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´╗┐Title: National Strategy for Combating Terrorism - September 2006
Author: National Security Council (U.S.)
Language: English
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National Strategy for

Combating Terrorism


Table of Contents

  Overview of America's National Strategy for Combating Terrorism
  Today's Realities in the War on Terror
  Today's Terrorist Enemy
  Strategic Vision for the War on Terror
  Strategy for Winning the War on Terror
      _Long-term approach: Advancing effective democracy_
      _Over the short term: Four priorities of action_
          Prevent attacks by terrorist networks
          Deny WMD to rogue states and terrorist allies who seek to
            use them
          Deny terrorists the support and sanctuary of rogue states
          Deny terrorists control of any nation they would use as a
            base and launching pad for terror
  Institutionalizing Our Strategy for Long-term Success

+Overview of America's National Strategy for Combating Terrorism+

America is at war with a transnational terrorist movement fueled by a
radical ideology of hatred, oppression, and murder. Our National
Strategy for Combating Terrorism, first published in February 2003,
recognizes that we are at war and that protecting and defending the
Homeland, the American people, and their livelihoods remains our first
and most solemn obligation.

Our strategy also recognizes that the War on Terror is a different kind
of war. From the beginning, it has been both a battle of arms and a
battle of ideas. Not only do we fight our terrorist enemies on the
battlefield, we promote freedom and human dignity as alternatives to
the terrorists' perverse vision of oppression and totalitarian rule.
The paradigm for combating terrorism now involves the application of
all elements of our national power and influence. Not only do we employ
military power, we use diplomatic, financial, intelligence, and law
enforcement activities to protect the Homeland and extend our defenses,
disrupt terrorist operations, and deprive our enemies of what they need
to operate and survive. We have broken old orthodoxies that once
confined our counterterrorism efforts primarily to the criminal justice

This updated strategy sets the course for winning the War on Terror. It
builds directly from the National Security Strategy issued in March
2006 as well as the February 2003 National Strategy for Combating
Terrorism, and incorporates our increased understanding of the enemy.
From the beginning, we understood that the War on Terror involved more
than simply finding and bringing to justice those who had planned and
executed the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Our strategy
involved destroying the larger al-Qaida network and also confronting
the radical ideology that inspired others to join or support the
terrorist movement. Since 9/11, we have made substantial progress in
degrading the al-Qaida network, killing or capturing key lieutenants,
eliminating safehavens, and disrupting existing lines of support.
Through the freedom agenda, we also have promoted the best long-term
answer to al-Qaida's agenda: the freedom and dignity that comes when
human liberty is protected by effective democratic institutions.

In response to our efforts, the terrorists have adjusted, and so we
must continue to refine our strategy to meet the evolving threat.
Today, we face a global terrorist movement and must confront the
radical ideology that justifies the use of violence against innocents
in the name of religion. As laid out in this strategy, to win the War
on Terror, we will:

--Advance effective democracies as the long-term antidote to the
ideology of terrorism;

--Prevent attacks by terrorist networks;

--Deny weapons of mass destruction to rogue states and terrorist allies
who seek to use them;

--Deny terrorists the support and sanctuary of rogue states;

--Deny terrorists control of any nation they would use as a base and
launching pad for terror; and

--Lay the foundations and build the institutions and structures we need
to carry the fight forward against terror and help ensure our ultimate

+Today's Realities in the War on Terror+

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, were acts of war against
the United States, peaceful people throughout the world, and the very
principles of liberty and human dignity. The United States, together
with our Coalition partners, has fought back and will win this war. We
will hold the perpetrators accountable and work to prevent the
recurrence of similar atrocities on any scale--whether at home or
abroad. The War on Terror extends beyond the current armed conflict
that arose out of the attacks of September 11, 2001, and embraces all
facets of continuing U.S. efforts to bring an end to the scourge of
terrorism. Ultimately, we will win the long war to defeat the
terrorists and their murderous ideology.


--We have deprived al-Qaida of safehaven in Afghanistan and helped a
democratic government to rise in its place. Once a terrorist sanctuary
ruled by the repressive Taliban regime, Afghanistan is now a full
partner in the War on Terror.

--A multinational coalition joined by the Iraqis is aggressively
prosecuting the war against the terrorists in Iraq. Together, we are
working to secure a united, stable, and democratic Iraq, now a new War
on Terror ally in the heart of the Middle East.

--We have significantly degraded the al-Qaida network. Most of those in
the al-Qaida network responsible for the September 11 attacks,
including the plot's mastermind Khalid Shaykh Muhammad, have been
captured or killed. We also have killed other key al-Qaida members,
such as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the group's operational commander in Iraq
who led a campaign of terror that took the lives of countless American
forces and innocent Iraqis.

--We have led an unprecedented international campaign to combat
terrorist financing that has made it harder, costlier, and riskier for
al-Qaida and related terrorist groups to raise and move money.

--There is a broad and growing global consensus that the deliberate
targeting of innocents is never justified by any calling or cause.

--Many nations have rallied to fight terrorism, with unprecedented
cooperation on law enforcement, intelligence, military, and diplomatic

--We have strengthened our ability to disrupt and help prevent future
attacks in the Homeland by enhancing our counterterrorism architecture
through the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, the Office
of Director of National Intelligence, and the National Counterterrorism
Center. Overall, the United States and our partners have disrupted
several serious plots since September 11, including al-Qaida plots to
attack inside the United States.

--Numerous countries that were part of the problem before September 11
are now increasingly becoming part of the solution--and this
transformation has occurred without destabilizing friendly regimes in
key regions.

