COUNTER TERRORISM COMMITTEE
Dais: AHMAD SALMAN KHAN & SYED AKBAR
Letter from the Secretary General
My name is Hamza Butt and I will serve as your Secretary-General for the first Bahria
University Model United Nations. This document marks the beginning of your journey to
research the topic Areas as well as your Country / Personality's position regarding them. I
sincerely hope that this journey rewards you both extrinsically as well as intrinsically and
that this document guides you in reaching your destination.
Within this document, you will find the Background Guide for your committee. Each
Chairperson has worked extensively to ensure that this guide is as comprehensive as
possible and to ensure that you-the delegates- are adequately prepared to understand all
the subtleties of the conflicts. They have researched extensively to provide you with the
best possible overview of each committee’s topic area. Having said that it is also important
to note that this guide only marks the start of the research and delegates are expected not
to limit themselves solely to this Background Guide. This document should serve as a
launching pad for all your research; it is pertinent to mention that the utility you derive
from the MUN experience directly correlates with the amount of effort you put in to your
The MUN Spirit asks each delegate to step into the shoes of those from entirely different
cultures to yours, to gain a better understanding across borders, and this starts with your
research. As you prepare for the conference, carefully read this guide and use the
additional resources that your Chair may have recommended, to learn more about the
Furthermore it is strongly suggested that you go over the Rules of Procedure, the Research
and Preparation guide as well as other documents on our website. Lastly, feel free to e-mail
your Chairperson at any point during the preparation process if you have questions or
would like assistance.
Hamza Rafay Butt
Secretary General, BUMUNC’12
Letter from the Dais
We expect your arrival for the first session of the Counter-Terrorism Committee at BUMUN’
12 with immense anticipation. We have been on the “MUN circuit” for years and have
organized, chaired and participated in more than a dozen MUNs across Pakistan. Hence,
we were very excited at having the opportunity to be a committee director at the inaugural
MUN of Bahria University. And although it is the first, we can guarantee, that you all will
have the time of your lives. The organizing team has worked very hard and I would also
like to commend their efforts in providing us all with this platform.
CTC has traditionally been the most exciting and dynamic committee in MUNs. The issues
discussed here are hot and fiery and bring out the best debating skills in the delegates. And
what ensues is a fast paced battle of arguments and logic, so much so, the Committee
Directors are kept on the edge of their seats. That is the kind of dynamic debate we are
hoping to conduct at BUMUN’12. For that, the first and primary pre-requisite is, without a
doubt, research. So, we are hoping that all the delegates are well-versed in the issues being
discussed and make the most of their knowledge in the sessions.
As far as the sessions are concerned, we assure you we will have our fair share of fun
interspersed with the heated fallouts during the sessions. And we’ll all get the opportunity
to get our hair down at the social events. For those delegates who are thinking of coming
just to win and have no intention of joining in the festivities, we will ask them to
enjoy the event as a whole, for a change, and not just focus on getting a shield at the end.
For, while the awards are given to honor the best, MUNs are not meant to add to your
resume, but to give you a life experience beyond that which you get in your day-to-day
routine. In CTC we’ll all be making the most of our opportunity. We hope you all find it
worth your while.
Ahmed Salman Khan & Syed Akbar Mahmood Zaidi
Introduction to the Committee
Composition: Each committee is officially comprised of fifteen member states (identical to
the members of the Security Council), with the five permanent members being: China,
France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States. The remaining ten
states all operate on a two year term. Each country has one vote, and the veto power does
not apply to either the CTC or the 1540 Committee.
Responsibilities: Because transnational terrorism is such a broad problem, UN has
established several committees that each deal with a particular area of terrorism. One of
these committees is the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC). This committee was
established by UNSC/R 1373, the Security Council resolution passed in response to the
September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States of America. Part of the CTC’s
responsibility involves monitoring state adherence to UNSC/R 1624, which stipulates that
states must incorporate international human rights law into their counter-terrorism
efforts. The CTC reports to the UNSC on whether nation states are adhering to this
Resolution, identifies gaps, and recommends how to balance civil liberties with national
security. The 1540 Committee, conversely, was established by the Security as part of
UNSCR/1540, a resolution that legally obligates all states to prevent nuclear weapons from
falling into the hands of terrorist organizations. This committee reports to the Security
Council on adherence to this resolution, identifies gaps, and recommends solutions to the
problem of nuclear terrorism. The 1540 Committee and the CTC, thus, are responsible for
different areas of terrorism: whereas the former deals with counter nuclear terrorism, the
latter is responsible for, among other things, human rights and terrorism. Therefore, which
committee you simulate depends on which topic the committee decides to discuss.
Powers: These committees do not have the ability to enforce resolutions. They report to
the UNSC on adherence to the particular issue they have been charged to oversee, identify
gaps, and make recommendations to the UNSC on how to fully implement the resolutions.
TOPIC AREA: The future of the War on
Terror and role of the CTC
War On Terror
It was with disbelief and shock that people around the world saw footage of the terrorist
attacks in the US on on September 11, 2001 when the planes-turned-missiles slammed into
the World Trade Center towers and damaged the Pentagon.
This ultimately resulted in the US declaring and waging a war on “terror”. Osama Bin Laden
was eventually tracked down and killed some 10 years later. But the way the war on terror
has been conducted has led to many voicing concerns about the impact on civil liberties,
the cost of the additional security focused changes, the implications of the invasions and
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and more.
10 YEARS SINCE THE 9/11 ATTACKS
It is now over a decade since the terrorist attacks in the US, simply dubbed “9-11” shocked
the world, and ushered in a global “war on terror”.
And looking back, what has the US to show for its decade of effort? Has it been winning the
war on terror? It depends how it is measured. The killing of Osama Bin Laden was of course
a major success. But the cost of vengeance (instead of justice) has also been high:
A further turn towards hatred and a rise in those who think most Muslims are
terrorists, that Islam is a threat to the world, etc.
Wars that have seen far more than the 3,500 deaths that the US saw, and a self-
fulfilling prophecy; creating more anger and resentment against the US, more
potential terrorists, and the complete opposite of what the neo-cons wanted; global
downturn and US decline instead consolidating their power and position in the world.
Over 6,000 US soldiers killed in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Possibly 100 times that
number of civilians in those countries (in Iraq, at an early point, there was an
estimated range of 400,000 to 900,000 civilian deaths, which of course Bush had to
reject, claiming it used flawed techniques, even though it used estimation techniques
his own government agencies taught others to use).
Bush’s focus on Iraq (under the clearly false and fear-mongering excuses of weapons of
mass destruction and links to terrorism), instead of tackling terrorism, was “perhaps the
single-most disastrous foreign policy decision by a U.S. president in the past decade, if not
the past century.” This is because it allowed the Taliban to regroup in Afghanistan leading
to more expensive military operations and strengthening Al Qaeda’s resolve further.
Meanwhile, various US actions in Iraq and elsewhere damaged its reputation around the
For many years even before 9-11, neoconservatives had called for the US to consolidate its
position in the world as the sole superpower and dominate further. 9-11 appeared to give
them an excuse to push these ideas further and their ideology permeated throughout top-
level thinking of the Bush Administration.
By framing this as a war on “terror” (which, as a concept can almost never end), an excuse
is now afforded to all governments to put in place tough security measured on any
potentially flimsy basis. And the predicted “war” on civil liberties and human rights has
unfortunately proven true as human rights organizations around the world feared from the
start of the war on terror (as discussed further below).
