Fighting with Imagination: International Cooperation Against Terrorism

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1 Journal of Global Change and Governance Volume I, Number 3 Summer 2008 ISSN: Fighting with Imagination: International Cooperation Against Terrorism Patryk Pawlak European University Institute, Florence KEYWORDS Homeland Security, Counterterrorism, Private-Public Partnerships, Transnational Cooperation BIOGRAPHICAL STATEMENT Patryk Pawlak is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Social and Political Science at the European University Institute in Florence where he researches on Transatlantic homeland security as a challenge to traditional forms of governance in the EU-US relations. He is also a participant to the European Foreign Policy Studies Programme funded jointly by Compagnia di San Paolo (Italy), Volkswagen Stiftung (Germany) and Riksbank Jubileumsfond (Sweden). From January to July 2007 he was a visiting researcher at the Georgetown University, Center for Peace and Security Studies. JOURNAL OF GLOBAL CHANGE AND GOVERNANCE DIVISION OF GLOBAL AFFAIRS RUTGERS UNIVERSITY

2 FIGHTING WITH IMAGINATION 2 The challenge of designing a comprehensive and effective response to terrorism has revealed the unfairness and irony of rules according to which a game of counterterrorism is played. While governments are obliged to respect human rights and democratic principles, often under the strict scrutiny of their citizens and non-governmental organizations, global terrorist groups are not only free of similar constraints, but can use the same democratic rules as a shield. 1 Furthermore, the difficulty of differentiating between potential terrorists and law-abiding citizens, i.e. those to be fought against from those to be protected, has only made counterterrorism planning more arduous. The necessity to counterbalance threats posed by global terrorist networks has seriously challenged the principles and institutions of the modern state. 2 Whereas the nature of threats posed by terrorism has evolved 3 and increasingly requires international cooperation, the legal and policy instruments with which the international community has been equipped in past decades have largely remained unchanged. 4 The adaptation of global governance mechanisms to the requirements of the new security environment has proven extremely challenging. Furthermore, in order to mobilize the necessary resources and 1 See: O Brien 1977; Schmid, 1992; De Rosa, See: Franck, See: Tucker, 2001; Crenshaw, 2000; Foxell, 2001; Kegley, 2003; 4 See: Russell and Reid, 2004; respond to the terrorist threat in the most efficient and effective way, it is essential that a so-called concerted effort 5 involves all stakeholders, notably business representatives, civil liberties organizations, and citizens. Thus, a smart fight against terrorism across borders requires international and domestic actors, both public and private, to garner enough imagination and courage to introduce what are likely to be controversial solutions. The intention of this article is simply to indicate some patterns, allowing the reader to trace them in other contributions to this Special Issue. 6 A New Age of Extraterritoriality The challenges the international community faces in combating terrorism are a direct result of discrepancies between policy objectives and the tools available to implement them. The outcry over the September 11 th attacks and, consequently, the pressure on the Bush Administration for an efficient and quick response to the attacks rendered a multilateral response politically unfeasible. The U.S. National Strategy for Homeland Security states that where we [the US] find existing international arrangements to be inadequate or 5 See: The White House, 2002; Homeland Security Council, The discussion presented in this article is exclusively based on the fight against terrorism with homeland security tools and does not address military operations (i.e. Afghanistan, Iraq) which are considered to be a part of a global war against terrorism.

3 PATRYK PAWLAK 3 counterproductive to our efforts to secure our homeland, we will work to refashion them. Throughout these efforts, we will harmonize our homeland security policies with our other national security goals. 7 Therefore, from the U.S. perspective, there was no other option but to impose homeland security rules on other nations. The extraterritorial character of the U.S. s travel and transportation security policies (i.e. Passenger Name Records, Container Security Initiative) and the way in which it executed its strategy became very problematic for other nations, who accused the U.S. s policies of eroding the sovereignty of other states. Power of Bilateralism Furthermore, extraterritoriality was also a response to the question of limited capabilities and enforcement capacities by international organizations. First, there is no global one-stop-shop for obtaining legitimacy for proposed policy solutions. Instead, the United States was required to get involved with several organizations including the World Customs Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association, the International Labour Organization, and the European Union. Getting involved with such organizations is time-consuming and fraught with procedural obstacles. Still, these international organizations have no enforcement mechanisms at their 7 The White House, 2002, p. 60. disposal and implementing sound policies depends on the agreement of all member states. Therefore, the move from multilateralism towards bilateralism seemed reasonable. Strengthening the Role of Public- Private Partnerships The shift in the public-private relationship was caused by the growing need for a private role in providing security. The scope and complexity of the issues in question (i.e. transport security, infrastructure protection, international trade, civil liberties, etc.) made it clear that little progress could be made without the engagement of the private sector. This involved a redefinition of functions that the private sector fulfils in policy-making and implementation. First, because private actors provide resources (tangible and intangible) which government do not posses. Second, because providing security requires close cooperation within the private sector and cannot be successful if its members do not commit to this common objective. These factors raise the profile of private actors in the process of policy-making: from mere consultants they have increasing power to suggest policy solutions. Escaping Formality and Enhancing Innovation Through Networks At the organizational level, the proliferation of informal networks has proven to be very successful in limiting