--The Administration has worked with Congress to adopt, implement, and
renew key reforms like the USA PATRIOT Act that promote our security
while also protecting our fundamental liberties.

Yet while America is safer, we are not yet safe. The enemy remains
determined, and we face serious challenges at home and abroad.


--Terrorist networks today are more dispersed and less centralized.
They are more reliant on smaller cells inspired by a common ideology
and less directed by a central command structure.

--While the United States Government and its partners have thwarted
many attacks, we have not been able to prevent them all. Terrorists
have struck in many places throughout the world, from Bali to Beslan to

--While we have substantially improved our air, land, sea, and border
security, our Homeland is not immune from attack.

--Terrorists have declared their intention to acquire and use weapons
of mass destruction (WMD) to inflict even more catastrophic attacks
against the United States, our allies, partners, and other interests
around the world.

--Some states, such as Syria and Iran, continue to harbor terrorists at
home and sponsor terrorist activity abroad.

--The ongoing fight for freedom in Iraq has been twisted by terrorist
propaganda as a rallying cry.

--Increasingly sophisticated use of the Internet and media has enabled
our terrorist enemies to communicate, recruit, train, rally support,
proselytize, and spread their propaganda without risking personal

+Today's Terrorist Enemy+

The United States and our partners continue to pursue a significantly
degraded but still dangerous al-Qaida network. Yet the enemy we face
today in the War on Terror is not the same enemy we faced on September
11. Our effective counterterrorist efforts, in part, have forced the
terrorists to evolve and modify their ways of doing business. Our
understanding of the enemy has evolved as well. Today, the principal
terrorist enemy confronting the United States is a transnational
movement of extremist organizations, networks, and individuals--and
their state and non-state supporters--which have in common that they
exploit Islam and use terrorism for ideological ends.

This transnational movement is not monolithic. Although al-Qaida
functions as the movement's vanguard and remains, along with its
affiliate groups and those inspired by them, the most dangerous present
manifestation of the enemy, the movement is not controlled by any
single individual, group, or state. What unites the movement is a
common vision, a common set of ideas about the nature and destiny of
the world, and a common goal of ushering in totalitarian rule. What
unites the movement is the ideology of oppression, violence, and hate.

Our terrorist enemies exploit Islam to serve a violent political
vision. Fueled by a radical ideology and a false belief that the United
States is the cause of most problems affecting Muslims today, our
enemies seek to expel Western power and influence from the Muslim world
and establish regimes that rule according to a violent and intolerant
distortion of Islam. As illustrated by Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, such
regimes would deny all political and religious freedoms and serve as
sanctuaries for extremists to launch additional attacks against not
only the United States, its allies and partners, but the Muslim world
itself. Some among the enemy, particularly al-Qaida, harbor even
greater territorial and geopolitical ambitions and aim to establish a
single, pan-Islamic, totalitarian regime that stretches from Spain to
Southeast Asia.

This enemy movement seeks to create and exploit a division between the
Muslim and non-Muslim world and within the Muslim world itself. The
terrorists distort the idea of jihad into a call for violence and
murder against those they regard as apostates or unbelievers, including
all those who disagree with them. Most of the terrorist attacks since
September 11 have occurred in Muslim countries--and most of the victims
have been Muslims.

In addition to this principal enemy, a host of other groups and
individuals also use terror and violence against innocent civilians to
pursue their political objectives. Though their motives and goals may
be different, and often include secular and more narrow territorial
aims, they threaten our interests and those of our partners as they
attempt to overthrow civil order and replace freedom with conflict and
intolerance. Their terrorist tactics ensure that they are enemies of
humanity regardless of their goals and no matter where they operate.

For our terrorist enemies, violence is not only justified, it is
necessary and even glorified--judged the only means to achieve a world
vision darkened by hate, fear, and oppression. They use suicide
bombings, beheadings, and other atrocities against innocent people as a
means to promote their creed. Our enemy's demonstrated indifference to
human life and desire to inflict catastrophic damage on the United
States and its friends and allies around the world have fueled their
desire for weapons of mass destruction. We cannot permit the world's
most dangerous terrorists and their regime sponsors to threaten us with
the world's most destructive weapons.

For the enemy, there is no peaceful coexistence with those who do not
subscribe to their distorted and violent view of the world. They accept
no dissent and tolerate no alternative points of view. Ultimately, the
terrorist enemy we face threatens global peace, international security
and prosperity, the rising tide of democracy, and the right of all
people to live without fear of indiscriminate violence.

+Strategic Vision for the War on Terror+

From the beginning, the War on Terror has been both a battle of arms
and a battle of ideas--a fight against the terrorists and their
murderous ideology. In the short run, the fight involves the
application of all instruments of national power and influence to kill
or capture the terrorists; deny them safehaven and control of any
nation; prevent them from gaining access to WMD; render potential
terrorist targets less attractive by strengthening security; and cut
off their sources of funding and other resources they need to operate
and survive. In the long run, winning the War on Terror means winning
the battle of ideas. Ideas can transform the embittered and
disillusioned either into murderers willing to kill innocents, or into
free peoples living harmoniously in a diverse society.

The battle of ideas helps to define the strategic intent of our
National Strategy for Combating Terrorism. The United States will
continue to lead an expansive international effort in pursuit of a
two-pronged vision:

--The defeat of violent extremism as a threat to our way of life as a
free and open society; and

--The creation of a global environment inhospitable to violent
extremists and all who support them.

