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Dan

I am also slightly confused about where strategic defense ends and counter-terrorism begins.

The major difference lays in the area of time and opponents. Small wars, like counter-terrorism, tend to be protracted, long-term processes involving a quasi police action against non-state actors rather than total war against uniformed troops.

Joseph S. Nye thinks that it is similar to the piracy of centuries past, where some country's supported pirates for their own means, while others had a 'war on piracy'.

I think it's also important to remember that terrorism is a tactic and that the counter-measures to it are usually measured by the intensity that the terrorists applied their tradecraft. Social psychologists would call it a 'matched reaction'. In years past terrorist tactics were counter-acted by counter-terrorist tactics and minor operations and weren't that widespread because it wasn't a perceived as a threat. Today, because the intensity has changed, terrorism would be high up in the area of strategic defense. I would say that it is a high priority subset of strategic defense in today's world.

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