Anti-Terrorism: A Role For The Marines? CSC 1984 SUBJECT AREA Warfighting ANTI-TERRORISM: A ROLE FOR THE MARINES? Submitted to Dr. Rudolph V. Wiggins In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for Written Communications The Marine Corps Command and Staff College Quantico, Virginia Major T. J. Sukow United States Marine Corps April 6, 1984 OUTLINE Thesis: The United States Marine Corps efforts regarding the threat of terrorism should be passive rather than active. I. Terrorism A. Background information: 1. The growth of terror 2. The influence of technology. B. U.S. Marine Corps involvement. C. Military power Vs terrorism. D. Introduction to the study. II. Definition A. Terms: 1. Terrorism. 2. International terrorism. 3. Insurgency. B. The people: 1. Leaders. 2. Troops. 3. Organizations. III. Reasons for growth: A. "Open society." B. Poor intelligence system. C. National wealth. D. Social ideals. IV. Anti-Terrorism and the Military. A. Israel. B. Great Britian. 1. S.A.S. 2. 45 Commando. C. United States. 1. Iranian raid. 2. Special unit. V. Role of the Marines. A. Mission Vs organization. B. Proposed role for USMC. C. Conclusion. TERRORISM The fact of terrorism is a part of the human condition. Wherever there are men and women who wish to change a way of life, there are those who are willing to employ violence should their political desires not be satisfied through the accepted political process. This assault of violence is inevitable; however, in no period of history has the incidence of terrorism increased more than in the past decade. At no other time in history has the capability existed for a relatively small group to reach into the living rooms of millions of people worldwide with a weapon no more powerful than a handgun. Today's high speed communication (means) has brought the entire world into our homes, and has given the terrorist an international audience through the use of violence, the more spectacular the better. Modern technological advancements in weaponry allow the terrorist to make his point in more spectacular means than ever thought possible. The lure of the publicity available, coupled with the means has made the terrorist a factor of concern for us all. The attack on the Marine unit in Beruit by a group of Iranian terrorists placed the Marine Corps in the forefront of the nations' scrutiny. Politicians and newsmen throughout the country are accusing military commanders at all levels of incompetence, and are calling for the resignation of some of our finest leaders. This apprears, at least on the surface to be a "knee-jerk reaction" to a terrible events but is it? Or is this reaction simply a diversion from the events of the past decade which allowed the terrorist activity directed at our country to flourish. The military, more specifically the Marine Corps, is accustomed to violence. In fact, the proper management and controlled application of violence is the aim of the profession. The violence of the military profession is, however, an accented practice world wide. The United Nations in its charter states that, "A nation has the right, by force of arms, to take those actions nesessary to preserve its right of self-determination...." The question that must be asked is, what constitutes actions defined by the term "self-determination," and what acts are acts of mere terrorism? It has been said that, "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." Put another way, the political structure of the earth varies. The views and concepts, because of culture, religion and education, are very different in different lands. The problem lies in defining terrorism and implementing methods aimed at preventing its spread. A thorough understanding of what has transpired over the past decade is essential to understanding the proper steps that the Marines should adopt in their counter-terrorist role. This paper is divided into four parts, and is intended to present the reader with the information needed to understand my proposal for the Marine Corps' response to the threat of terrorism. In part one of this study, I will attempt to define terrorism first, as an insurgent tactic, and second, as an international political force. Part two will trace the growth of terrorism to the present time, and attempt to provide the root causes of the growth. The third section will offer a view of both The United States' and foreign military attempts at combating terror. The final part of this paper will attempt to establish a workable alternative for The United States Marine Corps' contribution in the nation's strategy concerning anti/counter-terrorist activities. PART ONE DEFINITION Key to understanding the methodology required to combat the spread of terrorism, is an understanding of the definitions involved. First, one must define terrorism. "'George Washington was a terrorist. To decribe a man as a terrorist is a term of honor.' So spoke one of the Baader-Meinhof defendants after his arrest...But while it may be true when applied to national movements fighting against tyranny when no other means are available, it is more difficult to sustain when applied to those terrorist movements which cut across recognized national and idealogical boundaries and which use those weapons against civilian populations rather than striking at the forces of oppression."1 The definition of terrorism used in this study comes from The Federal Bureau of Investigation, and states that, "Terrorism is the application