+Strategy for Winning the War on Terror+

+_Long-term approach: Advancing effective democracy_+

The long-term solution for winning the War on Terror is the advancement
of freedom and human dignity through effective democracy. Elections are
the most visible sign of a free society and can play a critical role in
advancing effective democracy. But elections alone are not enough.
Effective democracies honor and uphold basic human rights, including
freedom of religion, conscience, speech, assembly, association, and
press. They are responsive to their citizens, submitting to the will of
the people. Effective democracies exercise effective sovereignty and
maintain order within their own borders, address causes of conflict
peacefully, protect independent and impartial systems of justice,
punish crime, embrace the rule of law, and resist corruption. Effective
democracies also limit the reach of government, protecting the
institutions of civil society. In effective democracies, freedom is
indivisible. They are the long-term antidote to the ideology of
terrorism today. This is the battle of ideas.

To wage the battle of ideas effectively, we must recognize what does
and does not give rise to terrorism:

--Terrorism is not the inevitable by-product of poverty. Many of the
September 11 hijackers were from middle-class backgrounds, and many
terrorist leaders, like bin Laden, are from privileged upbringings.

--Terrorism is not simply a result of hostility to U.S. policy in Iraq.
The United States was attacked on September 11 and many years earlier,
well before we toppled the Saddam Hussein regime. Moreover, countries
that did not participate in Coalition efforts in Iraq have not been
spared from terror attacks.

--Terrorism is not simply a result of Israeli-Palestinian issues.
Al-Qaida plotting for the September 11 attacks began in the 1990s,
during an active period in the peace process.

--Terrorism is not simply a response to our efforts to prevent terror
attacks. The al-Qaida network targeted the United States long before
the United States targeted al-Qaida. Indeed, the terrorists are
emboldened more by perceptions of weakness than by demonstrations of
resolve. Terrorists lure recruits by telling them that we are decadent,
easily intimidated, and will retreat if attacked.

The terrorism we confront today springs from:

--+_Political alienation_+. Transnational terrorists are recruited from
populations with no voice in their own government and see no legitimate
way to promote change in their own country. Without a stake in the
existing order, they are vulnerable to manipulation by those who
advocate a perverse political vision based on violence and destruction.

--+_Grievances that can be blamed on others_+. The failures the
terrorists feel and see are blamed both on others and on perceived
injustices from the recent or sometimes distant past. The terrorists'
rhetoric keeps wounds associated with this past fresh and raw, a potent
motivation for revenge and terror.

--+_Subcultures of conspiracy and misinformation_+. Terrorists recruit
more effectively from populations whose information about the world is
contaminated by falsehoods and corrupted by conspiracy theories. The
distortions keep alive grievances and filter out facts that would
challenge popular prejudices and self-serving propaganda.

--+_An ideology that justifies murder_+. Terrorism ultimately depends
upon the appeal of an ideology that excuses or even glorifies the
deliberate killing of innocents. Islam has been twisted and made to
serve an evil end, as in other times and places other religions have
been similarly abused.

Defeating terrorism in the long run requires that each of these factors
be addressed. Effective democracy provides a counter to each,
diminishing the underlying conditions terrorists seek to exploit.

--In place of alienation, democracy offers an ownership stake in
society, a chance to shape one's own future.

--In place of festering grievances, democracy offers the rule of law,
the peaceful resolution of disputes, and the habits of advancing
interests through compromise.

--In place of a culture of conspiracy and misinformation, democracy
offers freedom of speech, independent media, and the marketplace of
ideas, which can expose and discredit falsehoods, prejudices, and
dishonest propaganda.

--In place of an ideology that justifies murder, democracy offers a
respect for human dignity that abhors the deliberate targeting of
innocent civilians.

Democracy is the antithesis of terrorist tyranny, which is why the
terrorists denounce it and are willing to kill the innocent to stop it.
Democracy is based on empowerment, while the terrorists' ideology is
based on enslavement. Democracies expand the freedom of their citizens,
while the terrorists seek to impose a single set of narrow beliefs.
Democracy sees individuals as equal in worth and dignity, having an
inherent potential to create, govern themselves, and exercise basic
freedoms of speech and conscience. The terrorists see individuals as
objects to be exploited, and then to be ruled and oppressed.

Democracies are not immune to terrorism. In some democracies, some
ethnic or religious groups are unable or unwilling to grasp the
benefits of freedom otherwise available in the society. Such groups can
evidence the same alienation and despair that the transnational
terrorists exploit in undemocratic states. This accounts for the
emergence in democratic societies of homegrown terrorists--even among
second- and third-generation citizens. Even in these cases, the
long-term solution remains deepening the reach of democracy so that all
citizens enjoy its benefits. We will continue to guard against the
emergence of homegrown terrorists within our own Homeland as well.

The strategy to counter the lies behind the terrorists' ideology and
deny them future recruits must empower the very people the terrorists
most want to exploit: the faithful followers of Islam. We will continue
to support political reforms that empower peaceful Muslims to practice
and interpret their faith. We will work to undermine the ideological
underpinnings of violent Islamic extremism and gain the support of
non-violent Muslims around the world. The most vital work will be done
within the Islamic world itself, and Jordan, Morocco, and Indonesia,
among others, have begun to make important strides in this effort.
Responsible Islamic leaders need to denounce an ideology that distorts
and exploits Islam to justify the murder of innocent people and defiles
a proud religion.

