Attacking Terrorism: Elements of a Grand Strategy

Georgetown University Press
Free sample

The definition and understanding of "terrorism" is in a state of unprecedented evolution. No longer are acts of terrorism rare and far-flung. Following the horrendous attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, U.S. citizens have had their eyes opened to a new world where this nightmare stalks the daily news and is never far from consciousness.

Attacking Terrorism brings together some of the world's finest experts, people who have made the study of this rising menace their life's work, to provide a comprehensive picture of the challenges and opportunities of the campaign against international terrorism. Part one, "The Nature of Terrorism," provides an overview and foundation for the current campaign, placing it within the political and historical context of previous threats and responses. Part two, "The Responses to Terrorism," looks at the range of policy instruments required in an effective strategy against terrorism.

The contributors to this volume bring finely honed analyses and nuanced perspectives to the terrorist realities of the twenty-first century—history, analyses, and perspectives that have been too often oversimplified or myopic. They bring a new depth of understanding and myriad new dimensions to the crisis of terrorism. And they reach into aspects of counterterrorism that broaden our grasp on such important tools as diplomacy, intelligence and counterintelligence, psycho-political means, international law, criminal law enforcement, military force, foreign aid, and homeland security, showing not only how these tools are currently being employed but how often they are being underutilized as well.

Attacking Terrorism demonstrates that there are no easy answers—and that the road toward victory will be long and arduous, frightening and dangerous—but as Audrey Kurth Cronin states in her introduction, "As the campaign against international terrorism unfolds, a crucial forward-looking process of strategic reassessment is under way in the United States, and this book is intended to be a part of it."

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About the author

Audrey Kurth Cronin is a professor of public policy at George Mason University.

James M. Ludes is executive director of the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Georgetown University Press
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Published on
Jan 14, 2004
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Pages
328
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ISBN
9781589012448
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / International Relations / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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As the world's first democracy with a written constitution and Bill of Rights, the United States has stood for global aspirations toward democratic liberty, equality, and solidarity since its formation in 1776. However, as it developed into an empire by the late nineteenth century, the United States also has threatened the liberties of other peoples, including Native Americans, Hawaiians, Latin Americans, Asians, and Africans. The American role in world affairs has long been polarized around two conflicting images and strategies. In the name of counter-terrorism, the Bush administration pursued a largely unilateralist policy in the Middle East and elsewhere. Yet, in the name of protecting its national sovereignty, the United States also has rejected most of the recent multilateral treaties that strive to contain violence by fortifying the rule of international law. A unilateralist strategy also goes largely against the U.S. postwar multilateralism, which established the United Nations and its specialized agencies. This volume explores these contradictions. Contributors include: Kevin P. Clements, Tom Coffman, Audrey Kitagawa, Jeffrey F. Addicott, Steven Zunes, Vivien Stewart, Kathy Ferguson, Phyllis Turnbull, Bilveer Singh, Ibrahim G. Aoude, Richard Falk, Ann Wright, Beverley Kleever, Linda Groff, George Kent, Majid Tehranian, Mohammad Ali, Terrence Paupp, Gillian Young, Mihay Simaii, and David Krieger. The annual publication Peace & Policy, sponsored by the Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research, is now in its ninth year. It is dedicated to providing a forum for the discussion of all issues concerning peace, policy, and the rights and responsibilities of global citizenship. This latest volume fulfills that commitment.
Recent attacks in Oklahoma City, at the World Trade Towers, and at American embassies in Africa demonstrate the horrifying consequences of a terrorist strike. But as technological advances make weapons of mass destruction frighteningly easy to acquire, a revolution is occurring in the very nature of terrorism--one that may make these attacks look like child's play. In The New Terrorism Walter Laqueur, one of the foremost experts on terrorism and international strategic affairs, recounts the history of terrorism and, more importantly, examines the future of terrorist activity worldwide. Laqueur traces the chilling trend away from terrorism perpetrated by groups of oppressed nationalists and radicals seeking political change to small clusters of fanatics bent on vengeance and simple destruction. Coinciding with this trend is the alarming availability of weapons of mass destruction. Chemical and biological weapons are cheap and relatively easy to make or buy. Even nuclear devices are increasingly feasible options for terrorists. And with the information age, cyber terrorism is just around the corner. Laqueur argues that as a new quasi-religious extreme right rises, with more personal and less ideological motivations than their left-wing counterparts, it is only a matter of time before the attainability of weapons of mass destruction creates a terrifying and unstable scenario. From militant separatism in Kashmir to state-sponsored extremism in Libya and ecoterrorism in the West, The New Terrorism offers a thorough account of terrorism in all its past and current manifestations. Most importantly, it casts a sober eye to the future, when the inevitable marriage of technology and fanaticism will give us all something new to think about.
Amid the fear following 9/11 and other recent terror attacks, it is easy to forget the most important fact about terrorist campaigns: they always come to an end--and often far more quickly than expected. Contrary to what many assume, when it comes to dealing with terrorism it may be more important to understand how it ends than how it begins. Only by understanding the common ways in which terrorist movements have died out or been eradicated in the past can we hope to figure out how to speed the decline of today's terrorist groups, while avoiding unnecessary fears and costly overreactions. In How Terrorism Ends, Audrey Kurth Cronin examines how terrorist campaigns have met their demise over the past two centuries, and applies these enduring lessons to outline a new strategy against al-Qaeda.

This book answers questions such as: How long do terrorist campaigns last? When does targeting the leadership finish a group? When do negotiations lead to the end? Under what conditions do groups transition to other forms of violence, such as insurgency or civil war? How and when do they succeed or fail, and then disappear? Examining a wide range of historical examples--including the anti-tsarist Narodnaya Volya, the Provisional IRA, Peru's Shining Path, Japan's Aum Shinrikyo, and various Palestinian groups--Cronin identifies the ways in which almost all terrorist groups die out, including decapitation (catching or killing the leader), negotiation, repression, and implosion.



How Terrorism Ends is the only comprehensive book on its subject and a rarity among all the books on terrorism--at once practical, optimistic, rigorous, and historical.

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