If the US public mood at the time was understandably full of anger and vengeance as well as
shock and disbelief, it also reflects badly on US society that voices for more measured and
appropriately calculated responses could be drowned out; an individual acting in a
regrettable way due to a moment of anger is very different than an entire state apparatus
(that should have time to think things through more thoroughly) doing that.
Maybe it could be argued that with hindsight it is easy to make these criticisms.
Unfortunately, however, these concerns were there from the start, and re-iterated many
times by many people and organizations during the past decade.
But not all have wanted vengeance. Many families of the victims of the 9-11 atrocity have
campaigned for a more peaceful approach to combating terrorism, for example.
Accompanying this has been media propaganda, media manipulation, sensationalism,
sound-bite journalism and all the various other problems that have minimized coverage of
deeper issues and understanding while allowing various claims to go almost unchallenged.
The subsequent bombing of Afghanistan to attack Osama Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda terrorist
network and the Taliban for harboring them has also led to some 3,500 civilian deaths,
according to an independent study released at the beginning of December 2001.
The ghastly terrorist attacks led to a mixture of political, social and economic reaction
around the world.
Hatred and anti-Islam sentiment, (without distinguishing the despotic militants from
ordinary Muslims) increased, even though most of the Muslim communities around the
world condemned this act.
While visible efforts were seen by politicians to try to separate terrorists from Muslims in
general, it has not been easy. On the one hand, after years of economic and geopolitical
history, there are some aspects of distrust, while on the other hand, extremists in the
Muslim and Christian communities are adding to the antagonisms. For example, during the
height of the shock and anger to the September 11 attacks, extremist tendencies in the
West resulted in beatings and even killings of Muslims. Even non-Muslims that just
happened to have long beards or in some way resembled Taliban/Al Qaeda members were
targeted. Others saw this as “proof” that Islam is inherently violent or that it is the primary
threat to the rest of the world, etc. On the Muslim side, there have also been equally
extreme reactions, from support of these terrorist acts to even being convinced that this
was some sort of Zionist conspiracy to blame Muslims! In both cases these seem to be a
minority of people with such extreme views but of course the concern is always that it will
increase over time.
There was no question that there was going to be some sort of retaliation and response
from the United States. One could not have expected them seriously to refrain from
wanting to take revenge. Yet the fear was in what form this revenge would be and how it
would be carried out as well as what the impact on ordinary Afghans would be, who have
already suffered at the hands of the Taliban and outside forces for years.
In addition, some eight months after the attacks it was revealed in the mainstream press
around the world that the CIA had warned George Bush of the threats weeks before
September 11. This caused an uproar in many places, including the United States Congress,
where members demanded more information to understand if all those deaths could have
In May 2003, Amnesty International charged, “The ‘war on terror’, far from making the
world a safer place, has made it more dangerous by curtailing human rights, undermining
the rule of international law and shielding governments from scrutiny. It has deepened
divisions among people of different faiths and origins, sowing the seeds for more conflict.
The overwhelming impact of all this is genuine fear—among the affluent as well as the
VIOLENCE LEADS TO MORE VIOLENCE
With all the vivid imagery, we can only now begin to imagine how other people and societies
around the world have suffered in other situations. With often worse results, albeit not so
sudden and shocking, entire cities/regions have been leveled and/or enormous amount of life
has been lost in places like Kosovo, Iraq, Democratic Republic of Congo, East Timor,
Hiroshima/Nagasaki, all over Europe during the World Wars, and too many other places to be
able to list here.
With the US-led bombing campaign on Afghanistan, there has always been more and more
concern about civilians being caught in the middle. Indeed, by early December 2001, some
3,500 Afghan civilians were believed to have been killed by U.S. bombing. Furthermore,
many aid agencies criticized the food drops for not delivering much actual aid and being a
token gesture, rather than an effective one.
Perhaps one of the biggest fears, voiced before the retaliation started, is that retaliated
violence could result in more retaliated violence and we risk tit-for-tat violence that looks
hard to get out of. In all this, civilians on all sides will always be affected. We only need
remind ourselves of that shuddering speech by Osama Bin Laden on his threats of
retaliation against civilians and of various “hawkish” politicians in the West asking for the
equivalent of no mercy.
“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing
it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it… Through violence you may
murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate….
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night
already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate
cannot drive out hate; Only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King Jr.
Yet, how does one get out of this vicious circle? Of course it is not easy, and even a lot of the
“peace movement” struggle on this answer, but perhaps if more voice was given in the
media to these broader views, then alternative thoughts could be considered. True, more
on peace-related alternatives are discussed in TV forums and debates, but when it comes to
the actual reporting and one-on-one discussion and analysis, the context is limited to the
current actions and options. The discussions are therefore within those confines, mostly.
October 27, 2004, the BBC aired one of its documentaries in the Fear series. This episode was
titled The Power of Nightmares.
In this program, the BBC detailed how before the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001,
Bin Laden’s movement was a failing movement, that had not succeeded in arousing the
masses in the Middle East against what it saw as corruption coming from the West. The
only place they could go where masses had not turned away from their gruesome and
violent means was Afghanistan. In 1996/1997 they announced a jihad on America itself
which, they believed, was the source of this corruption.
At the same time, the BBC noted, the neo-conservatives in the U.S. were also failing to get
their message through to the American people that their country had become corrupted by
liberal politics. After failing to fully undermine Clinton in a few scandals, the Monica
Lewinksy affair became a major opportunity. They gained power in 2000.
September 11, the BBC noted, became the opportunity for the neo-cons to create a new
enemy to replace the now defunct Soviet Union. In effect then, they made out Bin Laden’s
failing movement to be a serious revolutionary organization. Ironically, the BBC also
pointed out, this was the same image Bin Laden seemed to dream of aspiring to.
Fear, used by Islamic extremists on Muslim people throughout the Middle East, could once
again be used, as the BBC ended. This time it would be used by the neo-conservatives upon
American citizens in order to gather support for what used to be considered an extremist
ideology, even by many conservatives. All this would now fall under the banner of a war on
Yet, a cycle of violence is what should also be feared. Fear may be used to rally support for
more extreme measures both upon citizens of America, and upon people of other countries.
Yet, using fear in such a way may fuel harsh reactions, leading to further harsh retaliations,
and so on. Once again ordinary citizens may suffer the most.
Sept. 11, 2001: Hijacked airliners crash into both towers of the World Trade Center in
New York City and the Pentagon outside Washington. A fourth hijacked plane, meant to fly
into the White House, instead crashes in a Pennsylvania field. According to the 9/11
Commission’s report, deaths totaled more than 2,600 at the World Trade Center, 125 at the
Pentagon and 256 in the four planes.
Sept. 13, 2001: President George W. Bush says apprehending bin Laden is his top goal.
“The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden,” he says. “It is our No. 1
priority and we will not rest until we find him.”
Oct. 7, 2001: The war in Afghanistan begins. Shortly after the first U.S. missiles hit Kabul,
television news channels air footage of bin Laden that was clearly pre-recorded. Dressed in
combat fatigues, he says: “I say these events have split the whole world into two camps: the
camp of the faithful and the camp of the infidels. Every Muslim should support his religion.”