Many of the Muslim faith are already making this commitment at great
personal risk. They realize they are a target of this ideology of
terror. Everywhere we have joined in the fight against terrorism,
Muslim allies have stood beside us, becoming partners in this vital
cause. They know the stakes--the survival of their own liberty, the
future of their own region, the justice and humanity of their own
traditions--and the United States is proud to stand beside them. Not
only will we continue to support the efforts of our Muslim partners
overseas to reject violent extremism, we will continue to engage with
and strengthen the efforts of Muslims within the United States as well.
Through outreach programs and public diplomacy we will reveal the
terrorists' violent extremist ideology for what it is--a form of
totalitarianism following in the path of fascism and Nazism.

+_Over the short term: Four priorities of action_+

The advance of freedom, opportunity, and human dignity through
democracy is the long-term solution to the transnational terror
movement of today. To create the space and time for this long-term
solution to take root, we are operating along four priorities of action
in the short term.

+Prevent attacks by terrorist networks+. A government has no higher
obligation than to protect the lives and livelihoods of its citizens.
The hard core among our terrorist enemies cannot be reformed or
deterred; they will be tracked down, captured, or killed. They will be
cut off from the network of individuals, institutions, and other
resources they depend on for support and that facilitate their
activities. The network, in turn, will be deterred, disrupted, and
disabled. Working with committed partners across the globe, we continue
to use a broad range of tools at home and abroad to take the fight to
the terrorists, deny them entry to the United States, hinder their
movement across international borders, and establish protective
measures to further reduce our vulnerability to attack.

--+_Attack terrorists and their capacity to operate_+. The United
States and our partners continue to take active and effective measures
against our primary terrorist enemies and certain other violent
extremist groups that also pose a serious and continuing threat. We are
attacking these terrorists and their capacity to operate effectively at
home and abroad. Specifically, through the use of all elements of
national power, we are denying or neutralizing what our terrorist
enemies need to operate and survive:

--Leaders, who provide the vision that followers strive to realize.
They also offer the necessary direction, discipline, and motivation for
accomplishing a given goal or task. Most terrorist organizations have a
central figure who embodies the cause, in addition to several
operational leaders and managers who provide guidance on a functional,
regional, or local basis. The loss of a leader can degrade a group's
cohesiveness and in some cases may trigger its collapse. Other
terrorist groups adapt by promoting experienced cadre or decentralizing
their command structures, making our challenge in neutralizing
terrorist leaders even greater.

--Foot soldiers, which include the operatives, facilitators, and
trainers in a terrorist network. They are the lifeblood of a terrorist
group--they make it run. Technology and globalization have enhanced the
ability of groups to recruit foot soldiers to their cause, including
well-educated recruits. We and our partners will not only continue to
capture and kill foot soldiers, but will work to halt the influx of
recruits into terrorist organizations as well. Without a continuing
supply of personnel to facilitate and carry out attacks, these groups
ultimately will cease to operate.

--Weapons, or the tools of terrorists and the means by which they
murder to advance their cause. Terrorists exploit many avenues to
develop and acquire weapons, including through state sponsors, theft or
capture, and black market purchases. Our enemies employ existing
technology--explosives, small arms, missiles and other devices--in both
conventional and unconventional ways to terrorize and achieve mass
effects. They also use non-weapon technologies as weapons, such as the
airplanes on September 11. Our greatest and gravest concern, however,
is WMD in the hands of terrorists. Preventing their acquisition and the
dire consequences of their use is a key priority of this strategy.

--Funds, which provide the fungible, easily transportable means to
secure all other forms of material support necessary to the survival
and operation of terrorist organizations. Our enemies raise funds
through a variety of means, including soliciting contributions from
supporters; operating businesses, NGOs, and charitable fronts; and
engaging in criminal activity such as fraud, extortion, and kidnapping
for ransom. They transfer funds through several mechanisms, including
the formal banking system, wire transfers, debit or "smart" cards, cash
couriers, and hawalas, which are alternative remittance systems based
on trust. Effective disruption of funding sources and interdiction of
transfer mechanisms can help our partners and us to starve terrorist
networks of the material support they require.

--Communications, which allow terrorists the ability to receive, store,
manipulate, and exchange information. The methods by which terrorists
communicate are numerous and varied. Our enemies rely on couriers and
face-to-face contacts with associates and tend to use what is
accessible in their local areas as well as what they can afford. They
also use today's technologies with increasing acumen and
sophistication. This is especially true with the Internet, which they
exploit to create and disseminate propaganda, recruit new members,
raise funds and other material resources, provide instruction on
weapons and tactics, and plan operations. Without a communications
ability, terrorist groups cannot effectively organize operations,
execute attacks, or spread their ideology. We and our partners will
continue to target the communication nodes of our enemy.

--Propaganda operations, which are used by terrorists to justify
violent action as well as inspire individuals to support or join the
movement. The ability of terrorists to exploit the Internet and 24/7
worldwide media coverage allows them to bolster their prominence as
well as feed a steady diet of radical ideology, twisted images, and
conspiracy theories to potential recruits in all corners of the globe.
Besides a global reach, these technologies allow terrorists to
propagate their message quickly, often before an effective counter to
terrorist messages can be coordinated and distributed. These are force
multipliers for our enemy.

