November 3, 2016, Partnership for Peace Consortium
A common failure in much of today’s mainstream thinking is the belief that asymmetric warfare can be stopped by conventional warfare. This is not to say that we do not need strong conventional warfare forces and capabilities. Addressing the use of asymmetric methods in conventional warfare is important. But equally important is a strategy to counter transnational asymmetric terrorism (TAT). Because threats can come from so many unexpected sources, when attempting to provide security today, governments need to cast wider and wider nets for information gathering with potential for abuse in the securing of information.
Inherent in the price of freedom is acceptance of a certain degree of risk to life and property. Regrettably, one cannot protect everything everywhere, all the time. To effectively manage costs of security in terms of civil liberties and unlimited expenditure of funds, nations should adopt a doctrine of ‘acceptable losses’. Presented here are nine options for consideration by policymakers when designing strategies to mitigate transnational asymmetric terrorism (TAT) within a framework of acceptable losses and sustainable costs.