November 2001: U.S. soldiers start distributing leaflets in Afghanistan offering a $25
million reward for bin Laden. The bounty is later raised to $27 million with donations from
the Airline Pilots Association and the Air Transport Association.
December 2001: The Battle at Tora Bora rages in Afghanistan. Before escaping U.S.
capture, bin Laden signs a last will and testament on Dec. 14, 2001.
Dec. 13, 2001: The Pentagon releases a video it claims shows bin Laden discussing the
Sept. 11 attacks with guests at an al-Qaida dinner at a house in Kandahar, Afghanistan. In
the tape, he says the attack surpassed his expectations.
Dec. 26, 2001: In a tape filmed to mark three months since Sept. 11, a tired-looking and
gaunt bin Laden appears to take credit for the attacks. The background is a brown blanket
used to hide any clues that could disclose his location.
Oct. 12, 2002: More than 200 people, citizens of 21 countries, are killed in a terrorist
bombing on the resort island of Bali. The blast is attributed to Jemaah Islamiah, a pan-
Asian network of Muslim extremists with ties to al-Qaida.
Oct. 23, 2002: About 50 armed Chechen militants seize a theater in Moscow where more
than 800 people are gathered for a performance. More than 120 hostages die when security
services gas the building.
Nov. 12, 2002: Al-Jazeera broadcasts an audiotape purported to be by bin Laden in which
he praises terrorist attacks on Bali, in Moscow and against a French tanker off the coast of
Yemen. He links Australia’s role in East Timor to the attack in Bali. Doubts later emerge
about the tape’s authenticity.
Feb. 11, 2003: Al-Jazeera broadcasts an audiotape of bin Laden calling on Iraqis to carry
out suicide attacks against U.S. forces. Washington calls it evidence of an alliance between
al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein.
March 20, 2003: The U.S. invades Iraq.
Sept. 10, 2003: Al-Jazeera airs a videotape that appears to show a gaunt bin Laden
walking with his second-in-command, Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahiri, through mountainous
terrain. The two men refer to the second anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Dec. 13, 2003: Saddam Hussein is captured. He is brought to trial under the Iraqi interim
government. On Nov. 5 2006, he is convicted of charges related to the 1982 killing of 148
Iraqi Shi’ites and was sentenced to death by hanging. Saddam is executed on Dec. 30, 2006.
March 11, 2004: Ten bombs go off almost simultaneously in trains carrying commuters
into Madrid. The attacks kill 190 people and wound about 2,000.
April 15, 2004: In a purported tape of bin Laden, the speaker offers a truce to European
nations that decide not to “interfere” in Muslim nations but rules out any such deal for the
May 7, 2004: A recorded message attributed to bin Laden offers 10 kg of gold to anyone
who kills the U.S. administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, or U.N. Secretary-General Kofi
Oct. 29, 2004: A videotape surfaces days before the U.S. presidential election in which bin
Laden admits responsibility for Sept. 11 and threatens new attacks on the U.S.
July 7, 2005: Four explosions strike London’s public transportation system, killing more
than 35 people and wounding at least 700.
Jan. 19, 2006: After more than a year of silence from bin Laden, a tape purportedly
recorded by the al-Qaida leader warns that a new wave of terror attacks are in preparation.
It also offers a truce to the U.S. if it withdraws from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Feb. 20, 2006: A new, more complete version of the Jan. 19 tape appears on a militant
website in Egypt. In it, bin Laden vows never to be captured alive.
May 24, 2006: A message purported to be from bin Laden claims that Zacarias
Moussaoui, the only man convicted in the U.S. in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks, had
nothing to do with the plot. Moussaoui was sentenced to six consecutive life terms for not
telling the FBI about the plot.
June 30, 2006: An audiotape purported to be from bin Laden eulogizes Abu Musab al-
Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, who was killed in a U.S. airstrike on June 7.
January 2010: An audiotape allegedly from bin Laden claims responsibility for an attempt
to blow up a plane en route to Michigan on Christmas Day 2009, and it warns the U.S. of
May 1, 2011: bin Laden is killed in a U.S. raid on his compound in Pakistan.
NATO after 9/11: a US perspective
For a truly modern approach to bringing NATO up to speed on 21st century security
threats, the Alliance needs smart spending, more commitment and clearer planning.
In the post-9/11 decade, NATO nations must redress declining defence spending trends
and decide once and for all if the transatlantic defence relationship is worth maintaining.
The precedent demonstrated most recently by Operation Unified Protector is not
The US policy of “leading from behind” in Libya while providing essential capabilities will
never prevail if the European NATO allies remain unprepared to raise defence budgets.
Allies must also work collectively to address fundamental questions facing the Alliance
about the use of force against new and emerging threats to Alliance security.
And NATO’s need for more systematic planning on irregular and asymmetric threats from
non-state actors may not have been emphasised enough in its new Strategic Concept. This
deserves new thinking in Article 5 (an attack on one is an attack on all) planning as well.
Look at lone-wolf terrorists, space and cyber threats, energy security, weapons of mass
destruction and their pursual by terrorist organisations
Even as the NATO’s last Summit in Lisbon reaffirmed NATO’s Article 5 defence as a core
mission, debate continues about what this means in a 21st century landscape. Security
challenges now range from state actors and non-state armed groups employing high
technology weapons in asymmetrical ways to low-technology weapons which induce terror
and produce heavy civilian casualties. Most of these depart significantly from Alliance (and
Western) concepts of war, which have evolved to focus on minimising casualties, avoiding
civilian losses, and terminating operations as soon as feasible.
And it’s not just these threats. Look at lone-wolf terrorists, space and cyber threats, energy
security, weapons of mass destruction and their pursual by terrorist organisations. These
all raise questions about the meaning of Article 5 in today’s world, and how it should be
However, I believe that NATO's discussion of Article 5 especially in the run-up to the new
Strategic Concept end 2010, was characterised by a false debate over territorial defence
and expeditionary capabilities. As many Allies point out, the defense of NATO territory
(especially along the flanks) requires expeditionary forces. Therefore, the transformation
of NATO to embrace greater mobility, precision, and interoperability can only enhance—
not detract from—NATO’s territorial defence missions.
The basic question for Alliance planners is if NATO planning, as it moves forward, is
adequately taking into account the possibility that non-state actors might be empowered
by state actors to attack NATO.
This raises a dilemma because some member nations remain more interested in territorial
defence planning along more traditional lines, especially Russian-related contingencies.
Other Allies are more willing to entertain new, sometimes unconventional, ideas about
force posture, based on a diversity of “threat” perceptions and national interests.
Moreover, while territorial defence remains central to security planning, today’s emerging
security challenges are increasingly at odds with that notion because borders are more
porous and irrelevant to ballistic missiles or to cyber threats. Just how to defend against
these types of threats in an era of constrained resources (and lower defence spending) is
the central question for the Alliance at a time in which there is not always consensus on
future threats (Iran), needed capabilities (missile defense), and on the use of force itself
Thus, while contingency planning for any one of a number of contingencies involving
Russia remains an important aspect of Allied Command Operations (ACO) planning, it is
not the principal Article 5 challenge that NATO must address. Iran’s potential emergence as
a nuclear weapons state, with a ballistic missile capacity to target Europe, must also be
singled out, in keeping with the core Article 5 missions of defence and deterrence.