--+_Deny terrorists entry to the United States and disrupt their travel
internationally_+. Denying our enemies the tools to travel
internationally and across and within our borders significantly impedes
their mobility and can inhibit their effectiveness. They rely on
illicit networks to facilitate travel and often obtain false
identification documents through theft or in-house forgery operations.
We will continue to enhance the security of the American people through
a layered system of protections along our borders, at our ports, on our
roadways and railways, in our skies, and with our international
partners. We will continue to develop and enhance security practices
and technologies to reduce vulnerabilities in the dynamic
transportation network, inhibit terrorists from crossing U.S. borders,
and detect and prevent terrorist travel within the United States. Our
efforts will include improving all aspects of aviation security;
promoting secure travel and identity documents; disrupting travel
facilitation networks; improving border security and visa screening;
and building international capacity and improving international
information exchange to secure travel and combat terrorist travel. Our
National Strategy to Combat Terrorist Travel and our National Strategy
for Maritime Security will help guide our efforts.

--+_Defend potential targets of attack_+. Our enemies are
opportunistic, exploiting vulnerabilities and seeking alternatives to
those targets with increased security measures. The targeting trend
since at least September 11 has been away from hardened sites, such as
official government facilities with formidable security, and toward
softer targets--schools, restaurants, places of worship, and nodes of
public transportation--where innocent civilians gather and which are
not always well secured. Specific targets vary, but they tend to be
symbolic and often selected because they will produce mass casualties,
economic damage, or both.

While it is impossible to protect completely all potential targets all
the time, we can deter and disrupt attacks, as well as mitigate the
effects of those that do occur, through strategic security improvements
at sites both at home and overseas. Among our most important defensive
efforts is the protection of critical infrastructures and key
resources--sectors such as energy, food and agriculture, water,
telecommunications, public health, transportation, the defense
industrial base, government facilities, postal and shipping, the
chemical industry, emergency services, monuments and icons, information
technology, dams, commercial facilities, banking and finance, and
nuclear reactors, materials, and waste. These are systems and assets so
vital that their destruction or incapacitation would have a
debilitating effect on the security of our Nation. We will also
continue to protect various assets such as historical attractions or
certain highprofile events whose destruction or attack would not
necessarily debilitate our national security but could damage the
morale and confidence of the American people. Beyond the Homeland, we
will continue to protect and defend U.S. citizens, diplomatic missions,
and military facilities overseas, as well as work with our partners to
strengthen their ability to protect their populations and critical

+Deny WMD to rogue states and terrorist allies who seek to use them+.
Weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists is one of the
gravest threats we face. We have taken aggressive efforts to deny
terrorists access to WMD-related materials, equipment, and expertise,
but we will enhance these activities through an integrated effort at
all levels of government and with the private sector and our foreign
partners to stay ahead of this dynamic and evolving threat. In July
2006, the United States and Russia launched the Global Initiative to
Combat Nuclear Terrorism to establish an international framework to
enhance cooperation, build capacity, and act to combat the global
threat of nuclear terrorism. This initiative will help drive
international focus and action to ensure the international community is
doing everything possible to prevent nuclear weapons, materials, and
knowledge from reaching the hands of terrorists.

With regard to our own efforts, our comprehensive approach for
addressing WMD terrorism hinges on six objectives, and we will work
across all objectives simultaneously to maximize our ability to
eliminate the threat.

--+_Determine terrorists' intentions, capabilities, and plans to
develop or acquire WMD_+. We need to understand and assess the
credibility of threat reporting and provide technical assessments of
terrorists' WMD capabilities.

--+_Deny terrorists access to the materials, expertise, and other
enabling capabilities required to develop WMD_+. We have an aggressive,
global approach to deny our enemies access to WMDrelated materials
(with a particular focus on weapons-usable fissile materials),
fabrication expertise, methods of transport, sources of funds, and
other capabilities that facilitate the execution of a WMD attack. In
addition to building upon existing initiatives to secure materials, we
are developing innovative approaches that blend classic
counterproliferation, nonproliferation, and counterterrorism efforts.

--+_Deter terrorists from employing WMD_+. A new deterrence calculus
combines the need to deter terrorists and supporters from contemplating
a WMD attack and, failing that, to dissuade them from actually
conducting an attack. Traditional threats may not work because
terrorists show a wanton disregard for the lives of innocents and in
some cases for their own lives. We require a range of deterrence
strategies that are tailored to the situation and the adversary. We
will make clear that terrorists and those who aid or sponsor a WMD
attack would face the prospect of an overwhelming response to any use
of such weapons. We will seek to dissuade attacks by improving our
ability to mitigate the effects of a terrorist attack involving WMD--to
limit or prevent large-scale casualties, economic disruption, or panic.
Finally, we will ensure that our capacity to determine the source of
any attack is well-known, and that our determination to respond
overwhelmingly to any attack is never in doubt.

--+_Detect and disrupt terrorists' attempted movement of WMD-related
materials, weapons, and personnel_+. We will expand our global
capability for detecting illicit materials, weapons, and personnel
transiting abroad or heading for the United States or U.S. interests
overseas. We will use our global partnerships, international
agreements, and ongoing border security and interdiction efforts. We
also will continue to work with countries to enact and enforce strict
penalties for WMD trafficking and other suspect WMD-related activities.

--+_Prevent and respond to a WMD-related terrorist attack_+. Once the
possibility of a WMD attack against the United States has been
detected, we will seek to contain, interdict, and eliminate the threat.
We will continue to develop requisite capabilities to eliminate the
possibility of a WMD operation and to prevent a possible follow-on
attack. We will prepare ourselves for possible WMD incidents by
developing capabilities to manage the range of consequences that may
result from such an attack against the United States or our interests
around the world.

