Shaping the Policy Agenda to Include Alternatives to Military Solutions to Al-Qaeda Terrorism

Client: New York University Center on Catastrophe Preparedness and Response
Faculty: Dennis Smith
Team: Rassa Admadi, Daneen Carroll, Alex Mitchell, Carol Tam, Mimi Vu
Year: 2005
It is generally assumed that the only way for the US to address the threat of terror-ism is to defeat it by military means, and that the US should not and cannot negotiate-ate with terrorists (either because there are no issues to negotiate or terrorists are irrational actors who only desire violent tactics). The Capstone team was asked to conduct action research on al Qaeda' score issues and to assess the extent to which it might be possible to address it score issues, to influence its perspectives and behaviors, and to slow down or undermine its recruitment efforts. Working closely with Adjunct Associate Professor Allen Zerkin, the team produced a white paper that outlined key questions and summarized this research, and organized two Roundtable meetings of academic scholars, security experts, diplomats and former public officials. The team also produced a proceedings report which highlighted the points of discussion, the underlying goal being how this exploration could become part of the US policy agenda.