The United States Institutes of Peace, in handout number three of its International Terrorism: Definitions, Causes and Responses, tells us that the rationale behind terrorism falls into the categories of “psychological perspective,” describing that perspective as one in which individuals participate in the act of terrorism for “[…] personal reasons, based on their own psychological state of mind (11).”The second perspective is ideological, the handout advises, “[…] the beliefs, values, and/or principles by which a group identifies its particular aims and goals. Ideology may encompass religion or political philosophies or programs (11).”A third perspective is that of strategic significance, which the handout defines as “When people seek redress of their grievances through government, but fail to win government’s attention to their plight, they may resort to violence (11).”Still, a fourth perspective on the use of terrorism is one in which the previously three stated perspectives together serve as the rationale for an act of terrorism (11). When the rationale constitutes all three of the previously stated rationale, the rationale becomes obscured, or undeterminable.Von Clausewitz’s ArgumentVon Clausewitz’s analysis of war is useful in analyzing terrorism, and are evident in Stewart’s Analyzing Terrorism cited earlier in this discussion. Von Clausewitz held that it was important to analyze who was conducting the war, or, in this case, the act of terrorism (French). Identifying who is making the war helps explain the rationale.
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In the paper “Terrorism as a Tactic of Warfare” the author analyzes terrorism as a tactic of warfare by first understanding its nature. Terrorists are exceedingly mobile and have mastered the art of blending into the surrounding population, and employ harsh measures to ensure security.
Some academicians and scientists underline that it is impossible to justify the essence of terrorism. In the very essence terrorism is unjust and illegitimate. Nevertheless, this assumption is rather emotional and it is relevant to consider this phenomenon from moral perspective. Thus, there is no moral background for the governments to sponsor terrorists, but they really do that.
The author of the text looks closer at the definition of two types of terrorism. To be precise, the traditional terrorism which existed before the Cold War was specifically identified by specific responses to problems by groups outside of the norm. On the contrary, in modern terrorism, the choice of weapon is the nuclear – biological – chemical terrorism.
War has also been modified in many other facets and has added new facets as it has evolved over the years (Katoch, 2005). The current style of warfare is more popularly known as Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW). One of the most notable things about 4GW is the removal of boundaries between war and the relationship between politics, civilians and soldiers.
For others it is way of life, a strategy that would exist regardless of the availability of other strategies. The goal of terrorism is to maintain power and control an entire population. Terrorist groups such as narco-terrorists do not have a political aim or philosophy. The goal is to be able to continue to commit a crime, such as drug-trafficking.
The meaning of the word terror is clear when applied to the real act and those who perform it however, the applying to the real world is confusing. Through terrorism, the weaker side always carries the day by using tactics. Given that terrorist have a very small and secretive organization; it leaves the opponents with no choice to defend against them.
Terrorist attacks can be launched by ethnic minority citizens that are acting on behalf of a foreign country or ideology. When the terrorism is perpetrated by US citizens against the US government, political ideals, or our social structure it is known as domestic terrorism. The FBI's definition of domestic terrorism is broad and sweeping.
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