--Define the nature and source of a terrorist-employed WMD device.
Should a WMD terrorist attack occur, the rapid identification of the
source and perpetrator of an attack will enable our response efforts
and may be critical in disrupting follow-on attacks. We will develop
the capability to assign responsibility for the intended or actual use
of WMD via accurate attribution--the rapid fusion of technical forensic
data with intelligence and law enforcement information.

+Deny terrorists the support and sanctuary of rogue states+. The United
States and its allies and partners in the War on Terror make no
distinction between those who commit acts of terror and those who
support and harbor terrorists. Any government that chooses to be an
ally of terror has chosen to be an enemy of freedom, justice, and
peace. The world will hold those regimes to account. To break the bonds
between rogue states and our terrorist enemies, we will work to disrupt
the flow of resources from states to terrorists while simultaneously
working to end state sponsorship of terrorism.

--+_End state sponsorship of terrorism_+. State sponsors are a critical
resource for our terrorist enemies, often providing funds, weapons,
training, safe passage, and sanctuary. Some of these countries have
developed or have the capability to develop WMD and other destabilizing
technologies that could fall into the hands of terrorists. The United
States currently designates five state sponsors of terrorism: Iran,
Syria, Sudan, North Korea, and Cuba. We will maintain sanctions against
them and promote their international isolation until they end their
support for terrorists, including the provision of sanctuary. To
further isolate these regimes and persuade other states not to sponsor
terror, we will use a range of tools and efforts to delegitimate
terrorism as an instrument of statecraft. Any act of international
terrorism, whether committed by a state or individual, is
reprehensible, a threat to international peace and security, and should
be unequivocally and uniformly rejected. Similarly, states that harbor
and assist terrorists are as guilty as the terrorists, and they will be
held to account.

Iran remains the most active state sponsor of international terrorism.
Through its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Ministry of
Intelligence and Security, the regime in Tehran plans terrorist
operations and supports groups such as Lebanese Hizballah, Hamas, and
Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Iran also remains unwilling to account
for and bring to justice senior al-Qaida members it detained in 2003.
Most troubling is the potential WMD-terrorism nexus that emanates from
Tehran. Syria also is a significant state sponsor of terrorism and thus
a priority for concern. The regime in Damascus supports and provides
haven to Hizballah, Hamas, and PIJ. We will continue to stand with the
people of Iran and Syria against the regimes that oppress them at home
and sponsor terror abroad.

While Iranian and Syrian terrorist activities are especially worrisome,
we are pressing all state sponsors to take the steps that are required
to have state sponsorship designation rescinded. Each case is unique,
and our approach to each will be tailored accordingly. Moreover, we
never foreclose future membership in the coalition against tyranny and
terror. The designation of Iraq as a state sponsor was rescinded in
2004 as it transitioned to democracy, ceased its terrorist support, and
became an ally in the War on Terror. Similarly, the United States in
June 2006 rescinded the designation of Libya, which has renounced
terrorism and since September 11 has provided excellent cooperation to
the United States and other members of the international community in
response to the new global threats we face. Libya can serve as a model
for states who wish to rejoin the community of nations by rejecting

--+_Disrupt the flow of resources from rogue states to terrorists_+.
Until we can eliminate state sponsorship of terror, we will disrupt and
deny the flow of support from states to terrorists. We will continue to
create and strengthen international will to interdict material support,
akin to our efforts in the Proliferation Security Initiative--a global
effort to stop shipments of WMD, their delivery systems, and related
material. We will build international cooperation to financially
isolate rogue states and their terrorist proxies. We also will continue
to expose the vehicles and fronts that states use to support their
terrorist surrogates.

+Deny terrorists control of any nation they would use as a base and
launching pad for terror+. Our terrorist enemies are striving to claim
a strategic country as a haven for terror. From this base, they could
destabilize the Middle East and strike America and other free nations
with everincreasing violence. This we can never allow. Our enemies had
established a sanctuary in Afghanistan prior to Operation Enduring
Freedom, and today terrorists see Iraq as the central front of their
fight against the United States. This is why success in helping the
Afghan and Iraqi peoples forge effective democracies is vital. We will
continue to prevent terrorists from exploiting ungoverned or
under-governed areas as safehavens--secure spaces that allow our
enemies to plan, organize, train, and prepare for operations.
Ultimately, we will eliminate these havens altogether.

--+_Eliminate physical safehavens_+. Physical sanctuaries can stretch
across an entire sovereign state, be limited to specific ungoverned or
ill-governed areas in an otherwise functioning state, or cross national
borders. In some cases the government wants to exercise greater
effective sovereignty over its lands and maintain control within its
borders but lacks the necessary capacity. We will strengthen the
capacity of such War on Terror partners to reclaim full control of
their territory through effective police, border, and other security
forces as well as functioning systems of justice. To further counter
terrorist exploitation of under-governed lands, we will promote
effective economic development to help ensure long-term stability and
prosperity. In failing states or states emerging from conflict, the
risks are significant. Spoilers can take advantage of instability to
create conditions terrorists can exploit. We will continue to work with
foreign partners and international organizations to help prevent
conflict and respond to state failure by building foreign capacity for
peace operations, reconstruction, and stabilization so that countries
in transition can reach a sustainable path to peace, democracy, and
prosperity. Where physical havens cross national boundaries, we will
continue to work with the affected countries to help establish
effective cross-border control. Yet some countries will be reluctant to
fulfill their sovereign responsibilities to combat terrorist-related
activities within their borders. In addition to cooperation and
sustained diplomacy, we will continue to partner with the international
community to persuade states to meet their obligations to combat
terrorism and deny safehaven under U.N. Security Council Resolution

Yet safehavens are not just limited to geographic territories. They
also can be non-physical or virtual, existing within legal, cyber, and
financial systems.

