chapter  Chapter 33
The military approach to counterterrorism
ByMichael J. Boyle
Pages 11

Military forces are an indispensable complement to law enforcement and bring with them a number of organizational resources that are crucial to dealing with terrorism. The division of labour between police and military for counterterrorism functions is best conceptualized as a continuum rather than a chasm, with many counterterrorism organizations falling in between. The longstanding debate over the military dimension to counterterrorism has been transformed due to two developments. They are the growing popularity of counterinsurgency as a model for destroying terrorist groups in ungoverned spaces; and the rise of a light footprint approach, based on new technology like drones, which appear to give governments the opportunity to be discriminate, even surgical, in their air strikes against terrorist groups abroad with a costly occupation. The first major development that has transformed the military's role in counterterrorism has been the rise of counterinsurgency (COIN) as a way of dealing with terrorist groups.