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Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism
About Us
Our Mission
  

Our Mission

Mission Statement

The mission of the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism (S/CT) is to develop and lead a worldwide effort to combat terrorism using all the instruments of statecraft: diplomacy, economic power, intelligence, law enforcement, and military. S/CT provides foreign policy oversight and guidance to all U.S. Government international counterterrorism activities.

Guiding Principles
Strategic Approach
Leading U.S. Government Counterterrorism Efforts

Guiding Principles

To achieve our mission, we work closely with our counterterrorism team within the U.S. Government. Our work reflects the goals of the National Strategy for Combating Terrorism:

  • Defeat terrorists and their organizations;
  • Deny sponsorship, support, and sanctuary to terrorists;
  • Diminish the underlying conditions that terrorists seek to exploit;
  • Defend U.S. citizens and interests at home and abroad.

We are guided by the four steps detailed in the National Security Strategy of the United States of America (March 2006).

First, prevent attacks by the terrorist networks before they occur.
Second, deny weapons of mass destruction to outlaw regimes, and to their terrorist allies who would use them without hesitation.
Third, deny radical groups the support and sanctuary of rogue states.
Fourth, deny the militants control of any nation that they would use as a home base and a launching pad for terror.

Strategic Approach

The Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism has developed a four-pronged strategy to defeat the terrorist enemy:

  1. Apply all elements of national power (diplomacy, economic power, intelligence, law enforcement, and military might) in conjunction with international partners, allies and like-minded non-state actors.
  2. Attack the terrorist enemy's three-part "threat complex:"
    1. Leadership -- Global actors who provide leadership, resources, inspiration and guidance to extremist networks around the world.
    2. Safe Havens -- Refuges (often transcending political or geographic boundaries) that provide a secure base for extremist action, including:
      • Physical Safe Havens - failed/failing states, under-governed areas, and sponsors who provide safe areas where terrorists train and organize.
      • Cyber Safe Havens - Electro-magnetic and internet-based means for communication, planning, resource transfer and intelligence collection.
      • Ideological Safe Havens -- belief systems, ideas and cultural norms that enhance the enemy's freedom of action.
    3. Underlying conditions which terrorists exploit -- Grievances, communal conflicts, societal structures and adverse economic environments that provide fertile soil for extremism to flourish.
  3. Build trusted networks that undermine, marginalize and isolate the enemy, and empower legitimate alternatives to extremism.
  4. Respond on four levels (global, regional, national and local), over an extended timeframe, to isolate the threat, defeat the isolated threat, and prevent its re-emergence in the long-run. This response includes:
    1. A global campaign to counter Al Qaeda and associated networks.
    2. Regional campaigns to target and eliminate terrorist safe havens.
    3. National efforts to improve the security of partner nations and to provide development assistance designed to build liberal institutions, support the rule of law and enhance our partners' capacity to resist the terrorist threat.
    4. A focus on unique local conditions when designing and implementing counterterrorism strategies.

Leading U.S. Government Counterterrorism Efforts

The Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism (S/CT) leads the U.S. Government Counterterrorism Team and coordinates resources in a worldwide effort to defeat international terrorism. In this pursuit, we coordinate and employ all aspects of national power: diplomacy, economic power, intelligence, law enforcement, and military might.

Our work includes:

  
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