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Suicide Terrorists are Fanatics - Discuss

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Sociology
Wordcount: 5427 words Published: 17th Sep 2021

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“Suicide terrorists are said to be fanatics.” Discuss this statement with regard to the analysis of suicide terrorism and Asymmetric warfare.

This paper is a discussion on modern suicide terrorism, starting with a brief history of suicide terrorism, moving onto definitions, characteristics, theories and the asymmetries of suicide terrorism. Suicide terrorism can be dated back to ancient times; it is the evolution of the suicide bomber that brings the most notoriety. With many analysts such as (Gunaratna, 2000; Winkates, 2006), trace the evolution of modern suicide terrorism to Sri Lanka and Lebanon in the 1980s. Acts of suicide terrorism in the past have been relatively confined and their use limited to a small number of locations around the world. In the last decade there has been a significant expansion in the scope and frequency of suicide terrorist attacks. The number of terrorist attacks fell from 660 in 1988 to 250 in 1998; the number of suicide terrorist attacks was climbing rapidly (Clayton, 2003, p. 18). This increase in suicide attacks during the period 2000-2005 “is 2.7 times greater in comparison to the period beginning in the 1980s and lasting until 1999” (Pedahzur & Perlinger, 2006, p. 1987).

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During the period 2000-2009 the scope of suicide terrorism expanded dramatically, with suicide terrorist attacks in Indonesia (Bali), Sri Lanka, Jordan, Israel, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United States, England, Spain, Russia, Chechnya and Bangladesh. Although there have been suicide attacks within the west, it is the rapid increase of attacks within countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq that is the notable with a year on year increase. Saudi Arabia became so alarmed with the rise in suicide terrorism that in April of 2006 the Saudi government announced plans to build a multibillion-dollar electrified fence along its 560 mile border with Iraq (Dreazen & Shiskin, 2006, p. A1). According to ISAF, in 2008 suicide bombings increased 26 percent from 2007(ISAF, 2009, toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan, January 2009). There has also been a noticeable change in the individuals who carry out suicide attacks, once seen as mainly carried out by young men for either Religious or political reasons and yet there has been an increase in the number of women and children now playing an increasing part in suicide missions . One of the latest attacks took place on the Moscow subway, killing 35 and wounding many more; both of these attack where carried out by female suicide bombers. Suicide terrorism can be seen as inexpensive, deadly, and especially effective in accomplishing terrorists’ goals (Hoffman, 2003, p. 1; Jalalzai, 2005, p.110) attacks have also become increasingly effective in terms of the destruction they cause and the number of people they kill, as the suicide terrorists adopt new innovations such as explosive vests (Gall, 2006, p. A15).There is an asymmetry within suicide terrorist attacks, western countries have a reliance upon smart weapons in the conflict against those seen as terrorists. These weapons can cause huge amounts of damage without the need to directly attack the enemy with ground troops, thus lessoning the casualties sustained during combat operations.

The use of a suicide bomber in effect becomes the human equivalent to the smart bomb. The weapon is self directing to the target, it can make changes to the target location, timing and delivery method on an ad hoc bases making the suicide bomber the ultimate smart bomb (Hoffman 2003). The use the human body as a weapon is not a new phenomenon being well documented through the ages.

Pape (2005, p.11) calls the Zealots and the Sicarii the “world’s first suicide terrorists”. The name sicarrii means “dagger-men”, “who would infiltrate Roman-controlled cities and stab Jewish collaborators or Roman legionnaires with a sica, kidnap the staff of the Temple Guard for ransom, or poison their enemies” (Bloom, 2005, p. 8). The Zealots and Sicarii used violence to encourage public uprising, including the Jewish War of AD 66. They would attack their victims in broad daylight and in highly public places with little apparent regard for their own safety or escape. Pape (2005) notes that many of these attacks “must have been suicide missions, since the killers were often immediately captured and put to death – typically tortured and then crucified or burned alive” (p. 12). Assassins were an 11th – 12th century Shia Muslim sect from the Nizari state, their name, the assassins comes from the Arabic word hashishiyyin. According to Pape (2005), “the Assassins created an effective organization for the planned, systematic, and long-term use of political murder that relied on suicide missions for success. Pape (2005) reports that “between 1945 and 1980, suicide attacks temporarily disappeared from the world scene” (p.13). Pape (2005) and others (Laqueur, 2003) note the occurrence of politically- and/or religiously driven hunger strikes and suicides (particularly self-immolations) during this period but Pape (2005) claims “there is not a single recorded instance of a suicide terrorist killing others while killing himself” (p. 13). Reuter (2004) disagrees, citing a pro-Palestinian “Japanese Red Army”-sponsored attack on Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport on May 20, 1972. In what Reuter (2004) notes as the “first suicide attacks in the Middle East”, on this day three Japanese gunmen with machine guns killed twenty-four people at the airport. They made no effort to escape, and two were shot dead by the airport guard (Reuter, 2004, p. 136).

