The chess master’s game
A model for incorporating local police agencies
in the Fght against global terrorism
Paul E. O’Connell
Iona College, New Rochelle, New York, USA
– The aim of this paper is to review chess as a model for incorporating local police agencies
in the Fght against global terrorism.
– The paper examines the literature concerning the nature of
terrorist organizations, as well as recent literature that suggests that new methods are required to
design a broad protective network with a common purpose.
– The paper suggests that, rather than merely relying upon the development of new
technologies, greater emphasis should be placed on overcoming the social and structural barriers to
– Practitioners should thoughtfully consider this paper and work to
alleviate or minimize those barriers and impediments to complete interoperability.
– This paper will beneFt both students and practitioners of counter terrorism,
insofar as it deFnes the proper role of local police agencies and reinforces the need for a common
understanding and a united effort to protect society.
Indoor games, Police, Terrorism, Strategic planning
Chess is a fascinating game. It consists of a clearly deFned opening, a middle and end
game. At the very outset of the contest, your opponent is clearly identiFed, the playing
Feld is level and his intentions are quite clear. Before the Frst move, all options are
available to both him and you and, theoretically, either side has an equal opportunity to
defeat his enemy.
There is also a middle game that is played, where the consequences of earlier moves
become more apparent. Options become limited at this point in the contest, but even a
severely weakened opponent has the ability to pose a signiFcant threat and perhaps
carry the day. The outcome is still very much uncertain at this point.
In the end game, however, the story draws to its natural conclusion. Options are
gone, the enemy is on the run, and the pursuer recognizes that it is only a matter of time
before his prey is subdued.
Chess has been used as an explanatory framework for understanding business
management theory and practice in the West (Hoffjan, 2002). ±or example, economic
markets are, at their core, essentially competitive and aggressive. Markets also mature
from an early stage where every player or competitor has an equal opportunity to
succeed and defeat his competitors, to a middle- and end-stage where the winners and
losers are more clearly deFned. Both economists and chess masters are adept at
identifying the various stages of the overall competition and make their strategic
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