Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type



International Relations

First Advisor

Bruce Cronin


terrorism, security, extremism, 9/11, islamophobia


Terrorism is a phenomenon that baffles even the most experienced of researchers within academia. Understanding what constitutes terrorism is important to the field of international relations because combatting terrorist violence yields no straightforward method of prevention and protection. This paper examines four measures of counterterrorism taken by the U.S. government after the September 11th attacks. The methods included in this study and the framework in which they are congruent with are: The War on Terror as a defense strategy, torture and “enhanced interrogation techniques” as a deterrence method, targeted drone attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan as a compellence force, and public diplomacy as a feature of negotiation. This paper examines which methods, if any, were successful as counterterrorism measures by whether they could neutralize al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden without contributing to recruitment and further organized attacks against the West.



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