Article

Reckoning with the Consequences of Two Decades of Counterterrorism

Author : Eelco Kessels
Date : September 2021

The 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks compels the international community to take stock of the past two decades of counterterrorism policy and ask: Have these efforts made us safer, and at what cost?

This opinion piece in The Hill penned by executive director Eelco Kessels reflects on the twenty years since September 11th to underscore the urgency of restoring human rights and centering civil society in global security efforts.

The threat of terrorism today is more diverse, diffuse, and decentralized than ever before. At the same time, the growth of counterterrorism has spurned the unraveling of hard-won human rights protections and democratic norms and the shrinking of civic space. There is no evidence indicating that these restrictions reduce terrorist attacks; quite the opposite, they may in fact help galvanize radicalization and recruitment.

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