Inspired by Iran’s use of “human minesweepers” against Iraq, Hizbollah, launched a series of attacks against Western and Israeli targets in Lebanon (Winkates, 2006, p. 92). Hizbollah suicide attackers killed 80 and wounded 142 in its April 1983 attack on the American Embassy in Beirut, killed 241 and wounded 81 in its October 1983 attack on the US Marine headquarters near Beirut and its attack against the French Multinational Force, killed 58 and wounded 15 (Winkates, 2006, p. 92). In November 1983, Hizbollah suicide terrorists killed 88 and wounded 69 in an attack on the Israeli Defence Force headquarters in Tyre and a month later killed four and wounded 15 in an attack on the American Embassy in Kuwait (Winkates, 2006, p. 92). Sprinzak (2000) notes that Hizbollah leaders were initially very uneasy about the decision to launch suicide attacks, under the reasoning that Islam does not approve of believers taking their own lives. Hezbollah’s spectacular success at achieving its goals of expelling foreign forces from all of Lebanon inspired other organizations such as Hamas, Tamil Tigers and al-Qaeda to adopt the suicide terrorist method of attack (Pape, 2005, p. 14). The Tamil Tigers were founded in 1972 as a Marxist, ethnic Tamil, Hindu separatist group seeking independence from the Sinhalese Buddhist majority in Sri Lanka. Their Black Tiger division trained to launch suicide attacks against Sri Lankan political leaders, military targets and civilians (Pape, 2005; Winkates, 2006). Hafez (2006) observed that outside of the Middle East, the Tamil Tigers “have led the pack in the number and sophistication of suicide missions”. It is estimated that the organization completed some 250 successful suicide attacks between 1987 and 2006 (Hafez, 2006, p. 5).

In the early 2000s, ethno nationalist and Islamist Chechens began launching suicide attacks against Russian targets (Hafez, 2006, p. 5). Al Qaeda began launching attacks against American and Saudi targets in the Middle East in the mid-1990s. Al Qaeda’s spectacular entry into the suicide terrorist hall of fame occurred on August 7, 1998 when suicide terrorists used two delivery trucks loaded with explosives to blow up within minutes of each other, the American embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing a total of 224 people and injuring more than 4,300 persons (Reuter, 2004, p. 142). A little more than two years later, in October of 2000, Al Qaeda suicide bombers detonated 225 kg of explosive charges alongside the American destroyer, the USS Cole on a refuelling stop in the Yemeni port of Aden, killing 17 American sailors and injuring forty. A year later, Al Qaeda suicide terrorists launched their principal suicide operation and what is described as one of the biggest single suicide terrorist action to date, the 9/11 attacks in the United States, killing about 3,000 (Reuter, 2004, p. 144). This attack lead to explanations of suicide terrorism becoming defined as, first, that the suicide terrorist was irrational and/or mentally ill (Brym & Araj, 2006; Pastor, 2004; Wintrobe, 2003).Secondly that the “deprivation hypothesis” this theory uses the explanation that that suicide terrorists were educationally, economically or otherwise deprived compared to their peers (Brym & Araj, 2006; Krueger & Maleckova, 2002 .In recent years the Bush Administration has advanced both of these theories in some of its anti-terrorist expression. President Bush repeatedly spoke out against the evil and irrational terrorists who commit these actions. The Bush Administration argued that poverty reduction programs in terrorism-prone regions will reduce the incidence of suicide terrorism (Pastor, 2004; Pape, 2005). Numerous studies have found little or no support for these two theories of suicide terrorism, recent studies have provided evidence which directly refutes these theories. Krueger & Maleckova’s, study in 2002, on the economics and education of suicide bombers directly refutes the deprivation hypothesis of suicide terrorism. Krueger & Maleckova 2002 concluded that, the evidence that we have assembled and reviewed suggests that there is little direct connection between poverty, education, and participation in or support for terrorism. Indeed, the available evidence indicates that compared with the relevant population, participants…were at least as likely to come from economically advantaged families and to have a relatively high level of education as they were to come from impoverished families without educational opportunities (Krueger & Maleckova 2002 p. 9).

