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The Handbook of European Defence Policies and Armed Forces$
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Hugo Meijer and Marco Wyss

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790501

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198790501.001.0001

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(p.608) 35 Counterterrorism
The Handbook of European Defence Policies and Armed Forces

Dorle Hellmuth

Oxford University Press

This chapter assesses the strategic and doctrinal responses of Western Europe’s major powers and their armed forces to terrorism after the cold war. The chapter focuses on Europe’s ‘big three’, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, and examines the means, ends, and ways of military counterterrorism strategies and operations in these three countries. Select examples of medium and lesser powers include Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Denmark. Critical of the central role military force played in the US global war on terror after the 9/11 attacks, many European powers called for the need to utilize alternative instruments of statecraft. Over time, they adapted their counterterrorism approaches to reflect the new realities at home and abroad. This shift became particularly apparent after the emergence of the Islamic State inspired violent attacks in various European countries, drawing a more military-centric response from Europe’s great, medium, and lesser powers.

Keywords:   counterterrorism, armed forces, defence, national security, military strategy, al-Qaeda, Islamic State

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