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How do we respond to terrorism? In my view, we must distinguish among three possible legal responses-direct action, criminal remedies, and civil remedies-or, if you prefer, countering terrorism, making terrorists pay, and making terrorists pay up. The first category-direct action, or countering terrorism-encompasses a wide variety of responses: Monitoring terrorist groups, detecting terrorist attacks before they happen, coping with terrorist incidents while they occur, and formulating appropriate responses in the immediate aftermath of terrorist strikes. Although this type of response raises numerous troubling legal problems, the most difficult questions posed are political and logistical. At the international level, how can the United States coordinate a unified and effective multilateral political and economic response against terrorism? At the national level, how can the United States Government best mobilize its military, intelligence, and state and federal law enforcement organizations to respond effectively to particular terrorist incidents?
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