Adaptations In Terrorist Organization: Moving From Hierarchical Organizational Model To A More Networked And Decentralized Model

“Perhaps the most fundamental shift rests in the enemy's downsizing. We will not see large al-Qaida armies. Rather, we will increasingly face enemy forces in small teams or even individuals. From an operational perspective, these are ‘micro-targets with macro-impact’ operating in the global exchange of people, data, and ideas. The enemy, their tradecraft, their tactics, their weapons, and their battlefield, our battlefield all evolve at the pace of globalization itself.

Since 9/11, stronger metal detectors and even full body scanners were put in place to help secure and prevent terrorist attacks during air travel. It is safe to say that the TSA was put into effect for the betterment of the American people. In December 2005, TSA created Visible Intermodal Protection and Response (VIPR) teams, which is an added incentive to ensure travelers reach the destinations safety. The VIPR team is compiled of surface transportation security inspectors, federal air marshals, explosive-detection canine teams, aviation security inspectors, and transportation security officers. Also, in December 2006, “President Bush issued Executive Order 13416, which requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to create a security plan for all components of the U. S. surface transportation system”.

In examining the structure of terrorist groups, this handbook presents two general categories of organization: network and hierarchy. A terrorist group may employ either type or a combination of the two models. Contemporary groups tend to organize or adapt to opportunities available in the network model. Other variants professing an ideology can have more defined effects on internal organization. Leninist or Maoist groups can tend towards centralized control and hierarchical structure. Then in a 1954 revision, the strategy shifted from prevention through denial, to one of influence through cooperation, but it became clear, allies planned to sell nuclear material and reprocessing equipment. Other laws such as the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), attempted to limit the transfer of WMD and technology but this law, as well as many others, have been amended to address the range of threat, but only a few address only one kind of weapon of mass destruction, while others focus on a proliferation threat from a particular county.

Terrorist groups that are associated with a political activity or organization will often require a more hierarchical structure, in order to coordinate deliberate terrorist violence with political action. Examples include observing cease-fire agreements or avoiding particular targets in support of political objectives. Changes that need to take place there needs to be a political, qualitative approach to defining WMD and take a “one size fits all” approach, rather than keep reinventing the wheel by new policies and redefining those that are not working. The number of causalities generally define the quantitative approach but this is not the correct approach, because often times the count is not the point, we should be more concerned with the political objective of the terrorist. So according to Forest & Howard (2013), a political, qualitative approach is the best.

Again the U. S. is making progress in the field of nanotechnology, China is a superior leader in the area of this research. Additionally, many believe the U. S. is behind in these key areas of technology, as well as agreeing to the actual definition of weapons of mass destruction. However, al-Qaida presents an example that has evolved from a hierarchical organization to a much more networked organization. Aspects of hierarchy still exist in senior leaders, cadre for functional coordination, and dedicated subgroups of terrorism. Current patterns display an increasing use of loosely affiliated networks that plan and act on generalized guidance on waging terror.

18 March 2020
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