The threat and acts of terrorism have taken on a new dimension in international affairs and global security.
While many of the causes of terrorism are grounded in history, others are the result of the impact of globalization and technological innovation. The capabilities and related strategies of modern terrorist groups and organizations have also changed.The result of such changes require a rethinking of counterterrorism policies, doctrines and strategies to meet an enduring and growing threat in the national, regional and international arenas.
Contemporary terrorism may be characterized by the emergence of non-territorial and virtual conflict. Through their ability to engage in traditional territorial and non-territorial conflict, terrorists have literally declared and are pursuing their form of warfare on a global basis.Furthermore, with the internet and social media, they have greatly enhanced their capabilities to engage in “propaganda by the deed” and effectively employed their abilities to recruit a new generation of terrorists. Modern terrorist groups have also acquired the ability to engage in what may be viewed to be to be “non-territorial and virtual conflict”. They will increasingly have the ability to generate images and acts of terrorism and alter the perception of global audience in regards to the threat of terrorism.
Faced with these challenges governments will have to rethink both their counterterrorism and counterinsurgency doctrines.They will also have to adjust to a new battlefield where the line between domestic and international terrorism is blurred. This will demand new operational capabilities to meet the changing threat. The threat and reality of terrorism will call for a unity of global action that will remain difficult to achieve. Such a goal must be pursued if the “long war” against terrorism is to be realised.
About the Speaker:
Stephen Sloan is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Oklahoma where he was a Samuel Roberts Noble Presidential Professor. He also held the title of Lawrence J. Chastang Distinguished Professor of Terrorism Studies at the University of Central Florida. Dr. Sloan is a pioneer in the study of international terrorism and specializes in counter insurgency. Since the 1970’s he has engaged in research and published 15 books and numerous articles on terrorism He also was a pioneer in the development of simulations to train authorities to prevent and respond to threats and acts of terrorism. He has conducted simulations internationally.
Dr. Sloan has worked closely with numerous government organizations and those bodies in the corporate sector that are responsible responding to threats and acts of terrorism. He was the first Senior Fellow at the Memorial Institute for Preventing Terrorism, a Senior Research Fellow at the Joint Special Operations University, and at the US Air University, as well as Senior Associate for a leading consultancy where he headed their counterterrorism practice. Professor Sloan also was an Adjunct Professor for the first iteration of the program on Terrorism and Security Studies at the George C. Marshall European Security Studies Centre. He is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies and ASIS Standing Committee on Global Terrorism, Political Instability and International Crime.