In the wake of the announcement of Trump’s plan to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement, and the announcement by US Senator Elizabeth Warren of the US Senate that she will lead a Democratic filibuster to block the withdrawal, we have been given a rare glimpse into the future of US foreign policy.
While the US has been engaged in a decades-long “war on terror” against al-Qaeda, ISIS, and other jihadist groups in the Middle East, US foreign-policy has generally avoided the term “terrorism.”
Rather, it has focused on the war on drugs, the war against terrorism, and various counter-terrorism efforts.
The Obama Administration has consistently argued that the war has been successful in eliminating terrorism.
It has led to the killing of over 400,000 people, and it has prevented tens of thousands of innocent civilians from being killed.
In the midst of these successes, the Obama Administration, through the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the US Treasury Department, has attempted to redefine “terrorism” as a broader term than the one it had defined in the 1980s.
In 2015, the ODCCP published a document titled “Terrorism in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities for Combating It.”
In this document, the Office sought to redefide “terrorism,” defining “terrorists” as people with “ideological, political, or religious views that seek to harm, intimidate, or coerce a civilian population” or “the civilian population as a whole.”
The ODCMP also attempted to “make a distinction between the acts of violent terrorists who engage in terrorism and those who engage primarily in civil disobedience or peaceful protest.”
As a result of the ODDCP, the definition of terrorism in the Obama administration’s policies and programs has been expanded beyond what the US had originally defined it to include other types of acts that could be construed as peaceful.
The Trump Administration, by contrast, has continued to maintain the status quo.
In an interview with ABC News, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary, John Kelly, explained the rationale for the expansion of the definition: In a lot of cases, it’s the peaceful activities that we have to worry about, the civil disobedience, the non-violent protests, the peaceful demonstration, the sit-ins and demonstrations.
Those are the kinds of things that are important, but they’re not necessarily going to lead to a terrorist attack.
In other words, the US government has made clear that the definition is not meant to encompass actions that are violent, such as the shooting of protesters or the burning of the flag.
And in fact, the Trump administration has actively encouraged the expansion and reinforcement of the status-quo definition.
The ODDCP was developed to counter the idea that the US Government is focused on a war on terror, and its purpose is to combat “terrorism within the United States,” as Kelly explained in an interview.
While there is no evidence that the Trump Administrations Department of Justice, under Kelly, has been actively working to redefinethe definition of “terrorism”, there is evidence that some of its policies and initiatives are directly targeting nonviolent civil disobedience.
In August, the DOJ issued a memorandum that the OEDCP would “implement” under the authority of the Trump presidency, called “The Domestic Policy Directive.”
The directive stated that the DOJ would “provide for a broad, uniform definition of ‘terrorism,’ including nonviolent civil resistance, civil disobedience and political expression.”
As part of the directive, the White House also announced that the Department would work with local law enforcement to address “nonviolent civil disobedience” through training and resources, as well as “civil disobedience and nonviolent protest activities.”
The DOJ has also continued to pursue a variety of policies aimed at countering violent resistance.
In October, the agency announced that it would expand its efforts to target violent protests, particularly those aimed at disrupting federal programs.
The agency would now create “counterterrorism operations” that would “be coordinated with federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement.”
The White House has also been working on plans to increase federal funding for “counter-violent extremism,” including funding to “enhance community outreach and training” for “community organizers.”
The US Department of the Interior also announced a new policy in December called “Covert Operations in the Environment,” which would give the agency the power to designate “terrorist training camps” to target “civilian and law enforcement” to “help reduce the number of law enforcement officers and community members that are engaged in the conflict with violent radical groups.”
The Trump administration’s response to the OMDCP was to further expand the definition, by “defining ‘terrorist’ in the ODEP.”
The definition of the term has since been expanded to include acts that “directly engage in violent or violent extremist activities,” such as violence against government officials or police officers.
While it remains unclear what the new definition would mean for