Oct 20th 2014

Responding to 9/11: Counterterrorism Policy in the 21st Century (Coursera)

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9/11 was a devastating attack that required a comprehensive response from the United States. This course will examine post-9/11 U.S. counterterrorism policies regarding the use of military force, law enforcement and intelligence collection, and domestic security. We will trace these policies to the current day and assess their legality, ethics, and efficacy.

This course will examine and evaluate the counterterrorism policies pursued by the United States in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The core learning goal will be for student to learn how to think strategically – that is, to determine what the key objectives the U.S. has been pursuing, critically evaluate whether the policies that have been put in place are achieving these objectives, and consider whether and how these policies should be modified to better meet the U.S.'s strategic goals. Students will have the opportunity to examine counterterrorism policies in three different areas: the use of military force (Afghanistan, Iraq and drones), intelligence and law enforcement authorities (interrogation of enemy combatants, electronic surveillance and government access to data), and homeland security (aviation security and countering violent extremism policy). Each of these topics will require students to grapple with not only questions of efficacy, but also legality and morality.