New administrations took office in 2009 in both Germany and the United States, bringing with them renewed focus on counterterrorism measures. Still, despite ever-increasing cooperation among allies, the German and American publics react differently to threats of terrorism, as shown by the recent failed attack in Detroit. In Policy Report 41, former DAAD/AICGS Fellow Frank Gadinger looks at German counterterrorism policies, explaining not only how the German government perceives counterterrorism, but also how and why the German public reacts to counterinsurgency (COIN) and data retention policies as it does. Discussing the American approach to counterterrorism, former DAAD/AICGS Fellow Dorle Hellmuth looks at the response to terrorism following 9/11, the strategic culture in the U.S., and the remaining challenges for President Obama in light of his commitment to closing Guantanamo and sending additional troops to Afghanistan.

The close relationship between the U.S. and Germany has undergone a dramatic change, beginning with the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the resulting U.S.-led “war on terror,” and the Iraq War. In particular, the Iraq War and different counter-terrorism policies have led to a diplomatic crisis in the transatlantic relationship; it was a new phenomenon for Americans and Germans to disagree on fundamental policy issues…