Senior administration officials have discussed the possibility of placing North Korea on the State Sponsor of Terrorism list after the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Micah Zenko argues that North Korea is not a state-sponsor of terrorism and “rather than misapplying this outdated punishment against countries that the United States has non-terrorism-related disagreements with, an entirely new designation is necessary.”
Required by U.S. law to be published by April 30 of each year, this State Department report is a "full and complete report on terrorism;" it includes descriptions of foreign terrorist organizations as well as regional overviews of countries considered state sponsors of terrorism.
Stewart M. Patrick, Director of the Council on Foreign Relations' International Institutions and Global Governance Program, explains why some weak and failing states such as Pakistan are more attractive than others as safe havens for transnational terrorist groups.
In the event of a successful terrorist attack by Pakistan-based militants, U.S. actions toward Pakistan are limited, but the United States can help Pakistan intensify its fight against extremism, says South Asia security expert Bruce Riedel.
Listen to David Cohen, assistant secretary of treasury for terrorist financing, outline the U.S. government's greatest challenges and priorities in disrupting terrorist financing, particularly in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Gary Samore, who was active in nuclear diplomacy with North Korea in the Clinton administration, says the latest agreement between the United States and North Korea is only a "very modest step forward" because it allows the next administration to proceed further in seeking a nuclear-disarmed North Korea.
Unlike during the Cold War, the threat of nuclear attack now comes from rogue states that receive their weapons from sovereign nations. In this report, Michael A. Levi outlines how to discourage those nations from giving their nuclear technologies to terrorists, how to prevent accidental transfers, and the role that nuclear attribution plays in contemporary proliferation.
Libya, for years a thorn in the side of U.S. policymakers, has boosted its profile in recent years, renouncing terrorism and abandoning its WMD. In response, the U.S. State Department has removed Libya from its list of state sponsors of terrorism and plans to resume normal diplomatic relations.
Libya's abandonment of its WMD program was a major foreign policy win for the Bush administration. Having resumed diplomatic ties with the one-time rogue, U.S. officials are hoping for similar results with Iran and North Korea.
Cuba's retention on the terrorism list has received more attention in recent years in light of increased support for legislative initiatives to lift some U.S. sanctions under the current economic embargo