Beyond the “War on Terror”: Towards a New Transatlantic Framework for Counterterrorism

European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) Senior Policy Fellow Anthony Dworkin wrote  a strategic paper entitled Beyond the “War on Terror”: Towards a New Transatlantic Framework for Counterterrorism.

This policy paper shows how divisions with the United States of America over counterterrorism policy have been a major problem for the European Union since September 11, 2001 and how the presidency of Barack Obama offers the possibility of a new approach, based on transatlantic agreement over the core principles for fighting terrorism. The author argues that EU leaders should work with the new US administration to agree a comprehensive declaration on counterterrorism that could be signed under the Spanish EU Presidency in 2010.

To seize the opportunity provided by the new US leadership, the European Union should launch an internal review to clarify its own views about core principles for fighting terrorism as part of the preparation for a joint declaration. EU officials should also restart a dialogue on international law and counterterrorism with the United States. This would give it input into a series of US reviews, and allow Europeans to push for clarification of the US position on key questions of international humanitarian law and human rights. Finally, the author calls on European countries to quickly agree on a joint position on resettling detainees from Guantanamo and consider offering a new home to these prisoners wherever possible.

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