of psychological pressure (fear) resulting from the threat of or actual employment of indiscriminate violence in the attempt to achieve political gain by a group of individuals whose organization by its' lack of sufficient size cannot effect change in an accepted manner."2 As you can see from the definition, the act of terror can be used by anyone. Fear is a powerful weapon. An act of violence anywhere in the world today induces fear everywhere. More important to this study are the following definitions: international terrorism is, "any heinious act of barbarism committed within the territory of a third state by a foreigner against a person possessing a nationality other than that of the offender for the purpose of exerting pressure in a conflict not strictly internal in nature.";3 insurgency is, "the revolution against civil authority or constituted government. The insurgency can be either violent or non-violent."4 The groups who participate in each of these activities are, by definition, terrorists; however, I would like to concentrate on the most serious threat to our security, the international terrorist. Who is the he? What is the make up of a his gang? What are his goals? How is he financed? How and where does he get his training? These are all questions that must be answered to understand the terrorist himself. Throughout a Marine's training, he is taught to "know your enemy." Allow me to introduce you to the terrorist himself. The terrorist leader is a highly educated, idealistic individual usually in his early twenties. "Their campaigns involve guerrilla leaders who, unlike the guerrilla troups of the Irish and Palestinians, have received better than average education and often come from prosperous families. They can afford the intellectual luxury of launching themselves into violent politics without the pressures of poverty to drive them on."5 This is the discription supplied by Christopher Dobson, a noted expert on terrorism, and is accurate in the case of the leaders; the troups of terror are a different story. The ranks of the various groups swell with members motivated by much less lofty ideals. "Some join for money, some for therapy and some for excitement. When the 'Bonny and Clyde' image of the Baader-Meinhof had spread, others came into the movement attracted by combination of excitement and the possibilty of sexual indulgence. Others thought of terrorism as a kind of student happening 'with arms.' Yet the original members remained self-rightous to the end, arrogantly convinced of their own moral and intellecual superiority."6 The groups or gangs themselves are usually small (10-15 members), dedicated and dramatic. Their expressed political ambitions run the gambit from "anti-just about anything," to the complete overthrow of an existing form of order. Most contain women, who seem to be more fanatical and, history has shown, much more prone to cruelty, than their male counterparts. The majority of the international terror organizations are well financed, usually by external sourses, and exceptionally well trained. Considering their methods, who would possibly support terrorist operations? Why would anyone finance a campaign of fear and death? The majority of terrorist action is directed toward the overthrow of the capitalistic system, a system that is in the minds of the terrorists, "oppressive of the masses." The stated goal of international communism is world domination. Although the various communist states do not publicly support terrorist action, the disruption in free societies that results from the violent action, lends credibilty to the communist claim of national order through communism. The weapons of terror, i.e.rifles, pistols, rockets, and explosive devises, are standard weapons of the Soviet Bloc countries. Training camps, where the terrorist receives training in the use of explosives, individual weaponry and martial arts, can be found in both Syria and Lybia. (Both countries additionally offer "safe-haven" for terrorists.) Russia's Patrice Lamumba University specializes in tactics and espionage training. And "among the most effective training organizations for the new generation of transnational terrorist were those set up in Cuba after Fidel Castro came to power...camps were set up under both Cuban and Russian instructors."7 We are dealing with an extremely well trained, well equipped adversary. One who is educated, physically strong and dedicated to the point of fanatisism. He has a goal, and cares little about those who might be killed; this is his means of political expression. He is deadly serious, and treatens not only the success of military operations, but the vary way of life which we have sworn to defend. The fear that the terrorist injects into our lives threatens the fiber of our lifestyle. The main threat of his activities thus far, has been in Europe, but every indication points to future activity in the United States. GROWTH OF TERRORIST ACTIVITIES We, in The United States, have been rather fortunate. Terrorism has not encroached on our shores to the same extent as in many other areas of the world, but it will. We are, as a nation, the proverbial "China shop," and the terrorists the "bull." We offer the terrorist a deal too good to refuse, the largest, most powerful free nation on Earth. We are free, we are vulnerable and we are prosperous. Terrorist activities have occured throughout the world. Terrorist activity in the free nations however, has far