(by Kevin Mooney, CNSNews.com) –
The success of U.S. counterterrorism efforts has made Americans
complacent, according to an expert on Middle East politics. Frank
Gaffney, who served in the Reagan Defense Department, said the public
must adopt a “war footing” or risk greater vulnerability to terrorist
encouraged by the success of counterterrorism efforts since the 9/11
attacks. But he believes at least part of the reason America has been
spared from terrorism on a smaller scale since 2001 is the terrorists’
desire for monumental and lasting damage.
seeking very spectacular ways of inflicting damage on us,” said
Gaffney, who is now president and CEO of the Center for Security
“It would be easy
enough to shoot up a mall, or set off a pipe bomb without particular
effect other than to arouse the people again to the fact we are at war,
which is – not something they necessarily want to do,” he continued.
“Instead, they are waiting and working toward something that will hurt
Gaffney credits a
combination of factors with preventing terrorism on U.S. soil,
including an “offensive response” and the breaking down of walls
between intelligence-gathering and law enforcement for the absence of
additional terror strikes. He also sees the hand of providence at work
in protecting America.
But Gaffney also
feels that it is imperative for both the public and the U.S. government
to adopt deliberate and specific measures to put the country on a
proper war footing.
He has outlined 10 steps for U.S. policymakers to properly equip themselves in the “war for the
free world.” Gaffney, discussed the 10 steps as part of congressional
testimony delivered before the House International Relations
Subcommittee on International Terrorism and Non-Proliferation on Sept.
Gaffney put a
particular emphasis on the need for a greater investment in “the
instruments of political warfare, including public diplomacy.”
“We have been
dramatically under-funding an important area of natural American
expertise and capability: multimedia communications aimed at foreign
audiences,” Gaffney said.
The goal of such
communications, Gaffney said, should be to “de-legitimize Islamist
extremism in the eyes of Muslims, and especially its potential
A key component
of this strategy includes challenging militants who claim their
terrorism is supported by Islamic teachings. This can be done, Gaffney
said, by pointing out contradictions between extremist teachings and
actual passages in the Koran.
Such “political warfare” is not new to Americans, Gaffney said. But the target of such efforts will have to change.
“The good news is
that Americans are among the world’s experts at political warfare,” he
explained. “The bad news is that we mainly use it against each other.”
and tactics of any hard-fought election campaign are precisely the
stuff of applied political warfare,” Gaffney said. “The talent,
creativity, ingenuity, and, yes, ruthlessness of top-flight political
campaign strategists of both parties should be mustered for the purpose
of fighting our enemies and helping our friends rather than fighting
Gaffney’s security recommendations are modeled after the “playbook” used by his former boss, President Ronald Reagan.
“Reagan showed [that] these techniques work,” Gaffney said, “if properly wielded in a sustained and disciplined way.”
Reprinted here with permission from Cybercast News Service. Visit the website at CNSNews.com.
1. a) Define complacent. b) What has made Americans complacent, according to Frank Gaffney?
2. a) What are Mr. Gaffneys credentials?
In addition to the success of counterterrorism efforts since 9/11, what
does Mr. Gaffney believe is part of the reason America has been spared
from terrorism on a smaller scale?
c) What reaction might smaller attacks cause that the terrorists would want to avoid?
3. List the three factors Mr. Gaffney credits for preventing further terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.
4. a) In his 10 steps presented to U.S. policymakers, which one did Mr. Gaffney particularly emphasize?
b) Explain how he says this step will work.
5. Do you think
Mr. Gaffney’s suggestion from question #4 will be an effective tool for
fighting terrorism? Explain your answer.
6. OPTIONAL: Read Frank Gaffney’s 10 steps for fighting terrorism at his website WarFooting.com.
Why should Mr. Gaffney’s steps be viewed as encouraging rather than depressing or scary?
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