americans and has provided a solid ground for building future defense mechanisms.

One more strength of the presented strategy for counterterrorism lies in promoting the policy of adhering to the core values of the American people. The emphasis is specifically placed on protecting and respecting human rights and privacy, and striking the balance between security and transparency. Introducing such policy contributes to enhancing moral and ethical considerations because excessive focus on security presents people from sustaining a favorable social environment within the United States. Besides a strengthened moral spirit of the American people can become a powerful instrument in fighting with the terrorist dangers and creating a winning international coalition. The strategy was not observed in the reports on national strategies in 2006 and 2010 years. The previous CT reports were primarily oriented on expanding the defense mechanism and enhancing economic and financial recourses. Specifically, 2006 report introduced the strategies for facing the challenge of globalization and enhancing and sustaining the U.S. economic growth whereas the national strategy outlined in 2010 was more concerned with building powerful networks for opposing the terrorist attacks and integrating technological and scientific advances into building military technologies. Overall, the recently introduced report is a balance between military and cultural needs of the American society.

The Main Weaknesses of the Strategy

The United States has currently faced a great number of challenges and problems related to the counterterrorism strategies introduced on June, 2011. Certainly, the plan provides comprehensive and systematic strategies for fighting against Al-Qaida adherents and affiliates by promoting military operations in such countries as Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Libya. However, the military engagement of the U.S. armed forces in these countries undermines significance of financial expenditures because the cost of the American counterterrorism is incalculable. Besides, excess emphasis on safety and security of the country imposes a potent impact on other important events, including the 2012 US Presidential election.

Excess attention to the Presidential campaign prevents the government form focusing on the most urgent issues of counterterrorism strategies. Ignorance of the current economic pitfalls within the governmental and political system can become a serious obstacle on the way to enhance America’s counterterrorism strategies and deploy armed forces beyond the domestic boundaries. Hence, the deplorable situation with the American economy can lead to the failure to provide sufficient defense mechanism for struggling with internal domestic terrorism. Aside from domestic and economic weaknesses, the U.S. government might not be able to defeat terrorism and create a safety nation platform for cooperating with its international partners, which can also become vulnerable to al-Qaeda attacks.

Assessing Obama Administration’s Progress

An in-depth evaluation of the 2011 National Strategy for Counterterrorism has revealed significant improvements in the policy regarding military defense campaigns and overall economic and political atmosphere in the country. Specifically, military forces directed against al-Qaeda groups have turned to be successfully and, therefore, the military power of the United States leaves no doubts. Hence, by increasing American advantage in high technology and airpower weapons, the Obama administration has limited significantly their military objectives and, as a result, it has contributed to a peaceful situation within the U.S. boundaries. Overall, the 2011 policy achievement has brought in two main advantages for the Obama administration.

First of all, the National Security Strategy has introduced a new defense mechanism that relies more on special military forces, including naval and air powers, and less on ground forces that are necessary for accomplishing the U.S. defense mission. Moreover, death of Osama bin Laden, one of the most dangerous terrorist leaders, significantly dismantled al-Qaeda groups and weakened Moammar Quaddafi power. The specified events underscore the benefits of introducing shifts to the security strategy has created a peaceful atmosphere in the United States and provides the citizens with a greater awareness of the positive outcomes of the counterterrorism campaign.

Second, a new defense orientation embraces a more sustainable course in politics of the United States that enables to meet international responsibilities at moderate financial costs, as well as tolerable risk to the lives of the Americans. Hence, a strategy contributes to solving the problem of security through integrating less costs and risk and keeping the global partnership on a safe ground. Hence, strengthening partnership with European countries can enhance control of the actions and operations held in the Muslim world.

Overall, the approaches and techniques chosen to stand the terrorist threat seem to be justified because they allowed to reassert the respectability and credibility of the Obama administration and the American military power. While comparing the strategies initiated in 2002, a decade ago, the president and his affiliates have managed to build a new powerful and strengthened network capturing all technological and scientific possibilities for security protection.

Recommendations for Improving the Strategy

With regard to existing strengths and weakness of the 2011 National Security Strategy for Counterterrorism, specific emphasis should still placed on the rational allocation of resources and findings, as well as domestic policies related to internal terrorist attacks. Hence, the economic growth of the United States has a potent impact on developing sustainable strategies and military techniques and preserving the credibility and reliability of the political and social infrastructure within the domestic boundaries. Another viable recommendation to the strategy is the necessity to introduce practical rather than theoretical approach to dealing with the problem. Despite the fact that the goals have been strictly defined, no concrete information is outlined concerning how those goals can be accomplished. The report mentions the urgent need for inviting local and regional, and international network into struggling with the terrorism, but it fails to identify the approaches and measures to be taken to put these ideas in practice. Therefore, the strategy should strike the balance between theoretical and practical implications. Specifically, the Obama administration can introduce specific reports revealing the information about specific military campaigns and training programs aimed at reducing the threats and enhancing the overall safety of the American population. In addition, disclosing specific international goals is also imperative for introducing strong partnership and support at the international level.


“2002 The National Security Strategy”. 2002. The White House. pp. 1-35.

“2006 The National Security Strategy”. 2010. The White House pp. 1-54

“2008 The National Defense Strategy”. 2008. US Department of Defense. pp. 1-29.

“2010 The National Security Strategy”. 2010. The White House. pp. 1-60

“2011 The National Security Strategy for Counterterrorism”. 2011. The White House. pp. 1-26.

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