exceeded that of the more restrictive societies. The spread of terrorist activities in The United States is a direct result of national policy. First, the structure of our society is very open. The constitutional freedoms that are the basis for our democracy guarantee the right of very individual, whether he is a law abiding member of society or a terrorist. Additionally, our laws provide complete freedom of the written and spoken word; the right of dissent is held dear by us all. These rights however, are also applicable to those who desire to overthrow our system, and thus, the terrorist has the opportunity to operate freely within the system. Here lies the most interesting contradiction of the terrorist philosophy, those societies that offer the greatest amount of freedom, are the terrorists most sought after targets. Secondly, we feel that every nation on earth has the right to determine its' own form of government, and that any interference by sources external to any nation's political system is unacceptable. Our nation unfortunately, saw its' own intelligence agencies as a threat to this policy, and thus, saw a need to completely emasculate intelligence operations overseas. The Congress of the United States, following the "Watergate" era, passed several measures aimed at protecting society from government control. These are just a few of the measures taken and their results. "The freedom of infomation act was amended giving increased public access to classified information...The Privacy Act allowed individuals to determine 'what records pertaining to them were being compiled' by government agencies. It banned the keeping of records on people belonging to revolutionary or subversive groups. These two acts mostly affected internal security. But the Ryan Act was more concerned with external affairs, and forbade the President to authorize the conduct of any covert activity, without first consulting six Congressional committees....The Levi Guidelines...banned the FBI from 'harrassment' of known terrorist organizations and forbade 'illegal' entry by FBI agents into terrorist premises. Two years later, the head of the Bureau would report that his organization was 'out of the domestic security business.' In 1978 the Foreign Surveillance Act required the Executive Banch to seek warrants before 'bugging' any residence or organization for the purposes of national security."8 The United States is a wealthy country. Because we are wealthy, we have the opportunity, not only to trade with other nations, but also the opportunity to assist in their economic developement. This economic support of other nations is the third reason the the U.S. is the target of the terrorist. "The Arab armies of Egypt, Syria and Jordan had been defeated in the Six Day War in 1967...and so they took their war to Europe, where they dicovered left-wing intellectual support for their cause, based on the premise that since Israel depended for its survival on The United States, any blow struck at the American economy, even though the blow was administered in Europe, would effect the support the U.S. would be willing to grant Israel."9 This resulted in terrorist attacks against American businessmen and American corporations throughout Europe. What worries us all is, not only have these assaults increased in frequency and distruction, but they have reached acrossed the oceans, and now even at home U.S. citizens are no guaranteed safety. The potential for the growth of terrorist activity, in both scope and frequency is horrifying. The destructive power through modern technology, the increased mobility of the Jet Age and the live media coverage brought available, all assist the terrorist in his campaign of fear. It is this fear that invades our society that the terrorist feeds upon. The government's reaction to the terrorist threat must be as cunning as the threat itself. Any action that is taken, must be weighed against the possible reaction of the people effected. One must remember that the main goal of the terrorist is the collapse of the free society. If action is taken that restricts freedom of the populous with the goal of population protection, the terrorist objectives have been met. The terrorist scream of "foul" should his legal rights be suppressed would gain credibility. How can the terrorist be contained? Some nations have turned to their military might. ANTI/COUNTER-TERRORISM AND THE MILITARY Perhaps the best method of explaining the use of a military force in a anti-terrorist role is through the use of example. Israel, Great Britian and the United States all have employed military forces in anti-terrorist roles. Each nation has demonstrated varying degrees of success. One lesson learned by all however, was that the use of a military unit must be carefully managed. Anti-terrorism is an extremely specialized operation. The United States has restrictions concerning the employment of its military for matters of internal concern, thus the military might of The U.S. can only be excersised externally. Israel and Great Britian both utilize their military to augment police units in matters of domestic enforcement. "It is laid down the Talmud, the holy book of Jewish law, that 'if someone comes to kill you, rise and kill him first.' And that, under the impact of centuries of oppression and the attempt to wipe out the Jewish race in the Holocaust, has become the watchword of the Sayaret Matkal, the razor-sharp cutting edge of Israel's