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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 97470 Find in a Library
Title: Terrorism and Public Policy - Domestic Impacts, International Threats (From American Violence and Public Policy, P 183-202, 1985, Lynn A Curtis, ed. - See NCJ-97462)
Author(s): R H Kupperman
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: Yale University Press
New Haven, CT 06520
Sale Source: Yale University Press
92a Yale Station
New Haven, CT 06520
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The growing problem of terrorism requires the attention of U.S. Government administrators and legislators in two areas: how to ensure detailed and timely intelligence regarding terrorist events in the United States and how to counter the terrorist threat without infringing upon civil rights or press freedom.
Abstract: Although the United States has not been a primary target for terrorist attacks, this is likely to change. Terrorism has become part of international warfare, and as a surrogate means of warfare, it is a tool of strategic importance for hostile foreign governments. The growing lethality of terrorist methods and media attention to the subject are factors that policymakers need to consider. However, it was not until 1981 that the Federal Government perceived terrorism to be serious enough to be classified as part of American foreign policy. The Federal Government maintains special counterterrorist military forces and has taken other measures to combat terrorism. However, terrorist acts have the potential for significan influence because of the media attention they attract. The United States has no policy consensus on how to respond to terrorism and no internationally recognized commitment to firm responses to such violence. Professional terrorists could attack the United States by sabotaging the infrastructure, threatening mass destruction, or exploiting protest movements such as the antinuclear movement. The United States needs a public policy that recognizes the issue and provides useful operational guidance to those who will be dealing with specific future incidents. When an incident occurs, the response should include immediate containment, control of damage at the domestic and international levels, and use of the incident to advance national policy. Twenty-seven references are listed.
Index Term(s): Antiterrorist laws; Counter-terrorism tactics; Domestic terrorism; Federal government; International terrorism
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