With the recent attempted Times' Square car-bombing in New York, the issue of terrorist acts in North America has been brought to the forefront once again. This issue is a reminder that as a country we must continually train individuals to obtain the skills in intelligence analysis and collection necessary to protect against the terrorist threat. Such incidents also explain the current high demand for programs in the strategic security field, such as intelligence studies programs, as well as counterterrorism and protection management programs. I suggest, however, that intelligence studies programs will provide added benefit to students by incorporating anti-terrorism training into their curriculums.
By adding anti-terrorism training via more courses and hands-on assignments, intelligence studies programs will achieve more recognition and more value. The programs may better prepare students for their future careers.
Intelligence studies programs encompass the art and science of how intelligence professionals employ analytic and operational tradecraft to achieve their goals and objectives. These programs prepare students to become intelligence analysts focusing in specific areas including counterterrorism. Such programs introduce students to the basic concepts of intelligence gathering and analysis as well as counterintelligence, collection management, and intelligence operations. These programs also teach students how intelligence manifests itself in many ways, requiring an astute and open mind to determine how to analyze and understand what and where intelligence can be found as well as how it can be used. To become a good intelligence analyst, a student must develop strong analytical skills. These analytical skills can also help analysts develop a better understanding of how to identify root causes of terrorism. Intelligence analysts within the counterterrorism field focus on analyzing the terrorist threat. Counter terrorism consists of using strategic intelligence and applying force to find and eliminate terrorists, and is basically a strategy of suppression and repression.
In addition to counterterrorism training, students enrolled in intelligence studies programs will also benefit by incorporating anti-terrorism training into their curriculum and skill-sets. Anti-terrorism training is a strategic, long- term effort towards reducing and altogether halting terrorism by focusing on root causes and seeking to change the environment which fosters terrorism. Anti- terrorism strategy consists of learning how to gather and disseminate information, promoting public discussion of terrorism root causes, conducting civil litigation against terrorist actors, and organizing social institutions to accomplish these functions. Anti terrorism is defined as a comprehensive eliminating the causes and resources enabling terrorism via a strategy of expanding democracy.
By incorporating anti-terrorism training into their curriculum, students in intelligence studies programs who go on to work within the counterterrorism field will have a better understanding of how to combat terrorism by using their analytical skills to recognize root causes as well as how to mitigate the current terrorist threat. It is important for individuals within the intelligence field who specialize in counterterrorism to have a solid foundation in both anti-terrorism and counterterrorism training in order to best protect the United States from current threats, as well as prevent the proliferation of future terrorist acts.