However, in today’s world, territorial defense must embrace critical infrastructure
protection, consequence management, planning to thwart an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP)
attack, aspects of energy security and cyber operations.
Obviously, not all cyber attacks can or should be regarded as an Article 5 emergency. The
question, then, emerges about when and how a cyber attack, or an attack on energy
infrastructure might be related to a state-sponsored contingency, in which defence of
NATO assets emerges as a full-blown Article 5-type challenge.
What is worrying in this regard is the potential nexus between state-sponsored attacks
against NATO and non-state armed groups that might be tasked to carry out such an attack.
This could be either to confuse about the origins of an attack, or to complicate NATO
deliberations about responding to such an attack. Iran’s reliance on Hezbollah is a case in
point, although there is no NATO consensus yet on the threat or challenge that Iran may
pose to Alliance interests.
In the cyber arena, there is also the possibility of non-state actor attacks, sponsored by a
nation-state, as seems to be the case with recent probes into US and NATO security
The question for the Alliance will be to what extent these types of attacks risk harming
security interests. Even assuming that attributing their origin can be done, how should they
be dealt with in an era when NATO nations cannot always agree on the use of force, much
less on preventive action?
During deliberations on the NATO’s new Strategic Concept, the issue of a terrorist
detonation of an improvised nuclear device (IND) in a European city was raised. Preventive
action would be an important aspect of contingency planning for this kind of scenario. But
it was difficult to get agreement on implementation of any type of preventive action, much
less on the use of force to go after the perpetrators, if attribution was established. The
problem is that preventive action depends on “exquisite” intelligence, and NATO relies on
its member-states for all-source intelligence capabilities.
As the new Strategic Concept suggests, a “comprehensive approach” in which non-military
capabilities, non-governmental and international organisations and international
partnerships with non-NATO nations might be needed to execute future NATO missions.
This implies a new way of operating in the Alliance. For some Allies, such as France, it also
means breaking the orthodoxy that NATO should not be involved with civil agencies and in
non-military functions (police training, for example).
NATO does already have a civil emergency planning capability, and one of the areas for
future growth is likely to be NATO’s Senior Civil Emergency Planning Committee (SCEPC).
There may, for example, be the emergence of new mission taskings in the areas of forensics,
biometrics, and in consequence management of a WMD event.
An additional critical aspect of preventive planning is the need to have access to high
quality intelligence about potential adversaries, their capabilities, and their relationships
on the ground with other groups, governments, and interested parties. The need to refine
and maximise the role of special operations forces (SOF) in NATO planning is a critical
This is especially so if NATO is seeking to operate in areas in which its understanding of
trends, capabilities, and relationships is less than substantial. NATO has already begun to
do this by creating an all-source intelligence network with the capacity to support
operations in theatre as well as to provide crucial planning information for crisis
Global and non-traditional partner relationships are also essential to Alliance efforts to
realise a comprehensive strategy. This could be where NATO forces support a non-military
lead-agency or an international partner such as the United Nations, in a crisis contingency.
Already, ISAF in Afghanistan is operating with a broader community of coalition partners,
including, for example, Australia and New Zealand. This is a phenomenon that is only likely
to increase in the years ahead, with globalisation and the nature of comprehensive
planning. Indeed, as NATO’s 2010 Strategic Concept made clear, NATO is a regional Alliance
with global reach.
Today in Libya too, NATO forces are operating with non-NATO partners, notably from
Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Both of these Arab states played significant
roles in training the Libyan opposition forces, validating the “train the trainer” concept that
is central to NATO special forces’ planning. As we go forward, this construct - together with
the need for enhancing interoperability with non-NATO partners - will become more
urgent. Especially if NATO chooses to operate in other theatres where success or failure
depends on proxy operations and/or partner collaboration.
At present, NATO has implemented only one anti-terror operation (Active Endeavour or
OAE), which is focused on maritime interdiction in the Mediterranean Sea. Limited to focus
on terrorist or WMD intercepts, Active Endeavour was never meant to be a template for
future NATO anti-terrorism planning. Some NATO strategists have suggested the need to
broaden OAE into a larger, maritime security tasking, harking back to the days when sea
lines of communication security was identified as a mainstay of Alliance planning.
In this respect, on the basis of the new Alliance Maritime Strategy from March 2011, there
is new thinking in Alliance planning circles about a more comprehensive maritime security
approach for NATO. This could see an explicit division of labor with the European Union
(EU) over roles and missions, provided that the EU can really develop the credible security
and defence identity its members have professed to be their objective.
However, the perceived failure of the EU to act with respect to Libya, and the fact that only
a handful of European NATO nations participated at sharp end of Operation Unified
Protector, diminishes the probability of this happening in an era of declining defence
resources. Therefore, NATO appears to be the most credible framework for collective
action and to address European security concerns as we move into the future. This, or
course, assumes that the United States and its European partners remain engaged and
willing to expend the resources necessary to meet emerging needs.
As NATO considers a new capabilities initiative to be unveiled at the 2012 Chicago Summit,
Alliance leaders should be considering new ways to get access to essential enablers, which
are often owned and protected by individual nations and their service leaderships.
One idea is to identify assets that might be tapped for operations and then to get interested
nations to pool these resources for Alliance purposes. This is the essence of what Secretary
General Rasmussen has termed a “smart defence” approach—that is, defence savings
realised from new collaborative approaches. This requires a broader understanding that,
notwithstanding individual national requirements, Alliance members are partners striving
to achieve common objectives.
For many NATO nations, this promises to be a difficult exercise. It will require even further
fundamental changes in how their militaries do business. However, out of necessity, and
due to the financial crisis, defence planners may have no option but to revisit old
constructs, such as forces’ rationalisation and pooling, and devise new ideas for operational
planning, if they wish to maintain force structure and needed capabilities.
Indeed, Britain and France are exploring options to do just that, while other allies, the
Dutch and the Belgians, for example, have been collaborating for years. By doing so, they
maintain crucial capabilities in areas where neither nation wanted to lose operational
capability. So identifying crucial capabilities for future Alliance planning is a key task if
NATO nations are serious about maintaining NATO’s relevance.
As shown by NATO operations in Afghanistan and over Libya, stabilisation and counter-
insurgency planning are based on different skill-sets and rules of engagement (for the use
of force) than those essential to protect NATO populations and territories. NATO forces
have had a steep learning-curve in this regard, which Afghanistan has served to promote.
But the question for future NATO planners is whether the Alliance will again be engaged in
such ambitious operations outside NATO borders anytime soon. As the Alliance
deliberations over Libya demonstrated, there is little political appetite for doing so, much
less the capabilities to support the post-conflict phase of stabilisation operations, which
might very well entail nation-building competencies.
However, other challenges looming on the horizon may require NATO involvement, even if
not all of the NATO Allies are willing to participate. Clearly, demonstrating an ability to do
so may well be important if the Alliance is to remain relevant to new era challenges and
threats. This will be especially so to a sceptical US Congress and others who remain
frustrated by cumbersome Alliance processes that sometimes stand in the way of NATO’s
ability to maximise the benefits of collective action and cooperation.
We need to be very cautious in assuming that the death of Osama Bin Laden will now
Al Qa’ida and other Islamist extremist networks, or that we can predict the political and
Hopefully, it is a success that will add to the impact of years of other successful attacks on
Al Qa’ida, resulting in a sharp reduction of the organization’s capabilities. Those who
support extremism will see Bin Laden’s death as a form of martyrdom and an incentive to
redouble their efforts and follow in his path.
