Domestic surveillance successfully checks terror incidents now. Prefer longitudinal studies



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Generic

at: Terror Risk Exaggerated

The Terror Talk and Terror exaggeration K’s can be true and still not eliminate our impact. Some exaggeration takes place – but the risk is real.


Lewis ’14 James Andrew Lewis is a senior fellow and director of the Strategic Technologies Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., where he writes on technology, security, and the international economy. Before joining CSIS, he worked at the US Departments of State and Commerce as a Foreign Service officer and as a member of the Senior Executive Service. His diplomatic experience included negotiations on military basing in Asia, the Cambodia peace process, and the five-power talks on arms transfer restraint. Lewis received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. “Underestimating Risk in the Surveillance Debate” - CENTER FOR STRATEGIC & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES - STRATEGIC TECHNOLOGIES PROGRAM – December - http://csis.org/publication/underestimating-risk-surveillance-debate

The phrase “terrorism” is overused, and the threat of terrorist attack is easily exaggerated, but that does not mean this threat it is nonexistent. Groups and individuals still plan to attack American citizens and the citizens of allied countries. The dilemma in assessing risk is that it is discontinuous. There can be long periods where no activity is apparent, only to have the apparent calm explode in an attack. The constant, low-level activity in planning and preparation in Western countries is not apparent to the public, nor is it easy to identify the moment that discontent turns into action. There is general agreement that as terrorists splinter into regional groups, the risk of attack increases. Certainly, the threat to Europe from militants returning from Syria points to increased risk for U.S. allies. The messy U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and (soon) Afghanistan contributes to an increase in risk.24 European authorities have increased surveillance and arrests of suspected militants as the Syrian conflict lures hundreds of Europeans. Spanish counterterrorism police say they have broken up more terrorist cells than in any other European country in the last three years.25 The chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, who is better placed than most members of Congress to assess risk, said in June 2014 that the level of terrorist activity was higher than he had ever seen it.26 If the United States overreacted in response to September 11, it now risks overreacting to the leaks with potentially fatal consequences. A simple assessment of the risk of attack by jihadis would take into account a resurgent Taliban, the power of lslamist groups in North Africa, the continued existence of Shabaab in Somalia, and the appearance of a powerful new force, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Al Qaeda, previously the leading threat, has splintered into independent groups that make it a less coordinated force but more difficult target. On the positive side, the United States, working with allies and friends, appears to have contained or eliminated jihadi groups in Southeast Asia.

Terror risk not exaggerated – new developments mean risks have not diminished


Lewis ’14 James Andrew Lewis is a senior fellow and director of the Strategic Technologies Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., where he writes on technology, security, and the international economy. Before joining CSIS, he worked at the US Departments of State and Commerce as a Foreign Service officer and as a member of the Senior Executive Service. His diplomatic experience included negotiations on military basing in Asia, the Cambodia peace process, and the five-power talks on arms transfer restraint. Lewis received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. “Underestimating Risk in the Surveillance Debate” - CENTER FOR STRATEGIC & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES - STRATEGIC TECHNOLOGIES PROGRAM – December - http://csis.org/publication/underestimating-risk-surveillance-debate

The echoes of September 11 have faded and the fear of attack has diminished. We are reluctant to accept terrorism as a facet of our daily lives, but major attacks—roughly one a year in the last five years—are regularly planned against U.S. targets, particularly passenger aircraft and cities. America’s failures in the Middle East have spawned new, aggressive terrorist groups. These groups include radicalized recruits from the Westone estimate puts the number at over 3,000who will return home embittered and hardened by combat. Particularly in Europe, the next few years will see an influx of jihadis joining the existing population of homegrown radicals, but the United States itself remains a target.


Biases cut both ways – civil libertarians tend to underestimate the terror risk


Lewis ’14 James Andrew Lewis is a senior fellow and director of the Strategic Technologies Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., where he writes on technology, security, and the international economy. Before joining CSIS, he worked at the US Departments of State and Commerce as a Foreign Service officer and as a member of the Senior Executive Service. His diplomatic experience included negotiations on military basing in Asia, the Cambodia peace process, and the five-power talks on arms transfer restraint. Lewis received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. “Underestimating Risk in the Surveillance Debate” - CENTER FOR STRATEGIC & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES - STRATEGIC TECHNOLOGIES PROGRAM – December - http://csis.org/publication/underestimating-risk-surveillance-debate

If the risk of attack is increasing, it is not the right time to change the measures the United States has put in place to deter another 9/11. If risk is decreasing, surveillance programs can be safely reduced or eliminated. A more complicated analysis would ask if the United States went too far after 9/11 and the measures it put in place can be reduced to a reasonable level without increasing risk. Unfortunately, precise metrics on risk and effectiveness do not exist,12 and we are left with the conflicting opinions of intelligence officials and civil libertarians as to what makes effective intelligence or counterterrorism programs. There are biases on both sides, with intelligence officials usually preferring more information to less and civil libertarians can be prone to wishful thinking about terrorism and opponent intentions.13

at: “neg authors use poor methods”