Numerous studies have established that overall, suicide terrorists do not suffer from personality disorders or mental illnesses which would explain their participation in suicide terrorism (Berko & Erez, 2005). As Wintrobe 2003 argued, it is possible to explain suicide terrorist acts “in rational choice terms, and that, while such acts are indeed extreme, they are merely an extreme example of a general class of behaviour in which all of us engage” (Wintrobe 2003 p. 2). Explaining that, suicide terrorist is not necessarily irrational. A third theory of suicide terrorism focuses on the influence of culture, especially religious culture, on suicide terrorists (Brym & Araj, 2006). These explanations have often been used to explain suicide terrorism among Shia Muslims, based on the tradition of the “cult of sacrifice” (Hafez, 2006; Bloom, 2005). Although this fails to explain the existence of suicide terrorism among cultures and religions with no established “cult of sacrifice” and it cannot sufficiently explain suicide terrorism among secular, nationalist groups (Pape, 2005; Hoffman, 2003). Furthermore, as Brym & Araj 2006 point to, while such cultural resources likely increase the probability that some groups will engage in suicide attacks, one must be careful not to exaggerate their significance. One difficulty with the ‘clash of civilizations’ argument is that public opinion polls show that Arabs in the Middle East hold strongly favourable attitudes toward American science and technology, freedom and democracy, education, movies and television, and largely favourable attitudes toward the American people. They hold strongly negative attitudes only toward American Middle East policy. This is less evident of a clash of civilizations than a deep political disagreement (Brym & Araj 2006 p. 1973).

A more recent theory of suicide terrorism has been offered by Robert Pape (2003, 2005). Based on his analysis of suicide terrorism from 1980 through 2004, Pape presented a three-part model describing the causal logic of suicide terrorism. Pape’s theory de-emphasizes the role of religion including Islamic fundamentalism and focuses on the role of terrorist organization strategy and secular nationalist objectives. Pape argues that suicide terrorism follows a strategic logic aimed at political coercion (Pape, 2005, p. 21). Pape argues that suicide terrorism is part of an organization’s broader campaign to achieve political objectives, usually in response to a foreign occupation. Pape goes on to argue that suicide terrorism also follows a social logic since terrorist organizations “often command broad social support within the national communities from which they recruit” (Pape, 2005, p. 22).

A number of analysts, including Bruce Hoffman (1998, 2003) have advanced explanations of suicide terrorism which propose rationale-choice models emphasizing the role of organizational factors that support Pape’s theory. Theorists have argued that Pape’s theory is overly simplistic (Atran, 2006; Bloom, 2005; Brym & Araj, 2006). Brym & Araj 2006 argues that “strategic thinking is only one element that may combine with others in the creation of a suicide bomber” (Brym & Araj 2006 p. 1972). Atran has recently challenged Pape’s theory on a number of points, including Pape’s sampling methods which completely discount the explosion of suicide terrorism in Iraq (Pape 2005, p. 130). Atran calls into question Pape’s dismissal of the role of ideology and religious fundamentalism as well as his assessments of the effectiveness of suicide terrorism (Atran, 2006, p. 132). Other recently emerging theories of suicide terrorism include Pedahzur & Perlinger’s 2006 social network perspective explaining suicide terrorism in terms of social motivations and Bloom’s multi-factor model of suicide terrorism (2005). There is a development towards more complex models of suicide terrorism accounting for the role of individual, social, cultural, strategic, ideological, and organizational motivations and factors in suicide terrorism (Smith, 2004).

Defining terrorism especially the suicide terrorism will never be an easy task, as Dershowitz (2002, p.4) observes, there is difficulty in a definition that everyone can agree upon is illustrated by the catchphrase, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”. Dershowitz (2002, pp. 4-5) breaks down most definitions of terrorism into three main elements: 1) the nature of the targeted victims; 2) the nature of those who commit the violence; and 3) the method by which the terrorist seeks to influence their audiences. Atran (2003, p.1535) observes that “the concept of ‘terror’ as systematic use of violence to attain political ends was first codified by Maximilien Robespierre during the French Revolution”. Robespierre saw terror as an “emanation of virtue” that delivered swift justice (Atran, 2003, p. 1535). Another major difficulty occurs in separating the concepts of “terror” and “terrorism”. Pape (2005, p. 9) explains that “terrorism involves the use of violence by an organization other than a national government to intimidate or frighten a target audience”. Pape (2005, p. 9) explains further that most terrorist strikes or campaigns have two general purposes: “to gain supporters and to coerce opponents”. While Pape’s (2005) definition excludes the possibility of state-sponsored terrorism, numerous other definitions are wide enough to include terrorist acts conducted by or on behalf of a nation state as well as those conducted by private organizations or individuals (Dershowitz, 2005; Winkates, 2006).