As President Obama’s statement following Bin Laden’s death makes clear, however, it has
been nearly ten years. Al Qa’ida has had a long time in which to find alternative leaders,
create resilient and dispersed cells and redundant networks, and find alternative locations
What might have been a decisive blow in 2001 or 2002 may have far less effect today.
It also seems all too likely that many – if not most -- extremists will still see Bin Laden as
having had great success simply because he could continue to challenge the US for nearly
ten years after 9/11. It seems all too likely that many will see his death as a form of
martyrdom that is more an example to follow than a deterrent to future action.
Extremists and terrorists are likely to admire in the fact that Osama is reported to have
died fighting, and that the US had to destroy one of the helicopters used in the raid. They
will take the same comfort if reports are correct that two Bin Laden couriers, and one of
Laden's sons, were also killed in fighting the SEALs. They will try to exploit the fact that a
woman seems to have died – even though she is reported to have been used as a human
shield by one of Bin Laden’s fighters. They will exploit the fact that other women and
children were present in the compound.
We don’t know just how many extremists will take such stands, but we do know that the
success of any blow in the war against terrorism depends on its impact on current and
potential terrorists – not the relief the vast majority of the world and of Muslims will feel at
We need to face the fact that all of the social, political and religious forces that triggered the
terrorist and extremist threat are still in place. Moreover, they have been reinforced in
extremist eyes by the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, by the political upheavals in the
East and other Muslim states, and by anger at both local regimes and the US and other
Western states for what all too many in the region perceive as attacks on Arabs and Islam.
It is very unlikely that Bin Laden’s death, or even the destruction of Al Qa’ida, can end or
seriously undercut the broader threat from extremism and terrorism.
There is also a serious risk that those in Pakistan that oppose all US action in Pakistan and
against the Taliban will react with a new wave of hostility to the fact that the US conducted
the attack and did so on Pakistani soil.
The reality is, however, that these words can only reach moderates, not the minority of
extremists and certainly not the even smaller minority of terrorists and would be martyrs.
We still need to be very careful about what Bin Laden’s death will mean for relations with
Pakistan and for the war in Afghanistan. No words from the US will be enough for those in
Pakistan who already see every US action as a threat. The circumstances of Bin Laden’s
death also make it clear that the US still has serious problems in getting support from
Pakistan, and are yet another reflection of tensions between the US and Pakistan over the
failures of the ISI and Pakistani military to act on their own.
Bin Laden’s death will also raise new questions about whether the Afghan war can really
put an end to Al Qa’ida and other terrorist sanctuaries, and lead some of those who oppose
the war to state that the US and its allies should now withdraw. At least one senior member
Muslim Brotherhood has already called for US withdrawal, and less biased voices are now
likely to ask whether the Afghan War is really the most effective way of defeating a mix of
terrorist groups and threats that is nearly global in scope. It will take weeks – and possibly
months – before we can understand just how much we have gained in strategic terms in the
war in Afghanistan and our deeply troubled relations with Pakistan. It will take at least that
long to determine how successful Al Qa’ida will be in finding some form of revenge and in
conducting dramatic attacks to show it is still a threat and still powerful. Moreover, Al
Qa’ida affiliates throughout the world will seek to act as well, and this might trigger a new
wave of attacks from groups like the Taliban and Haqqani network in Afghanistan and
The UN Approach to Counter- Terrorism and Evolving Strategies
The approach upheld by a cross section of countries and also by the United Nations General
Assembly is that counter-terrorism efforts need to be comprehensive, for the causes of
terrorism are deep seated and multifarious. Poverty, political, social and economic
deprivation, denial or delay in exercise of right to self-determination, and foreign
occupation lie at the root of terrorism.
Moreover, terrorism could emerge as a resistive response to the process of economic
modernization or social change. Critics caution against this ‘root causes’ approach that
painting terrorists as ‘passive actors’ prompted by the social, economic and social
surroundings could make them ‘apologists’ for terrorist acts. The critics are unconvinced
that there is a direct relationship between poverty and terrorism. Rosand points out
approvingly that much of the ‘empirical scholarship on terrorism provides little indication
of correlation between socioeconomic factors such as poverty, inequality, and
unemployment and the incidence of terrorism’. Nevertheless, just as contemporary
terrorism has to be seen as not one single threat but rather many threats, counterterrorism
has tended to be pursued not through rigid adherence to one approach but a mature mix of
all the three approaches.
A study of the patterns of the United Nations engagement in
counterterrorism would attest to this hypothesis.
As an instrument of promoting international cooperation, the value of the United Nations
can be potentially unique. Notwithstanding the fact that terrorism constitutes a serious
threat to the core values of the UN, critics write that the response of the world organization
to terrorism has been “tentative, halting, even ambivalent”.
Two explanatory factors are cited. First, doubts about the capacity of the United Nations to
rise up to the challenge alongside – ironically enough – a realization that no viable
multilateral alternative exists for dealing with terrorism. Secondly, lack of common
agreement on the legality and legitimacy of counter-terrorist measures carried out
unilaterally or in groups without the backing of the UN bodies.
The attacks against the United States in September 2001 pushed the United Nations to
begin working on a suitable and agreeable strategy on counterterrorism. As a first step, the
General had set up in October 2001 a policy working group which in its report cautioned
against ‘offering, or being perceived to be offering, a blanket endorsement of the measures
taken in the name of counter-terrorism’ and that UN efforts to ‘reduce terrorism must not
be at the expense of its core responsibilities’ like development.
The Group very wisely acknowledged the operational inability of the UN to pre-empt
specific terrorist strikes or to develop dedicated intelligence capacities, and highlighted the
potential of a three-pronged strategy centered round the areas of the world body’s
Accordingly the UN could work to dissuade the disaffected groups from pursuing terrorism
for redress of grievance if any; deny groups and individuals the means to carry out acts of
terrorism; and sustain broad-based international cooperation in the struggle against
In sum, dissuasion, denial and cooperation became the principal reference points in the UN
approach. Taking the UN closer to the ‘root causes’ perspective, the High Level Panel on
Threats, Challenges and Change pointed out in December 2004 that terrorism ‘flourishes in
environments of despair, humiliation, poverty, political oppression, extremism and human
rights abuse; … regional conflict and foreign occupation’.
It underscored the ‘crucial need’ to develop a ‘global strategy of fighting terrorism’
embodying an approach broader than coercive means. The call for a broad counter-
terrorism approach may be interpreted as advocacy of engaging multiple structures in the
problem area. The plurality of political and functional organs and their complementary
concerns in the UN were such that counter-terrorism could not be a responsibility of one
organ alone (as the Security
Council appeared to be since September 2001 attacks).
Indeed, the General Assembly and other organs of the UN as also many UN-related
organizations like specialized agencies launched initiatives linked to the evolving contours
of counterterrorism as a long term task, much before the Security Council emerged as the
dominant player on the scene.
