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al qaeda's new front

» Student Handout: "Preserving the Alliance Against Terrorism"

By Nile Gardiner, Ph.D., and John Hulsman, Ph.D
From the Heritage Foundation, April 9, 2004

The Heritage Foundation Web site features research, articles and commentary promoting conservative public policies. [URL: http://www.heritage.org/Research/NationalSecurity/1743.cfm]

Directions: Find the article online and answer the Reading Questions below. Meet in your group to review the Reading Questions to make sure everyone in the group understands the article. Then in your group, answer the Discussion Questions as a guide for preparing your presentation to the class.

Reading Questions:

  1. To what event do the authors attribute the surprising election results in Spain?

  2. What are the authors' main concerns regarding the Spanish election results and the future of Europe's continued support of the U.S.-led war on terror?

  3. What are their main concerns regarding the Spanish election results and the future of democracy in Europe?

  4. In the view of the authors, what are the political and symbolic impacts of the Spanish troop withdrawal from Iraq?

  5. Identify the six suggestions the authors recommend for the U.S. and its allies to:
    • address the effects of the terrorist attack on the Spanish elections
    • affect the future of security in Europe
    • increase positive relations with the U.S

  6. What roles do the authors feel NATO and the United Nations should play in the war on terror and the U.S. war effort in Iraq?

  7. What evidence do they present to support their view?

  8. In the opinion of the authors, what lessons can be learned from the Madrid train bombings and what actions need to be taken to prevent another terrorist attack?

Discussion Questions:

  1. How do the authors compare the Spanish and British support for the war on terror with the U.S.-led war in Iraq?

  2. Why don't all countries in Europe see these two efforts as one-and-the-same?

  3. What evidence now exists that there is no connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq?

  4. The authors make references to "Old Europe" and "New Europe." What do these terms mean and how does this reference relate to the U.S. war effort in Iraq?

  5. How might future terrorists' attacks in Europe cause a shift to "Old Europe" and affect the U.S. war effort in Iraq?

  6. What do you see as the strengths of the proposals made by the authors of this article?

  7. What do you see as the weaknesses?

  8. What "middle ground" can be found between the new Spanish government and the U.S. for continued positive relations and mutual support of the war on terror?

  9. How would strengthening this relationship help improve the security of both Europe and the U.S.?

In your group, develop a presentation that provides an overview of the content of the article from the reading questions and the conclusions your group developed from the discussion questions.

In the class "summit meeting" have different members of your group present the different parts of the presentation:

  1. A summary of the reading — provide the title of the article, name of the author(s), name and perspective of the publisher and date. Summarize the content of the article by reviewing the Reading Questions.

  2. Point out important aspects of the article that you discovered in the Discussion Questions.

  3. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the proposals or recommendations made in the article.

  4. Present your proposals, as close as possible to the point of view of the author, on what you think should be done to address the problems presented in the article.

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