Not 'By All Means Necessary': A Comparative Framework for Post-9/11 Approaches to Counterterrorism
15 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2009 Last revised: 6 Feb 2013
Date Written: 2009
Counterterrorism significantly benefits from a comparativist approach. Precisely because no one country has the monopoly on effective operational measures, nation states significantly benefit from analyzing measures applied by other states confronting similar dilemmas and challenges subject to the role of law. To that end, this article examines the policies of targeted killing and administrative detention as applied in Israel and asks whether and how they are applicable to American counterterrorism. In asking this question, it is important to determine whether the two policies are relevant to the U.S. legal framework. An important consideration is how the differences between Israeli and American societies, geographies, constitutions, and strategies condition the counterterrorism policy of each country. As a result of such differences, what works in one country may not work in another. While I am an unequivocal advocate for comparative research and analysis and have sought to bring this approach to my scholarship, I am fully aware of its limitations. That said, I firmly believe that nation states can and must learn from each other. While judicial, constitutional, and societal paradigms are unique and distinct, like-minded civil, democratic states must undertake the critical effort to understand how similar countries address similar issues.
Keywords: Counterterrorism, comparative approach, detention, targeted killing, administrative detention, judicial review, intelligence information, international law
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