Winkates (2006,pp. 88-99) defines terrorism as “the premeditated threat or use of violence against persons or property, designed to intimidate non combatant victims, the object of which is to change or to stabilize private or public policy”. Definitions of suicide terrorism combine the concepts of terrorism and suicide. As with definitions of “terrorism”, the definitions of suicide terrorism found in the literature vary. Hafez notes, one problem in defining suicidal terrorism concerns the various possible perspectives on the act:

…how one describes acts of self-immolation committed in order to kill others is a task fraught with controversy. Those whose support these acts of violence prefer to call them ‘martyrdom operations,” and their perpetrators ‘heroes’ and ‘freedom fighters.’ Those who oppose them prefer to call them ‘homicide bombers,’ ‘suicide terrorists,’ or ‘suicidal murderers’ (Hafez, 2006, p.4).

Hafez’s own definition of suicide terrorism relies on the more descriptive term of “suicide bomber” or “human bomb” which is defined as “an individual who willingly uses his or her body to carry or deliver explosives or explosive materials to attack, kill or main others” (Hafez, 2006,p. 4). Bloom’s definition of suicide terrorism is defined as “a violent, politically motivated attack, carried out in a deliberate state of awareness by a person who blows himself or herself up together with a chosen target. The premeditated certain death of the perpetrator is the precondition for the success of the attack” (2005, p. 76). In terms of the objectives of suicide terrorism, Bloom describes this as, although a suicide attack aims to physically destroy an initial target, its primary use is typically as a weapon of psychological warfare intended to affect a larger public audience. The primary target is not those actually killed or injured in the attack, but those made to witness it…Through indoctrination and training and under charismatic leaders, self contained suicide cells canalize disparate religious or political sentiments of individuals into an emotionally bonded group (Bloom, 2005, p. 77). Pedahzur states that “suicide terrorism includes a diversity of violent actions perpetrated by people who are aware that the odds they will return alive are close to zero” (2005, p. 8). Pape agrees in that , What distinguishes a suicide terrorist is that the attacker does not expect to survive the mission and often employees a method of attack such as a car bomb, suicide vest, or ramming an airplane into a building that requires his or her death in order to succeed. In essence, suicide terrorists kill others at the same time that they kill themselves (2005, p. 10). Pape further argues that a broad definition of suicide terrorism “could include any operation that is designed in such a way that the terrorist does not expect to survive it, even if he or she is actually killed by police or other defenders”. Pape also argues that “We might call such operations suicide missions instead of suicide attacks” (2005, p. 10). Winkates argues that “the best litmus test for definitive suicide terrorism is the intentional and successful sacrifice of a human life to achieve a terrorist objective” (2006, p. 89).

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Hoffman (2003) argues that two key characteristics of suicide terrorism explain its growing popularity with terrorists groups around the world: “suicide bombings are inexpensive and effective” (p. 2). While coordinated multi-target attacks such as the 9-11 attacks and the London bombings may require extensive planning and considerable investment, even these types of suicide terrorist attacks are less expensive than many conventional terrorist attacks and definitely less expensive than funding an army. The majority of suicide attacks are carried out by individuals, minimizing the amount of investment and administrative overhead. The reliance on “human bombs” provides terrorists with “the ultimate smart bomb” (Hoffman, 2003, p. 2). Such smart bombs can be extremely efficient and effective. One of the characteristics of suicide terrorism is its effectiveness against the selected target. As of 2003, suicide terrorism accounted for just three percent of all worldwide terrorist acts, but for 50% of all terrorism-related deaths (Clayton, 2003, p. 18). This is another factor contributing to its effectiveness. The high-kill rate of suicide terrorism increases the amount of terror such attacks instigate in target populations. As Furedi 2007 notes, “The threat represented by mass-casualty terrorism is not confined to its capacity for destruction. Public dread of this phenomenon is underpinned by the assumption that this is a treat that is unpredictable and random and its effect incalculable” (Furedi, 2007, p .7) adding further to the overall result; suicide terrorism becomes effective in producing fear, justifying its deployment in conflict, by highlighting the unpredictable ability of the act, to produce more fear than the actual act. The act of suicide terrorism highlights an important asymmetry; terrorist need to be successful only once to kill Americans and demonstrate the inherent vulnerabilities they face, (US Congress, 2002). The asymmetry of suicide terrorism is not only the causation destruction, but to seize the attention of Governments and the population of the nation it targets, as Laqueur (1999) notes;”Terrorism has been with us for centuries, and it has always attracted inordinate attention because of its dramatic character and its sudden, often wholly unexpected, occurrence.” (Laqueur, 1999: p, 3)