Our authors use good methods


Boyle 8 (Michael J., School of International Relations, University of St. Andrews, and John Horgan, International Center for the Study of Terrorism, Department of Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, April 2008, “A Case Against Critical Terrorism Studies,” Critical Studies On Terrorism, Vol. 1, No. 1, p. 51-64)

One of the tensions within CTS concerns the issue of ‘policy relevance’. At the most basic level, there are some sweeping generalizations made by CTS scholars, often with little evidence. For example, Jackson (2007c) describes ‘the core terrorism scholars’ (without explicitly saying who he is referring to) as ‘intimately connected – institutionally, financially, politically, and ideologically – with a state hegemonic project’ (p. 245). Without giving any details of who these ‘core’ scholars are, where they are, what they do, and exactly who funds them, his arguments are tantamount to conjecture at best. We do not deny that governments fund terrorism research and terrorism researchers, and that this can influence the direction (and even the findings) of the research. But we are suspicious of over-generalizations of this count on two grounds: (1) accepting government funding or information does not necessarily obviate one’s independent scholarly judgment in a particular project; and (2) having policy relevance is not always a sin. On the first point, we are in agreement with some CTS scholars. Gunning provides a sensitive analysis of this problem, and calls on CTS advocates to come to terms with how they can engage policy-makers without losing their critical distance. He recognizes that CTS can (and should) aim to be policy-relevant, but perhaps to a different audience, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil society than just governments and security services. In other words, CTS aims to whisper into the ear of the prince, but it is just a different prince. Gunning (2007a) also argues that research should be assessed on its own merits, for ‘just because a piece of research comes from RAND does not invalidate it; conversely, a “critical” study is not inherently good’ (p. 240). We agree entirely with this. Not all sponsored or contract research is made to ‘toe a party line’, and much of the work coming out of official government agencies or affiliated government agencies has little agenda and can be analytically useful. The task of the scholar is to retain one’s sense of critical judgment and integrity, and we believe that there is no prima facie reason to assume that this cannot be done in sponsored research projects. What matters here are the details of the research – what is the purpose of the work, how will it be done, how might the work be used in policy – and for these questions the scholar must be self-critical and insistent on their intellectual autonomy. The scholar must also be mindful of the responsibility they bear for shaping a government’s response to the problem of terrorism. Nothing – not the source of the funding, purpose of the research or prior empirical or theoretical commitment – obviates the need of the scholar to consider his or her own conscience carefully when engaging in work with any external actor. But simply engaging with governments on discrete projects does not make one an ‘embedded expert’ nor does it imply sanction to their actions. But we also believe that the study of political violence lends itself to policy relevance and that those who seek to produce research that might help policy-makers reduce the rates of terrorist attack are committing no sin, provided that they retain their independent judgment and report their findings candidly and honestly. In the case of terrorism, we would go further to argue that being policy relevant is in some instances an entirely justifiable moral choice. For example, neither of us has any problem producing research with a morally defensible but policy relevant goal (for example, helping the British government to prevent suicide bombers from attacking the London Underground) and we do not believe that engaging in such work tarnishes one’s stature as an independent scholar. Implicit in the CTS literature is a deep suspicion about the state and those who engage with it. Such a suspicion may blind some CTS scholars to good work done by those associated with the state. But to assume that being ‘embedded’ in an institution linked to the ‘establishment’ consists of being captured by a state hegemonic project is too simple. We do not believe that scholars studying terrorism must all be policy-relevant, but equally we do not believe that being policy relevant should always be interpreted as writing a blank cheque for governments or as necessarily implicating the scholar in the behaviour of that government on issues unrelated to one’s work. Working for the US government, for instance, does not imply that the scholar sanctions or approves of the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison. The assumption that those who do not practice CTS are all ‘embedded’ with the ‘establishment’ and that this somehow gives the green light for states to engage in illegal activity is in our view unwarranted, to say the very least.

not hype

Even K-hack critics of security practices concede terrorism’s worse---threatens extinction


Derrida 3 - Jacques Derrida, Directeur d’Etudes at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, and Professor of Philosophy, French and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine, 2003, Philosophy in a Time of Terror, p. 98-99

