The Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security’s mission is to promote the national security by advancing our understanding of terrorism and the means to combat it through research, teaching, and developing partnerships between universities, industry and government. Learn more.
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.
Fran Townsend and Daniel Benjamin discussed “The Evolving Threat of Terrorism – What Should be Done?” in front of a packed audience last Wednesday, 10 September. The two experts elaborated on concerns about ISIS hours before President Obama addressed the nation, outlining potential options on how the U.S. could respond. For more on the event, click here.
On Friday, September 12, TCTHS director David Schanzer responded to questions from Moscow’s Voice of Russia Radio about the effect the new U.S. strategy in Syria will have. In the segment, Schanzer discusses Obama’s strategy to destroy ISIS and U.S. intentions for Syria.
To listen to the segment, click here.
National security expert LT COL Tim Nichols (USMC RET) appeared on WUNC’s “The State of Things” today to discuss President Obama’s plan to confront the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Nichols discussed the Islamic State and the American response outlined in the president’s address to the nation last night.
TCTHS director David Schanzer and fellow national security expert LT COL Tim Nichols (USMC RET), address the U.S.’s response to the emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in their jointly-written op-ed for ISLAMiCommentary. Schanzer and Nichols played down the ISIS threat to the homeland and urged the US to build an international coalition. “What we cannot do is let fear and hyperbole lead us into the trap that ISIS is setting for us. Like al Qaeda before it, ISIS is eager to draw America into a conflict in the Middle East and satisfy its bloodlust on American targets in its own backyard.”
Schanzer and Nichols said it is time to “cool down the rhetoric (especially the quasi-religious references to the ‘gates of hell’), beef up what we need to do to protect the homeland from returning fighters, and build an enduring coalition to confront ISIS and other extremist organizations.”
The 2014 Robert R. Wilson Lecture this year will be a discussion between two leading counterterrorism experts from the Bush and Obama administrations. Fran Townsend, former chair of the Homeland Security Council for the George W. Bush administration, and Ambassador Daniel Benjamin, principal counterterrorism advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will discuss the changing terrorist threats. TCTHS director David Schanzer (@schanzerdavid) will moderate.
This event is free and open to the public. Parking will be available in the Science Drive Visitors lot ($5/vehicle, cash only). For more information or media inquiries, please contact Alexandra Pfadt (email@example.com).
Link to the event live stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gu7OP6iDBhQ.
In his response to Shmuel Rosner’s op-ed in The New York Times, TCTHS director David Schanzer pushes back against Rosner’s claim that non-Israeli liberal Jews are “fair-weather fans” when it comes to supporting Israel. Schanzer defends Israel’s incursion into Gaza to seal off the tunnels and punish those behind the rocket launches, but criticizes the IDF’s “lack of strategic vision.” Click here for the full article.
On April 25, 2014 five Duke University Fellows in Counterterrorism and Public Policy (CTPP) presented their year-long research in the program’s second annual conference “Embracing Strategic Uncertainty: Preparing for the Unknown.” The topics were:
Biographies for each of the CTPP fellows can be found here. The research reports will be made available soon.
TCTHS director, David Schanzer’s response to Marc Sageman’s article “The Stagnation in Terrorism Research” criticizing the current state of terrorism research. Read the full article here.
The Boston Marathon bombing continues to raise new questions on th
e growing threat of homegrown terrorism. As law enforcement become adept at identifying terrorists outside the U.S., how do we stop the extremists in our own backyard? Listen in live at 1:35pm as TCTHS director David Schanzer participates in “Uncovering the Face of Homegrown Terrorism.”
In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing one year ago Tuesday, many commentators and public officials called this
tragedy a harbinger of more homegrown terrorist attacks to come.While
only one year has passed, much of this concern appears to have been hyperbole, says TCTHS director David Schanzer and Charles Kurzman. Read the full article here.
In his article “Time for Full Disclosure of CIA Interrogations” published in The Huffington Post, David Schanzer, director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, says it is time for the CIA “to come clean, move on, and let history be the judge.” “There is no undoing this damage,” Schanzer says, “the best that can be done is to stop the bleeding and manage the consequences.” Read the full article here.
The TCTHS announces the fifth annual report on Muslim-American terrorism suspects and perpetrators written by Charlie Kurzman. “Despite concerns that the Boston Marathon bombing or the civil war in Syria might lead to an upsurge of violence in the United States, the number of Muslim-American terrorism plots remained low in 2013,” said the author of the report, Charles Kurzman, a professor of sociology at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. “Foreign terrorist organizations continued to have difficulty recruiting Muslim-American communities.”
TCTHS Director David Schanzer responds to the media buzz around Edward Snowden after a U.S. district judge ruled yesterday the National Security Agency’s metadata program is unconstitutional. To see why Schanzer says “the Snowden bandwagon may be crowded these days, but there are many reasons to stay off of it,” read the full article here.
The former director of the CIA and NSA, Gen. Michael Hayden (USAF, Ret.) and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, Barton Gellman, squared off last week over the implications of national security reporting. A lively and informative debate covered ethical obligations of journalism, the need for discretion in reporting of sensitive issues, and the imperative for secrecy in protecting national security priorities. For more, watch a recording of the event on the Sanford School of Public Policy YouTube page here.
TCTHS director David Schanzer will moderate a discussion between former director of the NSA and CIA, General Michael Hayden (USAF – Retired) and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, Barton Gellman on the implications of national security leaks and the media.
For more information on the event, click here.
The TCTHS hosted White House National Security Staff Member and director for Community Partnerships, George Selim, Nov. 4-5 for a series of meetings with students to discuss careers in public service. Selim encouraged students to develop their personal networks through relationships and focus on the human element of breaking into the field. In his time with students, Selim also fielded questions about his role in community engagement and outreach to which he explained the desire for and necessity of cultivating and maintaining strong relationships with communities and individuals rather than just community leaders.
TCTHS Director David Schanzer is preparing to launch a mass online course on 9/11 and its Aftermath in September. This course will explore the forces that led to the 9/11 attacks and the policies the United States adopted in response. In the course, students will examine the phenomenon of modern terrorism, the development of the al Qai’da ideology, and the process by which individuals radicalize towards violence. For more information or to register for the course click here.
August 13, 2013: TCTHS’s Bruce Jentleson and David Schanzer respond to the decision to close US embassies and consulates across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia last week due to an unspecified terrorist threat. To hear Jentleson’s and Schanzer’s comments, click here.
July 12, 2013: TCTHS Director David Schanzer comments on Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano’s resignation and legacy saying “she suffered a bit of a rocky start” but “enjoyed a solid tenure at the Department of Homeland Security.” To read more on Schanzer’s commentary, click here.