Finding Security in an Age of Uncertainty: German and American Counterterrorism Policies

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.

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The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.

Dorle Hellmuth

The Catholic University of America

Dr. Hellmuth is Associate Professor of Politics at The Catholic University of America and serves as the academic director of the politics department’s parliamentary internship programs in Europe. Her book, Counterterrorism and the State (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015), analyzes post-911 counterterrorism decision-making and responses in the United States, Germany, Great Britain, and France. Professor Hellmuth has briefed members of parliament, law enforcement, and government representatives on counterterrorism, national security, and defense issues. She is a non-resident fellow at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies and serves as a fellow at the German Institute on Radicalization and De-Radicalization Studies (GIRDS). Her research and teaching covers world politics, particularly the study of transatlantic security, counterterrorism, counterradicalization, homeland security, European and general comparative politics, and American foreign policy. Professor Hellmuth has held appointments as Assistant Professor at American University’s School of International Service and as a Research Fellow at the National War College, National Defense University. She has been awarded fellowships and grants from the Earhart Foundation, the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy, the Embassy of France, and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

She is a 2016-2017 participant in AICGS’ project “A German-American Dialogue of the Next Generation: Global Responsibility, Joint Engagement,” sponsored by the Transatlantik-Programm der Bundesrepublik Deutschland aus Mitteln des European Recovery Program (ERP) des Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi).