Peter Neumann assessed President Donald Trump’s approach to countering terrorism, and argued that his war on terror looks strong and powerful in the short term, but will cause damage over time.
Defeating terrorism was one of Donald Trump's key campaign promises. But there is no easy way to make sense of Donald Trump's war on terror. Is it all bluster, aimed at mobilising his base, or does it represent a genuine shift from previous administrations?
Since Trump took office, American counterterrorism has become more militaristic and less interested in causes and consequences. Relationships with foreign partners have deteriorated and right-wing extremists feel powerful and emboldened. The most significant change of paradigm--the conflation of terrorism, immigration, and Islam--has not just resulted in costly failures, such as the 'Muslim ban', but also undermined the trust of immigrant communities and multiculturalism in the US.
Professor Neumann examined the background to President Trump's policy and argued that while his war on terror appears to be strong and powerful, it will cause will cause lasting damage over time.
Professor Peter Neumann is Professor of Security Studies at the War Studies Department, King's College London, and has served as Director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation since its founding in 2018. He has authored or co-authored five books, including Old and New Terrorism, published by Polity Press in 2009; and The Strategy of Terrorism (with MLR Smith), published by Routledge in 2008. He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles, dealing with different aspects of terrorism and radicalization, especially ‘homegrown’ radicalization in Western countries. Professor Neumann has taught courses on terrorism, counterterrorism, intelligence, radicalization and counter-radicalization at King's College London and the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where he serves as adjunct professor.