In 1972 Palestinian terrorist took several German national hostages during the Olympics. Due to the mismanagement of the following hostage crisis where all the hostages were killed, several of the terrorist were killed and even a policeman was killed (Rossenburg, 2016). Due to the issues involved with this particular event the German government created a special anti terrorism unit called GSG-9. This unit is part of the federal government police however they have only one mandate and that is to fight and counter terrorism. This special unit does nothing else. They are the foremost experts in their country and around the world. Many people would say that the United States has Navy SEALS, Green Berets or Army Rangers and that these are just as elite and effective. However, the main difference between the United States and Germany is that GSG 9 is not a military force. There for there is no need for special mandates for GSG 9 to operate within the country. Unlike Americas Special Forces they cannot operate within the United States without a presidential mandate (Linch, 2011).
We do have the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) who are fighting against terrorism in the United States. We also have local SWAT teams to deal with the tactical aspect of any terrorist issues. However, GSG 9 was designed to fight terrorism and that is all they do, they are the first and last resort for all terrorism issues with in Germany. DHS was created to help fill the gap of information sharing with in the United States following the 9/11 attacks. There are still too many agencies with their fingers in the mix. There needs to be one team that deals with all terrorists issues from start to finish just like Germany’s GSG 9 does.
Another aspect that the United States could do better is investing into failed states before they fail. The United States destroyed Saddam Hussein and freed Iraq’s people from an evil dictator. All across the region countries and governments are failing and the voids left from these failings are being filled by terrorist and extremists. According to a congressional report entitled Germany’s role in fighting terrorism: implications for U.S. policy, they state “German officials do not believe that military force can serve as the principal instrument to fight terrorism. Germany tends to stress “soft power” instruments such as diplomacy, development assistance, and addressing issues that can give rise to terrorism: “Providing support for modernization, resolving bitter regional conflicts, rebuilding shattered structures is just as important as the work being done by the military, the police and the secret services”, Chancellor Schroeder has said that “the foremost task of international politics is to prevent wars” and that Germany seeks peaceful resolution of international disputes as a guiding principle” (Miko, & Froehlich, 2005).
Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria are just a few of the “failed states” or on the verge of being failed states. The United States now has to find away to help these countries grow and thrive and develop into strong governments that allow those countries to govern themselves without the United States intervention. Germany’s soft approach might be a better way to avoid such failings in the future.
Many people can agree that Suddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi were evil dictators who deserved what they got. However, once they were both killed and their counties freed it left a huge vacuum of power. Many government officials have declared Syria a failed state. Now it is controlled by extremist. We need to give the people of these countries something to believe in and fight for. If we could rebuild the infrastructures and get people electricity, running water, food and employment, that might give them the will to stand up to the extremist and protect their home. They are going to need help form other countries to do it and that is where the United States could come in and help with the “soft approach”. Just killing the extremist is not good enough. We need to give the average people hope and something worth fighting for.
In order to highlight this difference the “U.S. has extensive military capabilities to deal with threats of terrorism, while Germany views its strengths in conflict prevention and reconstruction. This could mean, for instance, that Germany might be better positioned to take on a greater role in long-term reconstruction efforts in countries like Afghanistan. Some argue that with a better understanding of the potential complementary roles the two countries can play based on the strengths and advantages of each” (Miko, & Froehlich, 2005).
So even though there are differences between the United States and other countries, perhaps instead of changing policy we work with other countries in order to share the load and to complement each other’s polices.
Linch, T. (2011, May 23). Why did Germany Create the GSG 9? Retrieved January 10, 2017, from https://prezi.com/6i4-inibqkp4/why-did-germany-cre…
Miko, F. T., & Froehlich, C. (2005).Germany’s role in fighting terrorism: implications for U.S. policy. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress.
Rossenburg, J. (2016, January 21). What Happened During the Munich Massacre? Retrieved January 10, 2017, from http://history1900s.about.com/od/famouscrimesscand…Bottom of Form
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