In a major development, the General Assembly adopted without a dissenting vote a
declaration in 1994 categorically condemning terrorism in all its manifestations committed
anywhere, by whosoever and for whatever purpose. Furthermore, efforts are on in an Ad
Hoc Committee to reach an agreement on the text of the comprehensive convention on
international terrorism. In the past decade, the Assembly produced three important legal
instruments on terrorism, viz. the International Convention for the Suppression of
Terrorist Bombings (1997), the
International Convention for the Suppression of Financing of Terrorism (1999), and the
International Convention for the Suppression of Nuclear Terrorism 7 A more secure world:
Our shared responsibilities: Report of the High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and
Change in Doc.A/59/565, 2 December 2004, annex,pp.45-46. (2005). Besides, since 1963,
10 international conventions and protocols were brought into force by the International
Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) primarily in the areas of security of air traffic
as well as maritime navigation and also safety of nuclear material.
The Assembly appears to be reclaiming leading role which it lost to the Security Council in
the aftermath of the end of the cold war in matters relating to terrorism. The 2005 World
Summit may be referred to as a landmark in this process.
At the instance of that UN-60 summit, the Secretary- General presented a detailed set of
proposals for strengthening the capacity of the United Nations system to counter terrorism,
built around four strategies: Dissuading groups from joining or supporting terrorists;
denying terrorists the means to carry out attacks; deterring states from supporting
terrorism; developing state capacity to defeat terrorism through international cooperation
as building blocks for a global counter- terrorism strategy. Based on these inputs, the
General Assembly adopted a global strategy to counter terrorism. Criticism
notwithstanding, the strategy´s significance lies in the fact that it has established for the
first time a truly global counterterrorism framework.
Strategies to Counter Terrorism
Resolution 1373 (2001), adopted unanimously on 28 September 2001, calls upon Member
States to implement a number of measures intended to enhance their legal and institutional
ability to counter terrorist activities, including taking steps to:
• Criminalize the financing of terrorism
• Freeze without delay any funds related to persons involved in acts of terrorism
• Deny all forms of financial support for terrorist groups
• Suppress the provision of safe haven, sustenance or support for terrorists
• Share information with other governments on any groups practicing or planning terrorist
• Cooperate with other governments in the investigation, detection, arrest, extradition and
prosecution of those involved in such acts; and
• Criminalize active and passive assistance for terrorism in domestic law and bring
violators to justice.
The resolution also calls on States to become parties, as soon as possible, to the relevant
international counter-terrorism legal instruments.
Resolution 1624 (2005) pertains to incitement to commit acts of terrorism, calling on UN
Member States to prohibit it by law, prevent such conduct and deny safe haven to anyone
"with respect to whom there is credible and relevant information giving serious reasons for
considering that they have been guilty of such conduct."
Financial Aspect of Terrorism
Financial and material resources are correctly perceived as the lifeblood of terrorist
operations, and the international community has determined that fighting the financial
infrastructure of terrorist organizations is the key to their defeat. Since the attacks of
September 11, 2001, a great deal has been learned about sources and mechanisms used to
finance terrorism, which is mostly religiously motivated and exponentially more deadly
than previous generations of terrorist organizations. Terrorist groups have been tapping
into a wide range of sources for their financial support, including otherwise legitimate
enterprises, such as construction companies, banks, agricultural commodities growers and
brokers, and other trade businesses.
New policies have been devised to combat the threat and existing policies have been
enacted with greater vigor than ever before. Countering terrorist financing is a difficult
endeavor at best, but one that can and does play a critical role in keeping the world safe.
The UNSC actually became actively involved in the global effort against Al-Qaeda nearly
two years before the attack of 9/11. After the passage of UNSCR 1267, The International
Convention for the
Suppression of Financing of Terrorism was adopted by the UN General Assembly in
December 1999.This Convention obliges its states parties to take appropriate measures for
the identification, detection, freezing, or seizure of any terrorist-related funds as well as
proceeds derived from the offenses stated in Article 2. It also creates the offense of
providing or collecting of funds that are to be used to carry out any terrorist act. However,
the Convention has no any international enforcement mechanisms attached to it and
applies only to its states parties.
Since the 9/11 attacks, the world has taken up the task of dismantling of financial
infrastructure of terrorist organizations vigorously. The United States and its allies have
arrested about 2,290- suspected terrorists and terrorist financiers in 99 countries,
designated about 250 individuals and organizations as terrorists or terrorist supporters,
and seized more than $113 million in assets.
Even from September 12, 2001 through October 28, 2002. International law enforcement
cooperation had resulted in approximately 2290 arrests of suspected terrorists and their
financiers in 99 countries. The U.S. government has frozen over U.S. $140 million in
terrorist related assets since September 11, 2001, and the international community has
frozen about 1400 bank accounts.
These efforts have also included multilateral initiatives through this Committee (CTC), the
International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the Financial Action Task Force
(FATF)- a twenty-nine-member intergovernmental organization established by the G-7 in
1989 to set international anti-money laundering standards. Within the UN, implementation
efforts associated with Security Council Resolutions 1373 and 1377 are helpfully focused
on measures intended to assure the technical ability of member states to comply with their
international obligations relating to the suppression of terrorist financing.
Resolution 1373, adopted under charter vii of the UN charter imposes binding obligations
on states to prevent and suppress financing of terrorist acts. This resolution, legislative in
nature, also resulted in the establishment of the CTC, to monitor the implementation of the
Resolution 1390, further called on states to freeze economic resources and other financial
assets immediately on the Taliban and the Al-Qaeda.
State Sponsored Terrorism
State sponsors of terrorism provide critical support to many non-state terrorist groups.
Without state sponsors, these groups would have greater difficulty obtaining the funds,
weapons, materials, and secure areas they require to plan and conduct operations.
Eradicating state sponsorships is extremely important In order to tackle the financial
infrastructure of terrorists in a more unified, cohesive and aggressive manner. In Pakistan
for instance, The ISI, and many political actors have been repeatedly accused of sponsoring
Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. While these accusations are yet to be proven,
there is great uncertainty regarding the ISI among other countries, especially the USA.
Similarly, the Iranian regime of Ahmedinejad is known to be sponsoring Hezbollah, Hamas,
Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the al-Mahdi army, groups that Iran does not view as terrorist.
Other states such as Saudi Arabia,
Syria, Cuba and Sudan too have been accused of financing terrorist organizations. While
dealing with the problem of state sponsorship of terrorists questions of national
sovereignty, deterrence, and definition arise that needs to be addressed before opting for
suitable solutions such as sanctions and embargoes. The committee needs to realize that
such accusations are perceived by many countries as acts of aggressiveness. In addition, a
very diplomatic and logical method of eliminating this particular threat is required. The
committee is expected to move past the usual MUN solutions of heavy sanctions and
embargoes, and to come up with practical solutions.
Drug Trade as a source of Funds
The Afghan drug trade has been funding insurgency, international terrorism and wider
destabilization over the years. The exponential growth in narcoterrorism in Afghanistan
has led to a well-entrenched narco-economy, strengthening the power of tribal warlords,
the Taliban and al-Qaeda. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, at least 19 terrorist
groups are actively engaged in drug trafficking as a funding mechanism. Afghanistan
supplies over 93% of the global opiate market, the revenues from this international drug-
trade stemming from Afghanistan is known to be one of the largest forms of financial
support for terrorists.
