The area of counter-terrorism (CT) is littered with mistakes, be these high-profile mistakes which have dire consequences (the fatal shooting of John Charles de Menezes) or more mundane errors (such as incorrect detention/questioning of those suspected of terrorism). In this chapter, we seek to disaggregate the mistakes, errors and miscalculations around counter-terrorism policy. We begin by noting the particular difficulties and complications in assessing when â€˜something goes wrongâ€™ in terms of counter-terrorism. There are particular issues around uncertainty in terms of counter-terrorism. This uncertainty gives precautionary logics a prominent place in counter-terrorism, such that the absence of knowledge about terrorist attacks is often seen as no barrier to pursuing counter-terrorism measures. In such a situation of uncertainty, does the absence of a terrorist attack mean that counter-terrorism has successfully averted an attack? Or was an attack not likely/never planned? How do we calculate the impacts, or costs and benefits, of counter-terrorism in more subjective terms?
|Title of host publication
|Political Mistakes and Policy Failures in International Relations
|Andreas Kruck, Kai Oppermann, Alexander Spencer
|Place of Publication
|Published - 2018