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The Many Dimensions of Counterterrorism

A GCSP Public Discussion

Much debate centers on the efficacy of particular methods of countering international terrorism, ranging from "hard" instruments such as military force to softer tools such as refutation of extremist ideologies.

Such debate usually understates the extent to which every tool exhibits both advantages and limitations. A more fundamental omission is that the incidence of terrorism depends on many political, economic, and foreign policies that are not labeled as counterterrorism at all.

Combating terrorism should be viewed not as a distinct policy problem but instead as a consideration weighing on all public policy.

The speaker, Prof. Paul Pillar, is a 28-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), serving from 1977-2005.

At the CIA, Pillar served in a variety of analytical and managerial positions, including Executive Assistant to CIA's Deputy Director for Intelligence and Executive Assistant to Director of Central Intelligence William Webster. He became Chief of Analysis at the Agency's Counterterrorist Center in 1993, and served as the Center's Deputy Director from 1997-1999.

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