Combating the drug trade in Afghanistan can pave the way towards the complete cutting off
of terrorists' financial support mechanism. UN findings have revealed an alarming figure of
worth $65bn (_39bn) generated only by the opium production in Afghanistan which fuels
A major problem seen while tackling this issue has been the fact that much of the Afghani
population depends on revenue from Drug Trade for their lively hood. Narcotics trafficking
isn't merely big, it's more than half the economy—amounting to $2.7 billion annually,
according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)—that is, 52 percent of
the country's entire GDP. While at the same time, the drug trade also generates great
revenue for the terrorist and militant groups as well. The committee such must reach a
solution that there will be minimum economic consequences for the Afghani.
Most of the opium that leaves Afghanistan makes its way through Pakistan, Central Asia
and Iran, leaving a trail of addiction, criminality and death in its wake, according to the
report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Many terrorist groups are based on a very strong ideology. Whether it is right or wrong,
they are able to convince a large number of people for their cause. For example, the Islamic
extremist group, Al Qa’ida, have been able to rally the support of the locals of Afghanistan
and much of the northern areas of Pakistan. No matter, how irrational their ideology may
seem to us, but to those people, such terrorist groups are not only right but they are their
saviors as well. These people often lack literacy and the required knowledge to keep them
from being manipulated into helping the terrorists.
This problem is fairly prominent in regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan, where the locals
have significantly increased the strength of the militant forces. They not only provide them
with a safe haven for many of their leaders, but they also provide them with monetary help.
Furthermore, religious centers such as madarasa’s are being wrongly used to increase
further support for extremism.
A major agenda for the committee will have to recognize the need to spread awareness in
Ethical Issues in Counterterrorism Warfare,
Much has been said and written in recent weeks about the changed nature of “warfare”
as it pertains to responding to the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.
The fact that attacks of such vast scale were made directly on US soil by non-state actors
posed important new questions for military leaders and planners charged with conceiving
an appropriate and effective response.
The established moral and legal traditions of just war were similarly challenged. Forged
almost entirely in the context of interstate war, those traditions were also pressed to adapt
to the new and unforeseen character of a “war against terrorism.”
Fundamental Moral Principles
The theoretical framework of the just war tradition provides two separate moral
assessments of uses of military force. The first, jus ad bellum (right or justice toward war)
attempts to determine which sets of political and military circumstances are sufficiently
grave to warrant a military response. It focuses on the “just cause” element of war, and
attempts to determine whether use of force to redress a given wrong has a reasonable hope
of success and whether non-violent alternatives have been attempted (the “last resort”
criterion) to redress the grievance. Given the horrendous loss of innocent American (and
other) life in those attacks, it was without serious question that a just cause existed to use
military force in response to those attacks. However, legitimate questions remain regarding
reasonable hope of success given the difficult and diffuse nature of the perpetrators of
these events. Indeed, the very definition of success in conflict of this sort is to some degree
The second body of assessments concerns jus in bello, right conduct of military
operations. The central ideas here concern discrimination(using force against those who
are morally and legally responsible for the attack and not deliberately against others)
and proportionality (a reasonable balance between the damage done in the responding
attack and the military value of the targets destroyed).
These fundamental moral principles continue to have force, even in the quite different
“war” in which we are now engaged.
Jus ad bellum considerations
The scale and nature of the terrorist attacks on the US without question warranted a
military response. The important questions about jus ad bellum are confined to the other
questions the just war tradition requires us to ask regarding the ability to respond to those
attacks with military force that will, in fact, respond to the attackers themselves and be
effective in responding to the wrong received.
Just cause requires that we identify with accuracy those responsible and hold them to be
the sole objects of legitimate attack. Who are those agents? In the first instance, those
directly responsible for funding and directing the activities of the now-deceased hijackers.
There is a tremendous intelligence demand to identify those agents correctly. But, having
identified them to a moral certainty (a standard far short of what would be required by
legal criteria of proof, it should be noted), there is no moral objection to targeting them.
Indeed, one of the benefits of framing these operations as “war” rather than “law
enforcement” is that it does not require the ideal outcome to be the apprehension and trial
of the perpetrators. Instead, it countenances their direct elimination by military means if
What of the claim that we may legitimately attack those who harbor terrorists, even if
they are not directly involved in authorizing their activities? The justification for attacking
them has two aspects: first, it holds them accountable for activities which they knew, or
should have known, were being conducted in their territories and did nothing to stop;
second, it serves as a deterrent to motivate other states and sponsors to be more vigilant
and aware of the activities of such groups on their soil.
How far ought the moral permission to attack parties not directly involved extend? I
would propose application of a standard from American civil law: the “reasonable person”
(or “reasonable man”) standard of proof. This standard asks not what an individual knew,
as a matter of fact, about a given situation or set of facts. Instead, it asks what a reasonable
and prudent person in a similar situation should know. Thus, even if a person or
government truthfully asserts that they were unaware of the activities of a terrorist cell in
their territory, this does not provide moral immunity from attack. This standard asks not
what they did know, but what they ought to have known had they exercised the diligence
and degree of inquiry a reasonable person in their circumstance would have exercised.
Also, legitimate targets include more than those who have carried out or are actively
engaged in preparing to carry out attacks against US citizens and forces. There will
presumably be numerous individuals who, in various ways, assisted or harbored attackers,
or who possessed knowledge of planned attacks. From a moral perspective, the circle of
legitimate targets surely includes at least these individuals. A rough analog for the principle
here is the civil law standard for criminal conspiracy: all those within the circle of the
conspiracy are legitimate targets. The analogy is not perfect, but in general it justifies
attacks on those who possessed information about the contemplated terrorist activity or
who supplied weapons, training, funding or safe harbor to the actors, even if they did not
possess full knowledge of their intent.
Jus in bello considerations
How do ethical considerations constrain the manner of attack against legitimate
adversaries? The traditional requirements of just war continue to have application in this
kind of war. Attacks must be discriminate and they must be proportionate. Discrimination
requires that attacks be made on persons and military objects in ways that permit
successful attack on them with a minimum of damage to innocent persons and objects. In
practical terms, this requires as much precision as possible in determination of the location
and nature of targets. Further, it requires choice of weapons and tactics that are most likely
accurately to hit the object of the attack with a minimum of damage to surrounding areas
Proportionality imposes an essentially common-sense requirement that the damage
done in the attack is in some reasonable relation to the value and nature of the target. To
use a simple example: if the target is a small cell of individuals in a single building, the
obliteration of the entire town in which the structure sits would be disproportionate.
There are two important real world considerations that bear on this discussion. The first
is military necessity. Military necessity permits actions that might otherwise be ethically
questionable. For example, if there simply is no practical alternative means of attacking a
legitimate target, weapons and tactics that are less than ideal in terms of their
discrimination and proportionality may be acceptable. It is important not to confuse
military necessity with military convenience. It is the obligation of military personnel to
assume some risk in the effort to protect innocents. However, situations can certainly arise
in which there simply is not time or any alternative means of attacking in a given situation.
There, military necessity generates the permission to proceed with the attack.
The other consideration is the tendency of adversaries of this type to co-locate themselves
and their military resources with civilians and civilian structures in order to gain some
sense of protection from such human shields. Obviously, when possible, every effort should
be made to separate legitimate targets from such shields. But when that is not possible, it is
acceptable to proceed with the attack, foreseeing that innocent persons and property will
be destroyed. The moral principle underlying this judgment is known as “double effect,”
and permits such actions insofar as the agent sincerely can claim (as would be the case
here) that the destruction of the innocents was no part of the plan or intention, but merely
an unavoidable by-product of legitimate military action.