--+_Legal safehavens_+. Some legal systems lack adequate procedural,
substantive, and international assistance laws that enable effective
investigation, prosecution, and extradition of terrorists. Such gaps
offer a haven in which terrorists and their organizations can operate
free from fear of prosecution. In the United States we have developed a
domestic legal system that supports effective investigation and
prosecution of terrorist activities while preserving individual
privacy, the First Amendment rights of association, religious freedom,
free speech, and other civil rights. We will continue to work with
foreign partners to build their legal capacity to investigate,
prosecute, and assist in the foreign prosecution of the full range of
terrorist activities--from provision of material support to conspiracy
to operational planning to a completed act of terrorism.

--+_Cyber safehavens_+. The Internet provides an inexpensive,
anonymous, geographically unbounded, and largely unregulated virtual
haven for terrorists. Our enemies use the Internet to develop and
disseminate propaganda, recruit new members, raise and transfer funds,
train members on weapons use and tactics, and plan operations.
Terrorist organizations can use virtual safehavens based anywhere in
the world, regardless of where their members or operatives are located.
Use of the Internet, however, creates opportunities for us to exploit.
To counter terrorist use of the Internet as a virtual sanctuary, we
will discredit terrorist propaganda by promoting truthful and peaceful
messages. We will seek ultimately to deny the Internet to the
terrorists as an effective safehaven for their propaganda,
proselytizing, recruitment, fundraising, training, and operational

--+_Financial safehavens_+. Financial systems are used by terrorist
organizations as a fiscal sanctuary in which to store and transfer the
funds that support their survival and operations. Terrorist
organizations use a variety of financial systems, including formal
banking, wire transfers, debit and other stored value cards, online
value storage and value transfer systems, the informal hawala system,
and cash couriers. Terrorist organizations may be able to take
advantage of such financial systems either as the result of willful
complicity by financial institutions or as the result of poor oversight
and monitoring practices. Domestically, we have hardened our financial
systems against terrorist abuse by promulgating effective regulations,
requiring financial institutions to report suspicious transactions, and
building effective public/private partnerships. We will continue to
work with foreign partners to ensure they develop and implement similar
regulations, requirements, and partnerships with their financial
institutions. We also will continue to use the domestic and
international designation and targeted sanctions regimes provided by,
among other mechanisms, Executive Order 13224, USA PATRIOT Act Section
311, and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267 and subsequent
resolutions. These tools identify and isolate those actors who form
part of terrorist networks or facilitate their activities.

+Institutionalizing Our Strategy for Long-term Success+

The War on Terror will be a long war. Yet we have mobilized to win
other long wars, and we can and will win this one. During the Cold War
we created an array of domestic and international institutions and
enduring partnerships to defeat the threat of communism. Today, we
require similar transformational structures to carry forward the fight
against terror and to help ensure our ultimate success:

--+_Establish and maintain international standards of accountability_+.
States that have sovereign rights also have sovereign responsibilities,
including the responsibility to combat terrorism. The international
community has developed a compelling body of international obligations
relating to counterterrorism. Twelve universal conventions and
protocols in force against terrorism have been developed under the
auspices of the United Nations as well as various U.N. Security Council
Resolutions related to combating terror. These include UNSCR 1373,
which imposes binding obligations on all states to suppress and prevent
terrorist financing, improve their border controls, enhance information
sharing and law enforcement cooperation, suppress the recruitment of
terrorists, and deny them sanctuary.

The Group of Eight (G-8) along with other multilateral and regional
bodies also have been instrumental in developing landmark
counterterrorism standards and best practices that have been adopted by
international standard-setting organizations. But our obligations are
not static. We will collaborate with our partners to update and tailor
international obligations to meet the evolving nature of the terrorist
enemies and threats we face. We also will work to ensure that each
country is both willing and able to meet its counterterrorist
responsibilities. Finally, we will not just continually monitor whether
we and the community of nations are meeting these standards but will
evaluate if we are achieving results both individually and collectively.

--+_Strengthen coalitions and partnerships_+. Since September 11, most
of our important successes against al-Qaida and other terrorist
organizations have been made possible through effective partnerships.
Continued success depends on the actions of a powerful coalition of
nations maintaining a united front against terror. Multilateral groups
such as the International Maritime Organization and the International
Civil Aviation Organization, as well as regional organizations such as
the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Organization of American
States, NATO, the European Union, the African Union, and the
Association of South East Asia Nations, among others, are essential
elements of this front.

We will ensure that such international cooperation is an enduring
feature of the long war we will fight. We will continue to leverage the
comparative advantage of these institutions and organizations--drawing
on what each does best in counterterrorism, from setting standards to
developing regional strategies to providing forums for training and
education. Indeed, a significant part of this effort includes expanding
partnership capacity. We are building the capacity of foreign partners
in all areas of counterterrorism activities, including strengthening
their ability to conduct law enforcement, intelligence, and military
counterterrorism operations. Through the provision of training,
equipment, and other assistance, the United States, along with a
coalition of willing and able states and organizations, will enhance
the ability of partners across the globe to attack and defeat
terrorists, deny them funding and freedom of movement, secure their
critical infrastructures, and deny terrorists access to WMD and
safehavens. Ultimately, it will be essential for our partners to come
together to facilitate appropriate international, regional, and local
solutions to the challenges of terrorism.

