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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  November 27, 2011 1:50pm-2:10pm EST

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series and programs like "washington journal," booktv, american history tv and the contenders and we've added a handy channel finder so you can quickly find where to watch our three c-span networks on cable or satellite systems across the country. at the all new >> next, booktv sat down with university of texas at austin professor ami pedahzur to talk about his book, the israeli secret services and the struggle against terrorism. this is about 20 minutes and is part of booktv's college series. >> and you're watching booktv on c-span2. and we're at the university of texas in austin interviewing professors who are also authors. and now joining us is ami pedahzur. he is the author of this book, the israeli secret services and the struggle against terrorism. professor, first off, what are the israeli secret services? >> well, the israeli secret
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services is a very illusive body of various organizations including the branches of the military, the internal security service, the equivalent of the fbi in the united states. the mossad which is the equivalent to the cia and within the army, we have the intelligence branch, which is doing pretty much whatever nsa is doing here in the u.s. >> how -- what is their working philosophy when it comes to counterterrorism? >> well, that's a very interesting question because it's a working philosophy of trial and error. and terrorism -- unlike other types of warfare is very, you know, surprising. and it's not the kind of threat that militaries are using to deal with. what happened in israel over the years is that terrorism took an increasing role in a public domain and became not a strategic threat to the israeli
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society but a very, you know, annoying phenomenon that policymakers had to respond to quite often. the problem with terrorism, unlike other military threat, there is a lot of emotional burden on policymakers to make immediate decisions and to soothe the public and to give to reassure the public that they are in control of things. however, terrorism, you know, as a phenomenon is something -- it's very hard to control and contain. and, therefore, it's much more challenging than fighting a syrian division or an egyptian armor brigade. >> israel is rather unique in the sense that it's dealt with terrorism for years and years and all kinds of terrorism. have they perfected a model that you see? >> whenever they do perfect a model, the terrorists are innovating. so, for example, if we think about the last several years the
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second inde-fatah when israel was coping with a very formidable challenge of suicide bombers, eventually in between 2000 and 2004 they came to the conclusion that erect ago barrier between the israel and the palestinian territory and occupying part of the west bank would be a good solution. it was a good solution, since 2004, the number of suicide terrorist attacks is insignificant. however, it didn't eliminate terrorism because then hamas, for example, learned that in order to keep pushing their agenda, they can use rockets. so once you erect a barrier, they'll come up with a new mode of operation which lead to new challenges. >> well, in your book, you talk about four different models of counterterrorism. what are those four different models? >> most of what we're talking
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about is -- the gist of the argument is closed democracies tend to respond using the war model which is treating terrorism as a -- kind of a warfare. if we think about 9/11, this was the immediate response of the united states trying to, you know, put terrorism in this kind of framework that is something that we know how to deal with. and, of course, we tend to go to the military for advice. but the problem is that terrorism is not a military threat. it's a different animal. and that's why -- i'm introducing the criminal justice model. i'm introducing, you know, defensive models that are in my opinion are more suitable to treating terrorism rather than using military force in an attempt to overcome the terrorist threat. >> so you do not necessarily, professor, see terrorism as an act of war?
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>> i think that terrorism is -- again, it's not that i'm trying to -- i think that we have to demystify terrorism. and what -- the problem is that once we -- you know, we declare a war on terror, we are doing something quite bizarre. we are not declaring a war on, you know, air bombardments. we are declaring a war of a country or an entity. you cannot perceive terror as a military threat because first in most cases, the objectives of the actors who are perpetrating terrorist attacks are different. they do not pose a strategic threat to the country. what they do is, you know, frighten the public. policymakers tend -- they look for those, you know, formulas that they are aware of or know of dealing with this phenomenon and, therefore, what we see is the immediate forceful response. now, i'm not saying that the
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terrorists should be spared. i'm just saying that sometimes if you really want to reduce the impact of terrorism, you have to look at it from a different perspective rather than, you know, a military one. >> so here in the united states, after 9/11, then president george w. bush talked a lot about the war on terror. incorrect in your view? >> yes. i think, you know, when the united states launched the war in afghanistan, it was the right thing to do. but, you know, this was something that, you know, ended within six weeks. then what? you pretty much destroyed al-qaeda within the first six weeks and the taliban regime. and then the world terror ended. there was now for the -- we are in the 11th year of the war in afghanistan, it's not a war on terror. it's a completely different kind of war. and it evolved over the years. so what i'm saying is that united states took many, you
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know, important measures over the years in an attempt to cope with terrorism. increasing security, using, you know, all kinds of measures that are enhancing the capabilities of the intelligence community, but i'm not sure that the forceful reaction was the most important one in, you know, eliminating the threat. and by the way, today we see a different model. that using drones, targeting specific individuals in the al-qaeda network rather than thinking about them is this kind of entity that you have to deploy the whole u.s. armed forces into a war again. >> now, ami pedahzur, in israel, is the war model is the one that's usually used or are there all four of the different models that you identify? >> mostly, policymakers around the world tend to resort to the war model because if you think about the politician in a democratic setting, they need
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to -- they are being held accountable but there are constituents. and when i wrote the book, it started -- you know, i started doing the research right after the second inde-fatah. i remember i came to the u.s. in '04 at the very last -->> from israel. >> -- >> from during that time we were terrified. and a terrified public is looking for an answer and if you see a policymaker who's taking a top mission, who's deploying special operation units and i'm lab rating in the book about all kinds of assassination attempts, et cetera, it reassures the public that something is being done. however, for example, if you go back to the very famous example back olympic game in -- in 1968, the plo launched an attack
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and i'm not sure if the objective was to undermine the plo or tell the public to listen, we're not going to sit still while our people are being attacked. so they were just targeting individuals that many of them had nothing to do with the plot against the athletes in munich. so what i'm trying to say is that policymakers tend to look for modes of operation that are going to make their constituents, the public feel reassured rather than, you know, thinking about how to actually, you know, contain the threat of terrorism. and one of the problems is that the public looks for solutions and there is no solution to the programs of terrorism. you can reduce the intensity of the attacks, you can make it a little less, you know, central at a given point in time, but humanity had terrorism for
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centuries. we've never gotten, you know -- we've never eliminated it. but the public still expects policymakers to do it, and this pressure leads them to resort for forceful measures that are at the end of the day are not effective. >> ami pedahzur is a professor of the university of texas at austin. he's a professor of government and middle eastern studies. he's also a head of the tiger lab here at the university of texas. what is the tiger lab? >> the tiger lab is a small research center where we're conducting research on terrorism, insurgencies and guerrillas and this is the root of the word tiger. ..
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preoccupied policymakers weren't extended period of time. is it moral to do it? and i think it is around and dealing with this issue for an extended period of time. i don't think they can to dissolution. he is much more symbolic reaction to terrorism other than
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something that is actually treating the root cause of the problem. taking out bin laden was not something that made the u.s. safer, but it was important for the american public two-year bin laden was removed from the scene. when we analyzed it as we think the policymaker trained to address the concern of the public as much as the interest earnings over the security concerns. military security personnel are driving the individuals approach when care is because the earth is not a military threat appeared is is should be treated by police kamal just had a good
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intensity increased pressure on policymakers shift responsibility to the army and this is what we see eventually to respond escalating and desire of the control. >> professor pedahzur, but qatar fired from the gaza strip, what should be the response? >> first of all you make sure it's on the right path there is a good first responders. you know what to do in order to save as many lives as you can. then you have to be able to figure out who is launching the attack and why did they do it. i don't think in every case you can trust the root cause, but in many cases you can reduce the motivation of the specific group to launch an attack. and it's important in these
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cases to know exactly who is the individual behind an attack in order to gets a response at this action or this group rather than whatever we thought, for example, during the gaza in december only targeting the large civilian population, which of course when you kill civilians and when you are using excessive force come to the animosity in the root cause of the conflict is just becoming even more intensified. you have a new generation of hatred. so it is not always something that you can resolve through negotiations. in many cases you do need to use force, but a very important to terror their response to the type of threat that you're dealing with. we have to remember the
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terrorist, even horrific attacks like 9/11 at the end of the day are not strategic threats that can be posed by other countries. they are aimed at hurting several people and a very germanic manner for the purpose of terrifying the rest. and when the public is pressuring policymakers to respond forcefully to this is exactly what the terrorists want. they are achieving their goal. >> host: when you talk about root causes, could some solutions be political? >> guest: were the days are your terrorism they are talking about waves of terrorism. one of the ways is when people were using violent behavior in order to gain and get their independence. you can identify the root cause
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and address it through negotiations. in other cases when you have highly radical ideology involved, it becomes much more complicated. we saw in the case in sri lanka it was a combination of ethnic grievances and eventually the solution had to eliminate altogether. so what i'm trying to argue here that is not always -- terrorism is the attacking. it's a tactic group used in the group can use in to see the negotiations table. but it's just attacked her. whatever we try to do with it,
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we tend to do is overemphasize the tactics about everything else. you think about it we intend to insert the groups as terrorist groups. most of these troops are being reduced to a tactic rather than caramelized through the whole meaning. so if we take a group like hamas, their political party routing the gaza strip and they use terrorism. it diverts the attention from the main issue to a single tactic. >> what about the recent release of palestinian prisoners in israel in exchange for the soldier at >> this is something where the word culture is equally
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important for understanding things. they're highly emotional when it comes to soldiers because we have a military based on everyone and his producers in the army. i think strategically was not hoping to do. israel's been weakened dramatically by exchanging thousands of prisoners for a single soldier. prime minister netanyahu had the public pressure so immense that he couldn't have done anything else and this is something very unique to israel. this kind of pressure comes from civil society when it comes to soldiers being held by other entities. there is much less pressure when it comes to civilians and this is very different from the united states because soldiers are treated like children became a collective each other silly
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people. are the first country that said we are not negotiating and get the worst yell. >> what is your background? >> i've never been in the secret service. the service in the army with a thematic so i have no classified information so i can come to these topics from a very nice perspective to figure out. my main question is israel has this outstanding reputation as a superpower, so i can resolve the problem? if you look at what happened 60 years ago things were better than they are today. so far so good over doing,


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