The New European Counter-Terror Wars

What do counter-terror wars aim to achieve? Are the UK and other European countries setting dangerous legal precedents in their use of force, and what is the likely impact on EU counter-terrorism of any shift in US policy under President Trump?

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Michael Clarke, former Director-General of RUSI

Anthony Dworkin, Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR

Chaired by

Ulrike Esther Franke, Researcher, ECFR

In the last few years, the UK has been involved in military action against ISIS in Iraq and, more recently, Syria – part of a pattern of increasing European armed campaigns against terrorist groups overseas, including in North Africa and the Sahel. The move into counter-terror wars has developed with little strategic analysis and with little consideration of some of the legal questions raised, particularly those concerning targeted strikes against individual terrorists. 

This event will provide an opportunity to look at the objectives that such operations aim to achieve and the conditions under which they are successful. It will also ask whether the UK and other European countries are setting dangerous legal precedents in their use of force, and consider the likely impact on EU counter-terrorism of any shift in US policy under President Trump.

The event follows the publication of the recent ECFR policy brief by Anthony Dworkin, ‘Europe’s new counter-terror wars’.

Michael Clarke was Director-General of the defence think-tank RUSI until 2015. He was a founding director of the Centre for Defence Studies at King’s College London and has served on numerous government advisory panels on defence and security issues. 

Anthony Dworkin (@AnthonyDworkin) is a senior policy fellow at ECFR and has written several papers on EU and US approaches to counter-terrorism. Anthony was formerly the executive director of the Crimes of War Project.

Ulrike Esther Franke (@RikeFranke) is a researcher at ECFR. Previously, Ulrike was part of UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism Ben Emmerson's research team.