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Definitions of Terrorism - Essay Example

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This essay discribes that change of public policy, use of resources and funding to combat terrorism has reduced terrorism but has not eliminated terrorism entirely.The term “terrorism” has become a frequently used term in the current era. It has a history dating from 1795, which marks the French Revolution…
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Definitions of Terrorism
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Definitions of Terrorism
Thesis: Change of public policy, use of resources and funding to combat terrorism has reduced terrorism but has not eliminated terrorism entirely.
The term “terrorism” has become a frequently used term in the current era. It has a history dating from 1795, which marks the French Revolution. The term was initially associated with governmental organizations and their systematic use of terror to eliminate the enemies of their state. As time passed by, the term made its way out of government policy and began to be associated with non-governmental groups who had started creating havoc in the different parts of the world. The governmental organizations then became associated with the phrase “fight against terrorism” or “counter-terrorism policy”. It was the incident of the attack on the Twin Towers in the United States on the 11th of September, 2001 which started the new series of terrorism in this 21st century and consequently a War on Terror declared by the US Government.
There is no consensus in the meaning of terrorism. Hence, innumerable definitions have been given by people. However, U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) further categorized the term into: domestic terrorism and international terrorism and defined them accordingly. The FBI (2005) defines domestic terrorism as:
Domestic terrorism is the unlawful use, or threatened use, of force or violence by an individual or group of individuals who base and operate completely within the USA or Puerto Rico with no overseas path dedicated against persons or assets to scare or coerce a government, the civilian residents, or any subdivision thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives. (p. iv).
On the other hand, international terrorism is defined as any terrorism involving violence dangerous to human life which violate the criminal laws of U.S. or any other state and are intended to threaten a civilian population or effect government policy or government conduct and are done by non-governmental groups outside the state (FBI, 2005, p. v).
Impact of Terrorism on Public Policy, Use of Resources and Funding
A public policy revolves around crime, education, foreign policy, health and social welfare. (Venus D., 2011). Domestic terrorism arose tremendously after the attack on Twin Towers. In order to counter domestic terrorism, 106 Joint Terrorism Task Forces were created to enforce law and order in the state. (FBI, Stories 2009). Related to international violence, there has been a considerable impact on the public policy of the U.S. Government which has been followed by other countries also when War on Terrorism was declared. In order to combat international terrorism, a range of measures had been employed by past Administrations, from international cooperation, constructive engagement, and diplomacy to economic sanctions, covert action, protective security measures and military force. (Perl, 2007, p. 9).
For example, an anti-terrorism policy meant that the “war” would be imposed on the territory of the enemy. (Perl, 2007) Such policies brought about the war on countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq destroying them wholly just in order to eliminate the terrorist group, Al-Qaeda, which had attacked the Twin Towers. On the other hand, banning funding, visas and other material support to the Foreign Terrorist Organization as categorized by the U.S. was done (Perl, 2007). This was an effectual stance.
Furthermore, the enhancement of support and resources to law enforcement and intelligence were taken as a security measure. In his article, Perl writes about the billions of private and public funds given to the military and diplomatic efforts in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Furthermore, he writes about economic sanctions put on Syria and North Korea as they were suspected by the U.S. as being supporters of international terrorism. He also writes about potential policy tools that involve the establishment of International Court for Terrorism and use of the media to counter terrorism as effective steps to fight terrorism. (2007).
Current Statistics of Terrorism
National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) produced a statistical report on terrorism. According to that report, attacks decreased by six percent and deaths by five percent taking 83 countries into study. The report suggested that it was the second consecutive year for decline in terrorism. (2010, p. 9).
Terrorism did not completely eliminate and still is present in the world. Current public policy should be more effective in order to produce a high percentage decline in the terrorist activities. Lives of innocent people should be taken care of during counter terrorist activities such as drone attacks should be not be carried out. Though the statistics show a decline, terrorism should not be eliminated through counter-terrorism because in both the terms terrorism is common. A peaceful strategy should be applied.
National Counterterrorism Center. 30 April, 2010. 2009 Report on Terrorism, 9, 13. Retrieved
May 13, 2011, from NCTC Web site: http:// /witsbanner /docs/ 2009
Raphael F. Perl. January 3, 2007. International Terrorism: Threat, Policy and Response, p 9-20.
U.S. Department of Justice - Federal Bureau of Investigation. Terrorism 2002 – 2005, p iv, v.
Venus D. March 18, 2011. What is Public Policy. Retrieved May 13, 2011, from wiseGeek Web
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