Why is this threat signaled by the “end of the Cold War”? Why is it worse than the “Cold War” itself? Like the formation of Arab Muslim terrorist networks equipped and trained during the Cold War, this threat represents the residual consequence of both the Cold War and the passage beyond the Cold War. On the one hand, because of the now uncontrollable proliferation of nuclear capability it is difficult to measure the degrees and forms of this force, just as it is difficult to delimit the responsibility for this proliferation, a point we cannot pursue here. On the other hand, and here we touch upon what is worse than the Cold War, there can now no longer be a balance of terror, for there is no longer a duel or standoff between two powerful states (U.S.A., -USSR) involved in a game theory in which both states are capable of neutralizing the other’s nuclear power through a reciprocal and organized evaluation of the respective risks. From now on, the nuclear threat, the “total” threat, no longer comes from a state but from anonymous forces that are absolutely unforeseeable and incalculable. And since this absolute threat will have been secreted by the end of the Cold War and the “victory” of the U.S. camp, since it threatens what is supposed to sustain world order, the very possibility of a world and of any world- -wide effort [mondialisation] (international law, a world market, a universal language, and so on), what is thus put at risk by this terrifying autoimmunitary logic is nothing less than the existence of the world, of the worldwide itself. There is no longer any limit to this threat that at once looks for its antecedents or its resources in the long history of the Cold War and yet appears infinitely more dangerous, frightening, terrifying than the Cold War. And there are, in fact, countless signs that this threat is accelerating and confirming the end of this Cold War, hastening the at least apparent reconciliation of two equally frightened enemies. When Bush and his associates blame “the axis of evil,” we ought both to smile at and denounce the religious connotations, the childish stratagems, the obscurantist mystifications of this inflated rhetoric. And yet there is, in fact, and from every quarter, an absolute “evil” whose threat, whose shadow, is spreading. Absolute evil, absolute threat, because what is at stake is nothing less than the mondialisation or the worldwide movement of the world, life on earth and elsewhere, without remainder.


Our ev is epistemologically rigorous


Boyle 08 Michael J. Boyle, School of International Relations, University of St. Andrews, and John Horgan, International Center for the Study of Terrorism, Department of Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, Critical Studies On Terrorism, April 2008, “A Case Against Critical Terrorism Studies,” Vol. 1, No. 1, p. 51-64, Taylor and Francis

Jackson (2007c) calls for the development of an explicitly CTS on the basis of what he argues preceded it, dubbed ‘Orthodox Terrorism Studies’. The latter, he suggests, is characterized by: (1) its poor methods and theories, (2) its state centricity, (3) its problemsolving orientation, and (4) its institutional and intellectual links to state security projects. Jackson argues that the major defining characteristic of CTS, on the other hand, should be ‘a skeptical attitude towards accepted terrorism “knowledge”’. An implicit presumption from this is that terrorism scholars have laboured for all of these years without being aware that their area of study has an implicit bias, as well as definitional and methodological problems. In fact, terrorism scholars are not only well aware of these problems, but also have provided their own searching critiques of the field at various points during the last few decades (e.g. Silke 1996, Crenshaw 1998, Gordon 1999, Horgan 2005, esp. ch. 2, ‘Understanding Terrorism’). Some of those scholars most associated with the critique of empiricism implied in ‘Orthodox Terrorism Studies’ have also engaged in deeply critical examinations of the nature of sources, methods, and data in the study of terrorism. For example, Jackson (2007a) regularly cites the handbook produced by Schmid and Jongman (1988) to support his claims that theoretical progress has been limited. But this fact was well recognized by the authors; indeed, in the introduction of the second edition they point out that they have not revised their chapter on theories of terrorism from the first edition, because the failure to address persistent conceptual and data problems has undermined progress in the field. The point of their handbook was to sharpen and make more comprehensive the result of research on terrorism, not to glide over its methodological and definitional failings (Schmid and Jongman 1988, p. xiv). Similarly, Silke’s (2004) volume on the state of the field of terrorism research performed a similar function, highlighting the shortcomings of the field, in particular the lack of rigorous primary data collection. A non-reflective community of scholars does not produce such scathing indictments of its own work.


homeland attack

There is a risk of an attack on the homeland.


Bradner ’15 Eric Bradner - Politics reporter for CNN. Former President, Society of Professional Journalists, Indiana Pro chapter – “GOP senator: U.S. 'certainly vulnerable' to ISIS” – CNN – May 10th - http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/10/politics/isis-ron-johnson-us-threat/index.html

The United States is "certainly vulnerable" to becoming a new front line in the fight against ISIS, Sen. Ron Johnson said Sunday. The Wisconsin Republican who chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee told CNN's Jim Sciutto on "State of the Union" Sunday that attacks inspired by ISIS, like one against a provocative cartoon contest in Texas a week ago, are allowing the group to convey a "winner's message."

High Propensity for an attack on the homeland


Bradner ’15 Eric Bradner - Politics reporter for CNN. Former President, Society of Professional Journalists, Indiana Pro chapter – “GOP senator: U.S. 'certainly vulnerable' to ISIS” – CNN – May 10th - http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/10/politics/isis-ron-johnson-us-threat/index.html

Two other experts said the threat of ISIS now is greater than what al Qaeda posed to the United States at the time of the 9/11 attack. "We're in much more serious circumstances today than we were after 9/11," said Tom Ridge, who served as secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush.
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