****ANSWER POST 250 WORDS MIN****
Discussion Questions: Describe your views on how to achieve balance in developing counter terrorism plans and actions. For example, domestically we have to balance the security of the homeland and innocent civilians with the freedom and liberty of individual citizens. Also, our overseas actions have to be effective in preventing terrorists who plot to attack us from abroad from reaching our shores without jeopardizing our values as a nation or inflaming foreign societies that just breeds more terrorism. We want to stop terrorists without taking actions that play into their evil and false narratives they use to recruit new terrorists.
***ANSWER EACH REPLY 100 WORDS MIN****
1. The most difficult aspect of preventing international terrorism while still protecting Americans is finding the balance in US foreign policy. The United States is the heavyweight in the international power struggle and we use this position to influence other nations’ political processes. This is done through US power projection. America sends US troops and military gear into countries that are susceptible to becoming or supporting threats against us. By projecting power and conducting policing actions on the global level, we believe that we will eliminate threats by identifying enemies and by providing financial and military support to the nation involved. Unfortunately, US power projection has been proven to create more enemies than it prevents. Prime examples to prove this point were the creation of Bin Laden as a global terrorist leader, attacks on several US embassies throughout the third world, and the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut. The US must discover a way to influence foreign governments, expand its global reach, and identify potential enemies without sending in troops, equipment, or advisors. This is viewed as illegal foreign occupation by many and it creates enemies.
Within the United States, the primary difficulty in preventing domestic terrorism is the argument between freedom of speech and social media censorship. Social media is bubbling over with hate speech and enemy creating negative material. Groups and individuals on the left, right, and religious center are all publishing material that breeds hatred and draws susceptible individuals to violence. Social media outlets are fighting back to eliminate potentially dangerous speech but this is viewed by some as a violation of civil rights. America must find a way to reduce or eliminate potentially harmful material on social media, while still maintaining citizens civil liberties.
2. I think that it is safe to say that achieving the “balance” of counter terrorism plans and actions is a lot easier said than done. There seems to be a lot of hoops and obstacles that continue to be our way as one of the greatest countries in the world, we still yet struggle with simple tasks like understanding each other on the political standpoint, let alone trying to agree with other countries who also have different views. I believe that in order to achieves a balance, we as a country must first unite like we once did post 9/11 and get on board with the fact that we are not the problem and our issues are bigger than ourselves. That would be the first step and agreeing that the enemy is not America and it is in fact evil groups like Al-Qaeda or any other organization or country with the intent to hurt or damage the US in any way. Think about post 9/11 for a second, everyone was waving the US flag and cheering for our troops to go over and get some revenge on the bad guy. Theses days, we have people thinking that the US flag represents racism and hatred. We are just at a very different moment in time where the civilians in the US forget who the bad guy is at the end of the day.
Once everyone in the US is on board (which seems like a very unachievable goal these days), I think the next steps come even easier. Uniting alongside our fellow countries who also denounce terrorism and evil, these countries just need to stand unified and ready to back each other up regardless of the situation if it involves terrorism so every other country that tries to attack these friendly countries can also be attacked in revenge. The best way for the United States to become friendlier with other countries is to stop getting involved in every conflict that does not pertain to us, if the conflict involves us or fellow friendly countries, that is one thing but if it does not involve the US, then why get involved in the first place? It should be okay to take a back seat sometimes and let other countries go at it.