anti-terrorist forces."10 Israel's efforts in her anti-terrorist action are a result of refinement since her birth. She is surrounded by those who wish her death. Because of the obvious threat to her people from her neighbors, Israel has a policy of prevention through force. Although each Israeli military branch has an elite unit which is exceptionally well trained, Israel established a seperate unit to counter the terrorist. (Israeli reconnaissance/strike units are considered among the best in the world.) The Sayaret Matkal is organized similiar to a military unit, but is not considered part of the Israeli national military. Members are recruited through normal military channals, are required to serve in uniform and are based at a military air base, but that is where the similarity ends. The unit does not fall under the cognizance of the military, but rather under the control of the Chief of Intelligence. Sayaret Matkal responds to any situation worldwide involving Israeli citizens, on a moment's notice. It was The Sayaret Matkal unit that conducted the raid at the Entebbe Airport. The effectiveness of the unit cannot be denied. Success in utilizing the military unit is not limited to Israel. Great Britian is proud of her two military anti-terrorist orgaizations, the SAS and the Royal Marine, 45 Commando Group. The SAS (Special Air Service) is an elite parachute unit of the British military. Its ranks are comprised of only the finest men available. Training is continuous, difficult and very effective. The average SAS volenteer is 28 years of age, is either an officer or NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) who has demonstrated exceptional skill and intellect and is in supurb physical condition. Only a small percentage (2-4%) of those who start training become SAS members. Those who complete the screening process receive intensive training in hand to hand fighting, intelligence gathering and analysis, and anti-terrorist tactics. The SAS uses the terrorist's most valuable weapon, fear. The unit is known as ruthless in its employment of force, and demonstrated its "no prisoners" policy during a successful raid against the terrorist held Iranian Embassy in London. "This reputation appeared to have its desired effect in bringing to the end the Balcombe Street siege in London in December of 1975 when a Provisional IRA 'action unit' of four men took over a flat and held its occupants hostage.... They were surrounded, but held out for six days. It was announced on the radio that a 'Pagoda' team (SAS) was assigned to the scene, and to quote Sir Robert Mark, 'They couldn't surrender fast enough."11 45 Commando, Royal Marines, is also assigned anti-terrorist duty; however, the mission of 45 Commando is much different from that of the SAS unit. One perceived target of terror is the oil fields of the North Sea. 45 Commando is assigned reaction responsibility to this area. This is very specifically an amphibious mission. Like the U.S. Marines, the British Marine unit is well trained for this type of operation. The United States has made one attempt in dealing with a terrorist operation through the use of its military, the attempted rescue operation in Iran. This was a combined operation (uints from the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps) of a conventional military nature, and the mission ended in failure. Since the U.S. failure in Iran, the government has realized that terrorism is an unconventional problem that requires other than normal counters. Anti-terrorist operations can only expected to be successful when they are conducted by a specialized unit. The Army has established such a unit to combat the terrorist threat. Little is known about its' structure or potential, but a unit does exist. However, one fact still remains, because of the self-imposed restriction banning the internal use of military force, this special unit is not intended as a anti-terrorist solution for use at home. THE ROLE OF THE US MARINES The United States Marine Corps must be capable of accomplishing the missions required of it by the United States government. These missions are established within the goals of our country's national strategy. Employment of Marine forces is determined by the goals and strategic requirements of our nation. The Marine Corps is a relatively small, but highly mobile force which is capable of projecting combat power in any area of the world on a very short notice. The amphibious nature of Marine operations, and the historical success of the Marines cause concern for our opponents whenever amphibious shipping is seen off their shores. The Marine Corps is organized in a manner that causes reliance on its own internal structure for success. The Marine Air/Ground Tack Force (MAGTF) is structured and trained as a team which is self-sufficient in combat. Within that team structure are found elite reconnaissance units that specialize in the type of tactics used by such units as the British SAS. The number of these reconnaissance elements in the Corps is small. Because the MAGTF depends heavily on these few men, and because the national strategy requires the Marine Corps to be capable of deploying two MAGTFs, the Corps cannot afford to loss these valued assets to a anti-terrorist role without placing the potential for success of the MAGTF mission in jeopardy, a situation which neither the nation, nor the Corps can afford. The Beruit bombing that killed over 240 Marines graphically