Asymmetric terrorism reaches out not merely through the use of physical violence but through the symbolic transgression of social morality and national security. Terrorism, as Townshend, (2000); Laqueur, (1999); Chomsky, (2001) have suggested, goes right to heart of what makes us safe; it forces us to pay attention to it whether we want to nor not. The proliferation of video taped messages from leaders of suspected terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda is a testament to the symbol over the actual act of physical violent; there is nothing violent in the images of Osama bin Laden addressing the world through the Aljazeera television networks but it has symbolic presence – in a world that is dominated by media and communication technology, as Van der Veer and Munshi (2004) suggest, one of the major successes of modern terrorist organisations is their ability to use the resources of their enemies: the Internet, satellite television, mobile phones and the mass media. Even the condemnation of terrorists in the media, can aid the cause of terrorist organizations; by describing physical acts of violence through the duality of good and evil or right and wrong, the Western media merely serve to elevate and obfuscate the real nature of terrorism which, as research has shown[1], is far more fractured and complex. In this sense, much of the terrorist organizations’ aim, of seizing attention, is actually carried out by the opposing media; eager for a story and for a simple answer. Suicide terrorism has become a relatively successful military and political strategy; the 9/11 attackers commanded the attention of the world not only through their own efforts but through their target’s media; the American television companies, the European press and the global media conglomerates all shared in the process of captivating the public’s imagination that, as Towshend(2000) notes; “dramatically amplifies the anxiety about security which is never far from the surface of society.” (Townshend, 2000: 8), the communication of the message and the success of this are inextricably linked to the terrorist organisation itself. A highly ordered group with distinct political aims is likely to be more successful in delivering its message than a disparate, non-focused organisation whose aim is to spread confusion and fear. Douglass McFerran(1997) details that many of the IRA campaigns of the 1970s and 80s had distinct short term as well as long term political aims, very often terrorist attacks on mainland Britain were specifically concerned with achieving a specific political target such as protesting over the widespread imprisonment of suspected terrorists or the treatment of those all ready in prison.

As Townshend details this is not the case in every terrorist act; the PanAm flight 103 attacks for instance that saw a plane explode over town of Lockerbie in 1988 had no prior demands or message attached to them and very little admission of guilt after (Just, Kern and Norris, 2003: 285).The nature of the attack is likely to influence the success of the communication of demands; Dobkin (1992) details that in 1970 members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) hijacked three airliners in order to not only secure the attention of the world’s media in which they were successful, but to demand the release of a number of Palestinian prisoners in British military jails. Their demands were largely met and most of their hostages were released; however when compared to the contemporary Munich terrorist kidnapping where members of the Black September group killed eleven Israeli athletes in an attempt to secure the release of 236 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.Hoffman (1998) details that the Munich kidnappings were not only failures in terms of communicating and achieving recognisable demands but also in media manipulation: “The Palestinians had not only failed to obtain their principal, stated demand — the release of terrorists imprisoned in Israel and West Germany — but, to many observers, had hopelessly tarnished the morality of their cause in the eyes of the world. Indeed, international opinion was virtually unanimous in its condemnation of the terrorists’ operation.” (Hoffman, 1998: p, 72). But, again, this can often have the opposite to the desired effect. Robert Singh (2003) suggests that the 9/11 attacks merely served to strengthen the socio-political position of the American people, the very group that came under attack; he also suggests that the security systems around the globe became more vigilant and aware of any gaps in their processes: “Rather than initiating a transformation, 9/11 accelerated trends, policies and approaches that were well established. If the attacks’ most immediate political effects were certainly dramatic – the Bush administration’s approval ratings soared and public confidence in the federal government attained levels unseen since the early 1960s” (Singh, 2003: p,52).

