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Perspectives Review: The Consequence of 9/11 for the US Security Sector (by Šárka Waisová )

Original article by: Šárka Waisová, associate professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts, University of West Bohemia in Pilsen (Czech Republic) Review by: Anja Grabovac, PR assistant at IIR

The terrorist act, which occurred almost 13 years ago, has launched a political movement with the aim to protect and secure the western civilization, to safe-guard the concept of liberty, civil society and most importantly, to promote democracy across the world. The issues such as terrorism, extremism or Islam have been discussed endlessly, but Šárka Waisová takes on a different approach with her work. She analyses the security sector by looking at its complexity and the role multi-layered architecture, actors, new mechanisms and procedures play for the US. The security policy is transforming into a new organizational structure, called security sector governance. With expertise in international relations, conflicts and conflict resolution and the role of state and non-state actors, Waissová delivers a brand-new study about conceptual and practical consequences of 9/11 for the US Security Sector and subsequently for the rest of the world.

First, the explanation of the concept of security governance is needed to understand the changing process of the US Security Sector. It is „ an analytical perspective which helps to capture complex governing mechanisms in a certain issue-area characterized by different types of actors operating at different levels.” The US government has developed a new approach in assessing terrorist attacks as well as non-military threats by combining diplomatic, security and development instruments causing institutional, organizational and budgetary changes. What stands behind this transformation? How is this change reflected in Security Sector?

The war on terror has been the primary motive behind military interventions in Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003). Today, the US has been the main provider of stabilization and reconstruction efforts (e.g. expertise in farming, raising livestock, cultivating natural resources etc.). “The US military has been used as a nation-building instrument and at the same time for heavy combat operations.” Without its presence, both states face severe economic, political and social after-effects. What are the latest developments in assessing potential risks threatening people’s safety and democracy? Innovations to improve the stabilization and reconstruction efforts were made during the Bush administration, and Obama has continued with this direction.

Opinions on what the direction of a US security sector ought to be differ significantly. “American diplomacy must alter its approach in order for the democracy, economic reconstruction and military security to successfully work” with the help of “Adaptation of national security with new approaches in order to achieve strategic success” are just some of the proposed changes by USJFCOM (United States Joint Forces Command). How will the US approach this problem?

Read the whole article in the latest issue of Perspectives (Vol. 21, No. 1, 2013) in your library or order one online today!

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