An Unlikely Leader in Counter-terrorism

My new article for Mother Jones, "The UN's War on Terrorism" is now online. Here's the first paragraph:

In October the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1636, demanding that Syria stop stonewalling a UN investigation into the car-bomb assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri—in which several Syrian officials are prime suspects. Since the Security Council had no protocol for responding to acts of terrorism, the resolution came only after days of heavy political bargaining. It was one of many signs that, despite its inefficiencies, the UN has made a continued effort to piece together new counterterrorism policies since September 11, 2001, as concerns and crises arise.
It originated as an interest in the UN's 60th anniversary getting trumped-up as a symbolic opportunity to pass lasting reforms, particularly addressing the new concerns of a more globalized and high-profile strain of terrorism. In researching, I was surprised that an agency so frequently deadlocked by disagreements had made so much progress in establishing international cooperation in an area so wrought by nationalist security concerns and politically sensitive issues. And further, what the UN is doing seems better suited to addressing diffused and transnational terrorist activities than the more prominent counter-terrorism strategy steered by the US.

I welcome comments and responses.