4 FIGHTING WITH IMAGINATION 4 formality and enhancing innovation in policy-making processes. 8 Such networks have already existed to a certain extent among intelligence services and law enforcement officials. Because several new actors became participants in the fight against terrorism, they also have established their own networks. This includes, for instance, informal networks of judges, customs officials, and other policymakers concerned with counterterrorism and homeland security. Such networks were also a response to a progressive formalization of relationships, where the focus seemed to be more on the form of the meeting or the formality of the agreement rather than on the content. Fighting Imagination The benefits of cooperation in the fight against terrorism are taken for granted and very little research has been done on the negative costs of such cooperation. Ironically, the US approach has generated a global move towards more harmonization and mutual recognition of international laws. Also, we have seen the establishment of joint investigation and joint inspection teams in airports and at ports. However, we should not ignore the fact that the nature of US policies has signalled a clear shift from the world politics organized according to principles of sovereignty and border integrity towards a system based on virtual borders, extraterritorial laws, and a whatever works approach. The 8 See: Pawlak, implementation of these policies has posed several challenges to the international system because international legal and judicial set ups are not really adopted to work with these new challenges and new solutions. Therefore, while the academic community suggests new strategies and mechanisms 9 for achieving better outcomes, we should also take a more critical approach to the prevailing cooperation doctrine. This means asking inconvenient questions about when we might be better off without cooperation, legitimacy, and transparency of policy-making processes, as well as questions about the implications of current developments for the future of global governance, especially for existing international regimes. In the fight against terrorism, a lack of imagination is dangerous. Equally worrying, however, is imagination beyond any control. 9 See: Bremer, 1992; Carter, 2001; Heymann, 2001; Nacos, 2006; Miller, 2007.

5 PATRYK PAWLAK 5 BIBLIOGRAPHY L. Paul Bremer, The West s counterterrorist strategy, Terrorism and Political Violence 4(4) (1992): A. Carter, The architecture of government in the face of terrorism, International Security 26(3) (2001): M. Crenshaw, The psychology of terrorism: An agenda for the 21st century, Political Psychology 21(2) (2000): M. De Rosa, Privacy in the age of terror, The Washington Quarterly 26(3) (2003): J. W. J. Foxell, Current trends in agroterrorism (antilivestock, anticrop, and antisoil bioagricultural terrorism) and their potential impact on food security, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 24(2) (2001): T. Franck, Terrorism and the right of self-defense, American Journal of International Law 95(4) (2001): P. Heymann, Dealing with Terrorism, International Security 26(3) (2001): Homeland Security Council (2007), The National Homeland Security Strategy (Washington, DC: Office of the President of the United States). C. W. Kegley, ed., The New Global Terrorism: Characteristics, Causes, Controls (Prentice Hall, 2003). G. Miller, Confronting terrorisms: Group motivation and successful state policies, Terrorism and Political Violence 19(3) (2007): B. Nacos, Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Understanding Threats and Responses in the Post-9/11 World (New York: Longman, 2006). C. C. O'Brien, Liberty and terrorism, International Security 2(2) (1977): P, Pawlak, From Hierarchy to Networks: Transatlantic Governance of Homeland Security, Journal of Global Change and Governance 1(1) (2007). H. Russell & S. Reid, Terrorism and counterterrorism: Understanding the new security environment (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2004). A.P. Schmid, Terrorism and democracy, Terrorism and Political Violence 4(4) (1992): The White House (2002) National Strategy for Homeland Security (Washington, DC: Office for Homeland Security). D. Tucker, What is new about the new terrorism and how dangerous is it? Terrorism and Political Violence 13(3) (2001): 1-14.

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