POSC/COMM444 - Global Agenda
Assignment #6
Wednesday, May 15, 2002
Final Assignment


This semester, you have observed a variety of "practitioners" of foreign affairs, all involved in some way with the issue of international terrorism. Each is involved in somewhat different aspects, each with a unique perspective. You have had a chance to hear them talk and to interact with them about their professions and their lives, as well as about the substance of the problem.

It is now eight months since the events of September 11, 2001. Think back to your immediate reactions to those events, and to the reactions of your friends and of the U.S. government. Now there's been time for some "space" to develop after those initial reactions. Think about how your own views may have changed since that terrible day.


For the past several months, you have assembled a "blue ribbon panel" of experts to help you sort through the complex problem of international terrorism. These experts have included:

  • a professor who has studied for decades the way American government works, and how it has responded to terrorism
  • a prominent journalist who has met and understands Osama bin Laden
  • an American ambassador to the Persian Gulf who has lived in the Arab world for decades
  • an American ambassador who lived through the bombing of the USS Cole, the Iran-Iraq war and the 1991 Gulf War
  • an Israeli analyst who has studied the Islamic world and has lived with terrorism in his own country
  • an Egyptian ambassador who lived through all the Arab-Israeli wars but also was instrumental in the peace process
  • an FBI agent who investigated the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and other acts of terrorism, and who struggled to gain the resources needed to do the job
  • a national newspaper columnist who has traveled widely abroad and who critiques domestic policy regularly
  • a professor/journalist who has covered terrorism for many years and has observed the response by the news media and the public

From each one, you've heard a litany of recommendations and criticisms of how the United States responds to international terrorism.

Review your notes and the comments of each of our speakers. Compile a list of "recommendations" based on their advice.

  • What should the United States (its government, its people, its media) do differently, according to these practitioners?
  • What surprises you about their recommendations?
  • How are these advisers consistent in some ways? Inconsistent?

Use specific examples from our speakers, our readings and our classes. Remember that webcasts of six of our speakers are available via the course web site, should you wish to review their remarks or obtain direct quotes.

This is a list of recommendations. You may choose to group your recommendations any way you wish. You will want to keep them sharp, clear, concise. Consider "headlines" followed by one or two paragraphs of explanation. If there are conflicts, you will want to make clear who recommends which.

Aim for about 5-7 pages.