demonstrated that the Marines are subject to terrorist activities. The question is, what should the Corps do? The Marine Corps' effort concerning terrorism should be dedicated to preventing the threat's operations from effecting the Marine Corps mission capabilities, not conducting anti-terrorist operations. The Corps possesses a significant threat to our foes. Maintaining its capability in a ready status is the most important contribution that the Corps can make to our nation's defense. To insure that the Marines are ready, they must protect themselves from the terrorist threat. Marine troops must be educated in the area of counter-terrorism. Training Marines in methods of security that will prevent terrorists from accomplishing their missions, will reduce the possibility of terrorist attack. To accomplish these goals the Marine Corps should implement the following program: 1.) Provide each unit, down to the battlion/squadron level, an additional officer trained in counter-terrorist operations. (The table of organization should refect this additional individual under a special staff of the commnding officer). The counter-terrorist Officer or CTO would have the responsibility for developing and implementing that unit's Counter-terrorist Plan. 2.) The Marine Corps should, in concert with the Department of Defense and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, request the establishment of a national level school to train officers for CTO billets. 3.) Counter-terrorist training should be included in the cirriculum of all career level schools. 4.) Counter-terrorist plans should be tested through the Marine Corps Readiness Evaluation System, and on all Inspector and Commanding General Inspections. 5.) CMC should initiate a recommendation through the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the establishment of a Joint Intelligence Agency at the JCS level, tasked with providing all the of the sevice branches with information conserning terrorist threats. Terrorism is a national problem. The Marine Corps is a strong and dedicated organization that gives the nation a capability which no other service can match. The maintenance of that capability should be the Marine's concern, and not the conduct of anti-terrorist operations. Anti-terrorism is a special form of warfare, requiring special training, tactics and equipment to for success. An anti-terrorist force must be at least as well trained and well eqipped as its enemy. Only an organization dedicated to anti-terrorist operations, such as the SAS or tide Israeli Sayaret Matkal, can expect success in combating tlie terrorist. The U.S. Marine Corps training is much more like that of the British, 45 Commando unit and therefor, Marines should concentrate on missions for which they are trained. Until a mission is identified for which a highly mobile, amphibious oriented force is best suited, the U.S. Marine Corps should direct its' efforts regarding terrorism toward the counter-terrorist, security operations which best suits the Corps' training and structure. Only an organization which is not employment restricted by national law, but which is properly structured, equipped and trained can expected to be successful conducting anti-terrorist operations within the confines of this country. The United States Marine Corps fits none of these catagories; therefor, Marines should orient their efforts for the defense rather than for the offense. FOOTNOTES 1Christopher Dobson et al., The Terrorist: Their Weapons, Leaders and Tactics, (New York: Facts on File Inc., 1981), II, p. 44. 2James Conley, Director of FBI Counter-terrorist section, Lecture: "Terrorism and the FBI", US Marine Corps, Command and Staff College, Quantico, Virginia, February 2, 1984. 3Brian Jenkins et al., International Terrorism: A Chronology 1968-74, (Washington, D.C.: Rand Corp. for the Department of State, March 1975), p. 2. 4Robert Taubert, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Lecture: "Terrorism and the FBI", U.S. Marine Corps, Command and Staff College, Quantico, Virginia, February 2, 1984. 5Dobson et al., p. 44. 6Ibid., p. 48. 7Ibid., p. 75 8Christopher Dobson et al., Counterattack, (New York: Facts on File, 1982), p. IX. 9Ibid., pp. 52-53. 10Ibid., p. 77. 11Ibid., p. 139 BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. Bell, J. Bowyer. Transnational Terror. Washington, D.C.: AEI-Hoover Study, 1975. 2. Beres, Louis R. Terorism an-Global Security. Boulder, Col.: Western Press, 1979. 3. Burtron, Anthony. Revolutionary Violence: The Theories. New York: Crain Russak, 1978. 4. Cluttelback, Richard. Guerrillas and Terrorists. Chicago, Ill.: Ohio University Press, 1980. 5. Demanis, Ovid. Brothers in Blood. New York: Scriber, 1977. 6. Dobson, Christopher et al. Counterattack. New York: Facts on File, 1982. 7. Dobson, Christopher et al. The Terrorists: Their Weapons, Leaders and Tactics. New York: Facts on File, 1979. 8. Herman, Edward. The Real Terror Network. Boston: South End Press, 1982. 9. Jenkins, Brian M. High Technology Terrorism and Surrogate War. Santa Monica: Rand Corp., 1974. 10. Jenkins, Brian M. International Terrorism: A Chronology. Washington, D. C.: Rand Corp., 1975. 11. Roberts, Kenneth. Terrorism and the Military Response. Carlisle Barracks, Pa.: U.S. Army War College, 1975. 12. Waugh, William. International Terrorism: How Nations Respond. Salisbury, N.C.: Documentary Publications, 1982.
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