The appropriateness of the United Kingdom’s counterterrorism strategy, known as CONTEST, divides opinion. This article reassesses CONTEST as strategy rather than simply examining its effectiveness as policy, or critiquing its individual parts. Reviewing the development of CONTEST in the context of wider analytical discussions on what makes for good strategy, the authors argue that several important strands of CONTEST are either underdeveloped or not yet as “strategic” as some analysts and the U.K. government itself have professed them to be. Fresh thinking on aspects of counterterrorism is urgently needed to counter the challenge of contemporary and future terrorism.
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