--+_Enhance government architecture and interagency collaboration_+. In
the aftermath of September 11, we have enhanced our counterterrorism
architecture and interagency collaboration by setting clear national
priorities and transforming the government to achieve those priorities.
We have established the Department of Homeland Security, bringing under
one authority 22 Federal entities with vital roles to play in
preventing terrorist attacks within the Homeland, reducing America's
vulnerability to terrorism, and minimizing the damage and facilitating
the recovery from attacks that do occur. We have reorganized the
Intelligence Community. The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) was
created to better integrate the efforts of the Community into a more
unified, coordinated, and effective whole. The DNI also launched a new
Open Source Center to coordinate open source intelligence and ensure
this information is integrated into Intelligence Community products.

In addition, a National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) was established
to serve as a multiagency center analyzing and integrating all
intelligence pertaining to terrorism, including threats to U.S.
interests at home and abroad. NCTC also is responsible for developing,
implementing, and assessing the effectiveness of strategic operational
planning efforts to achieve counterterrorism objectives. We similarly
established a National Counterproliferation Center to manage and
coordinate planning and activities in those areas.

The transformation extends to the Federal Bureau of Investigation,
which, with the help of legislation such as the USA PATRIOT Act, is now
more fully integrated with the Intelligence Community, has refocused
its efforts on preventing terrorism, and has been provided important
tools to pursue this mission. CIA also has transformed to fulfill its
role to provide overall direction for and coordination of overseas
human intelligence operations of Intelligence Community elements. In
addition, the Department of the Treasury created the Office of
Terrorism and Financial Intelligence to arm ourselves for the long term
with the intelligence and tools to undercut the financial underpinnings
of terrorism around the world.

The Department of Defense also is preparing to meet a wider range of
asymmetric challenges by restructuring its capabilities, rearranging
its global posture, and adapting its forces to be better positioned to
fight the War on Terror. This includes significantly expanding Special
Operations Forces, increasing the capabilities of its general purpose
forces to conduct irregular warfare operations, and initiating the
largest rearrangement of its global force posture since the end of
World War II.

The Department of State is implementing a new framework for foreign
assistance to establish more integrated and coherent strategic
direction and tactical plans to meet our current and longterm
challenges, including terrorism. The State Department also is
repositioning its domestic and overseas staff to better promote
America's policies and interests and have more direct local and
regional impact. This transformational diplomacy positions State to
work with partners around the world to build and sustain democratic,
well-governed states that will respond to the needs of their people and
conduct themselves responsibly in the international system.

We will sustain the transformation already under way in these and other
departments and agencies. Moreover, we will continue to build and
strengthen a unified team across the counterterrorism community, and a
key component of this effort will be fostering "jointness." Where
practicable, we will increase interagency and intergovernmental
assignments for personnel in counterterrorism-related positions. This
will help to break down organizational stovepipes and advance the
exchange of ideas and practices for more effective counterterrorism

--+_Foster intellectual and human capital_+. To better prepare
ourselves for a generational struggle against terrorism and the
extremist ideologies fueling it, we will create an expert community of
counterterrorism professionals. We will continue to establish more
systematic programs for the development and education of current
professionals in counterterrorism-related fields. We will substantively
expand our existing programs with curricula that includes not only
training in counterterrorism policies, plans and planning, strategies,
and legal authorities, but continuing education in appropriate area
studies, religious philosophies, and languages. We also will ensure
that personnel throughout all levels of government and in all fields
related to combating terror are invited to participate.

Yet such development and education programs must not be restricted to
current counterterrorism personnel. We will support multidisciplinary
studies throughout our educational system to build a knowledgeable pool
of counterterrorism recruits for the future. The recent National
Security Language Initiative is an essential step forward. It will help
to expand U.S. foreign language education beginning in early childhood
and continuing throughout formal schooling and into the workforce. Our
efforts to foster intellectual and human capital also will extend
beyond our borders--to academic and non-governmental forums with our
international partners to discuss and enhance our knowledge about the
critical counterterrorism challenges we confront.

In the War on Terror, there is also a need for all elements of our
Nation--from Federal, State, and local governments to the private
sector to local communities and individual citizens--to help create and
share responsibilities in a Culture of Preparedness. This Culture of
Preparedness, which applies to all catastrophes and all hazards,
natural or man-made, rests on four principles: a shared acknowledgement
of the certainty of future catastrophes and that creating a prepared
Nation will be a continuing challenge; the importance of initiative and
accountability at all levels of society; the role of citizen and
community preparedness; and finally, the roles of each level of
government and the private sector in creating a prepared Nation. Built
upon a foundation of partnerships, common goals, and shared
responsibility, the creation of a Culture of Preparedness will be among
our most profound and enduring transformations in the broader effort to
protect and defend the Homeland.


Since the September 11 attacks, America is safer, but we are not yet
safe. We have done much to degrade al-Qaida and its affiliates and to
undercut the perceived legitimacy of terrorism. Our Muslim partners are
speaking out against those who seek to use their religion to justify
violence and a totalitarian vision of the world. We have significantly
expanded our counterterrorism coalition, transforming old adversaries
into new and vital partners in the War on Terror. We have liberated
more than 50 million Afghans and Iraqis from despotism, terrorism, and
oppression, permitting the first free elections in recorded history for
either nation. In addition, we have transformed our governmental
institutions and framework to wage a generational struggle. There will
continue to be challenges ahead, but along with our partners, we will
attack terrorism and its ideology, and bring hope and freedom to the
people of the world. This is how we will win the War on Terror.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "National Strategy for Combating Terrorism - September 2006" ***

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