Such conditions include, among others, a shifting mix of international geopolitics, economics,religion, ideology, ignorance, cultural stress, and intolerant political systems that offer little roomfor political expression or personal freedom. This environment enables terrorist leaders toadvance their own agenda, to exert influence, to recruit, and to escalate local conflicts. Tyrannydoes afford our terrorist enemies an advantage.Terrorism-conducive conditions can converge in specific geographic areas, often in illiberalsocieties and lawless or nondemocratic states, where the enemy can establish safe haven. Tribalregions along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, illiberal and undergoverned by legitimate stateauthority, provide al Qaeda leaders such refuge. Illiberal and ambitious Iran sponsorsinternational terrorist groups, such as Hezbollah, as proxy forces and hinders cooperation withinthe region on anti-al Qaeda policies. Nondemocratic and illiberal Syria does the same. Countriesthat lack functioning law enforcement structures in part or all of their territories provide lawlessspaces in which terrorists can operate.Of course, terrorists have also found space to operate in democratic states, as Gause notes.Democracies, however, have an advantage in their ability to rise to the occasion and implementneeded reforms with popular consent. States with liberal institutions and democratic systems canthereby respond to terror with greater public support and, in the long run, greater effectivenessthan authoritarian states can.For example, in the past, the United States has imposed structural restrictions on itself,encumbering the flow of information between intelligence services and law enforcementorganizations and among local, state, and federal agencies. Since the 9/11 attacks, however, theUnited States, using the democratic process, has moved aggressively to "give this nation a broadand coordinated homeland defense," as President Bush recently put it. Similarly, the UnitedKingdom reacted to the July 7, 2005, bombings in London through democratic means, promptlyenacting new laws against incitement to terrorism and encouraging civic society to engagedisaffected Muslim youth.