Policy Brief

Multilateral Counterterrorism: Harmonizing Political Direction and Technical Expertise

Author : Alistair Millar
Date : December 2010

Multilateral cooperation on counterterrorism activities offers a window into the roles of agenda-setters at the top political levels of government and the working-level experts whose command of intricate practicalities is so essential to implementation. As multilateral counterterrorism efforts have drawn more than 100 international agencies, councils, and offices into the effort, clear and effective collaboration between the two levels has become that much more important. The synchronization of international objectives in the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy has created an opening for better technical and political multilateral coordination. A risk remains, however, that, by focusing on a short list of priority areas, such as countering violent extremism in Yemen, the international community might be giving short shrift to other regions where political violence could also threaten future peace and security. This brief, published by the Stanley Foundation, finds that input from technical experts is essential to keep those who set the agenda from putting all the attention on a narrow set of current hot spots and missing opportunities to prevent future hubs of terrorism from emerging.

Download Publication