Al-Qaeda, built upon this position when coalition forces invaded Iraq and later Afghanistan, the fear that is produced by asymmetric warfare attacks is sometimes seen as the main outcome, Somali “rebels” succeeded in influencing the American public, after pictures of dead American soldiers where broadcast on CNN, in the same way as the Madrid Suicide bombings had on the Spanish public, directly influencing government policy and leading to the withdrawal of Spanish troops from Iraq, the American government forced by the public outcry pulled troops out of Somalia. With limited resources and limited damage to western societies al-Qaeda, has managed to change the very ideals for which it is said the war on terror is conducted. It has become a norm in Europe that after a terrorist attack, new security legislation and other measures are established to combat the threat of terrorism; however most of these policies seem to neglected the human rights of the citizens. These changes are highlighted by Arce (et,al 2009) the traditional treatment of terrorism-as-asymmetric-conflict in terms of the relative resource disparity between terrorists and their ultimate targets, an additional asymmetry exists through the definition of success. For the target government, success is defined in terms of security against all possible attacks; whereas for terrorists one success is often enough to alter the political landscape, airways, etc. If one target is successfully attacked, then counter terror policy and the competency of the government itself

can be subject to public scrutiny.(Arce, et,al, 2009). Thinking and organizing in a different manor than an opponent in order to amplify advantages and by doing so also exploit an opponent’s weakness. Changes to asymmetrical warfare have been greatly affected by the digital age, no matter the policy initiatives in trying to undermine the terrorist’s propaganda and promote its own; the forum of the internet allows suicide attacks to be displayed to a world audience. The filming of “Martyr videos” and attacks can serve both as a recruitment campaign reaching to all corners of the world and a forewarning to those who oppose terrorism. Understanding and defining suicide terrorism is open to debate; there have been a number of successes in terms of securing specific demands in the past – not least of all the 1970 ‘skyjacking’ operation by the PFLP. However, we have also seen how terrorism can be divisive, how it can engender the very opposite of what it sets out to do. As we saw with the London bombings, a post 9/11 society is one that treats the threat of terrorism as a consequence of modern city living. This is perhaps the one main reason why terrorism may become considered a strong military strategy: today the more terrorist activity there is, the more political value it has, yet the less it affects every day individual life. However, of course, terrorism is perhaps the only strategy that many disenfranchised groups have which may account for its constant presence on the global political stage. Ultimately, however, terrorism is a symbolic act, an act that depends upon fear for its meaning; as the public becomes more and more exposed to images and symbols of terror they also become more and more immune. As Baudrillard suggests (2003) the violence of the terrorist is likely to become merely just another image in the media and the terrorist themselves just another face on the television screen and it is this, ironically, that provides its greatest counter measure.

In this essay the difficulty in defining, theorising and understanding has been discussed. The asymmetries involved within terrorism have also been discussed, showing that with the use of digital media and little resources the ability of the target to respond to attack within its own borders can become limited to the change of political policy, which in turn may undermine the authority of the government within its own borders. The September 11 attacks and during the post Cold war era, the world has seen no greater power than the United States. International Relations have seen the control and dominance of the United States over the world’s structure. However, after the Twin Tower attacks, the world started realizing the role of others inside the international arena, these others preferably labeled terrorists; questioned the validity of several theories that were formulated as soon as the end of the Cold War was announced, these theories were trying to predict the shape and attitude of the world as it entered a new era. It has always been known that every era in history adapts an indication that will mark it as distinctive, and therefore all of those theories were simple speculations on the nature of what could be such an indication. Theories valid, some predicted the rise of democracy and liberalism, others feared the return of barbarism and anarchy. Also, other theories predicted a clash that will divide the borders of the world according to culture, civilization, ethnicity, and most importantly religion. The world has dramatically changed with terrorism as the key player. It is also very clear that the asymmetries involved in terrorism are very powerful, as it was able to question the strength of the United States, and was able to reform the political policies of many world countries. Terrorism is the world’s most fearful enemy, an enemy that is powerful, aggressive, and most importantly ambiguous. There is no concession within society on terrorism, for many it is not a problem and life continues, for others it has change their view of world order and politics.


  • 2008 National Defense Authorization Act (Section 1230, Public Law 110-181) http://www.defense.gov/pubs/OCTOBER_1230_FINAL.pdf Accessed 06/04/2010,
  • Arce, Daniel G; Kovenock, Dan; Robertson,B, Suicide Terrorism and the Weakest Link, CESIFO WORKING PAPER NO. 2753,CATEGORY 2: PUBLIC CHOIC


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