Securing the State: Strategies to Counter Contemporary Terrorism
Published on: 19/12/2016
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Genuine and meaningful reflection upon counter-terrorism policy involves all in authority being prepared to openly challenge existing concepts and approaches. In questioning fundamental assumptions of how governments should protect its citizens there are few better places to begin than with terrorism, for not only are these matters of intense public and political concern, but they raise acute challenges for the entire security apparatus of the state. In the context of counter-terrorism these challenges arise because terrorism can inflict significant loss of life, yet it is not simply the scale of the atrocities committed in its name that gives terrorism its special status; it is the threat it poses to the state.1 Terrorism undermines the basis of state legitimacy – the capability and capacity to protect its citizens. Protecting the public from those who seek to destroy a nation’s free and democratic way of life remains the primary responsibility – and therefore the primary challenge – for all servants of the state.