It is important to note, however, that there can be no just war justification for a
response to these attacks with attacks of a similar character on other societies. Not only
would this constitute an unethical and illegal attack on innocent parties, it would almost
certainly erode the moral “high ground” and widespread political support the US current
The moral status of the adversary
The individuals who initiated the terror attacks are clearly not “soldiers” in any moral or
legal sense. They, and others who operate as they did from the cover of civilian identities,
are not entitled to any of the protections of the war convention. This means that, if
captured, they are not entitled to the benevolent quarantine of the POW convention or of
domestic criminal law. For the purposes of effective response to these individuals, as well
as future deterrence, it may be highly undesirable even if they are captured to carry out the
extensive due process of criminal proceedings. If we can identify culpable individuals to a
moral certainty, their swift and direct elimination by military means is morally acceptable
and probably preferable in terms of the goals of the policy.
However, as this conflict proceeds, especially if ground operations commence against
fixed targets, one may foresee that individuals and groups may come to operate against US
forces as organized military units. It is important to keep in mind that, no matter how
horrific the origins of this conflict, if and when this occurs and such groups begin to behave
as organized units, to carry weapons openly, and to wear some kind of distinctive dress or
badge, they become assimilated to the war convention. At that point, close moral and legal
analysis will be required to determine the degree to which they become entitled to the
status of “combatant” and are given the Geneva Convention protection that status provides.
The previous permission for swift elimination applies to the period in which they operate
with civilian “cover.” Should elements of the adversary force eventually choose to operate
as an organized military force, the long-term importance of universal respect for the
Geneva Convention’s provision would make our treating them at that point as soldiers
under the law the preferred course of action.
TOPICS TO BE RESEARCHED
1. Terrorist audiences and their responses: cross-national and longitudinal comparisons of
public opinion surveys regarding support of, and opposition to terrorism;
2. Measuring and evaluating counter-terrorism policies: methodologies and techniques;
3. Unwanted and unexpected side- and boomerang (blowback) effects of counter-terrorism: ways
to recognize and minimize them;
4. Is there a disconnect between academic research on terrorism and the counter-terrorist
intelligence community's knowledge (and knowledge requirements) regarding terrorism? ;
5. Review of national terrorism prevention programs and policies in a comparative perspective;
6. De-mobilisation of guerrilla and terrorist groups: best practices and lessons learned;
7. Non-violent popular revolt and Salafist Jihadism: competing paradigms for political change in the
8. Conspiracy theories related to (counter-) terrorism: is there a need for countering them?
9. Warning the public: responsible crisis communications prior, during and after terrorist attacks -
lessons learned and best practices;
10. Strengthening public resilience against terrorism: policies of individual states (e.g. Israel,
11. New strategies for identifying and countering extremist ideologies on the Internet;
12. Countering terrorism: is it possible to limit the role of government and strengthen the role of
13. Civil society and (counter-) terrorism: the role of NGOs in terrorism and counter-terrorism;
14. Immigration, diasporas and terrorism: misperceptions, alleged and proven links;
15. The responses of human rights organizations to human rights violations by terrorist groups.
16. Counter-terrorism within the frameworks of human rights and humanitarian law requirements:
upholding or updating international law standards?
17. The UN CT strategy [GA Res. 60/288 (2006)]: where does the international community stand
with its implementation?
18. Terrorism and the Media, Terrorism and the Internet: cross-impacts and what can be done
about them while upholding freedom of speech and expression?
19.. Freedom of speech vs. incitement to terrorism: the response of the courts;
20. Prevention of terrorism by intelligence and security services vs. prosecution and punishment of
terrorists by law enforcement: dilemmas and solutions;
21. The prosecution of terrorists in international comparison: national arrest, trial and conviction
22. The grievances of terrorists: should they be taken seriously or are they just pretexts and
justifications for violence?
23. The terrorism - organized crime nexus: new insights and developments;
24. The delayed impact of the 2008 economic crisis on terrorism, political violence armed conflict
and non-violent protests;
25. The rehabilitation of terrorists vs. the rehabilitation of common criminals in prison: recidivism
26. Prisons: new ways of preventing and countering radicalization of prisoners and advancing
rehabilitation of convicted offenders;
27. Countering radicalisation and violent extremism in schools and religious institutions: evaluating
28. The shrinking space of citizen privacy: thinking about safeguards to prevent tthe development
of surveillance societies in the name of counter-terrorism;
29. Islamophobia and Antisemitism compared: between rhetorical weapons and legitimate
30. Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Jews, and Buddhists under attack for their faith: a quantitative
comparison in the post-Cold War period – claims vs. facts;
31. Differentiating between terrorism, other forms of political violence and human rights violations:
towards a more balanced approach to assessing armed conflict and repression;
32. Analyzing terrorist statements and internal writings: looking for cues regarding the
expectedutility of terrorism in terrorist thinking;
33. Measuring the actual effectiveness of terrorism: findings from empirical research on the tactical
and strategic outcomes of uses of terrorism;
34. State human rights violations in response to terrorism – how widespread, how serious?;
35. Kidnapping for ransom: the consequences of paying ransom and of refusals to pay.
36. The messaging policies of Al-Qaeda, its affiliates and media jihadists: analyzing communiques
and threat statements systematically;
37. Careers of ex-terrorists and their role in countering terrorism;
38. Terrorists released from prison: subsequent careers;
39. The targeting logic of terrorist attacks;
40. The trajectory of terrorist campaigns in comparative perspective;
41. The role of victim associations in court cases against terrorists;
42. Websites associated with terrorist groups: an overview;
43. Failed, foiled and completed attacks by Al-Qaeda, AQ affiliates and individual (would-be)
associates: a consolidated overview;
44. New legislation on terrorism: inventory, comparison and impact;
45. The lethality of terrorism in comparison with criminal homicides, victimization by natural
disasters, specific diseases, etc.: towards a realistic ranking of human risks;
46. Pakistan: regional and global implications of potential state failure/collapse;
47. Afghanistan: endgame scenarios and their regional and global implications;
48. The Arab Awakening and its possible implications for terrorism and international counter-
49. Terrorist groups and political parties - same goals, different tactics: between cooperation and
50. The future of terrorism: regional trends, new developments, likely scenarios and worst (CBRN)
51. Possibility of the creation of a UN Standing Army.
Questions a Resolution should answer:
• Identifying the causes of terrorism and addressing them,
• Identification of sources of revenue for terrorism,
• Method to deal with sponsorship of terrorists,
• Eliminating the source of funding for terrorists,
• Possibility of negotiations in wake of Osama Bin Laden’s death,
• Future of the War on Terror,
Withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan
End of the War on Iraq
Drone attacks in Pakistan
Accountability for crimes of war so far
Treatment of suspected terrorists in the future (Geneva Convention applicable or not)
Intelligence sharing and its extent
Relations between members states of the War on Terror (US, Pakistan, Russia, NATO)
Effects of the War on Terror and counter-measures (Economic, Social)
Action against future multi-lateral/uni-lateral sanctioned/un-sanctioned military strike
Prevention of future terrorist attacks.
I wish you all the very best of luck and am looking forward to seeing you on the conference.
If any delegate needs help, he is more than welcome to contact me, preferably on facebook.
I expect you to research well and make the best possible effort to shine at BUMUN’12. So,
until then, Good Luck.