Courtesy Reuters

As economies, societies, and cultures have become increasingly interconnected, the traditional conception of threats to security as stemming from identifiable sources in individual countries has become antiquated. Today, many threats are stateless in origin and transnational in scope. Terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and al Qaeda have cells in multiple countries, often operating without the active support of any government but still capable of committing attacks with global impact. Both 9/11 and the unsuccessful plot to blow up airliners over the Atlantic Ocean in 2006 were aimed at disrupting the global air-transportation network. Potentially crippling attacks on the power grid or financial institutions could come from a computer anywhere in the world.

Fighting elusive and transnational enemies that do not respect the traditional conventions of warfare requires international cooperation. Terrorists are unlike the United States' past enemies. Whereas the Soviet Union had a defined territory with infrastructure and resources that could be

This article is part of our premium archives.

To continue reading and get full access to our entire archive, you must subscribe.

Subscribe