Terrorism - Essay Example

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Instructor: Terrorism Terrorism is the major issue of 21st century. The effectiveness of terrorism is widely debated and the current view that is prevailing among the political science thinkers is that terrorism is an “effective coercive strategy”…
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Download file to see previous pages This view regards terrorists as “political utility maximizers” meaning that they consider the end result of using terrorism to persuade the political decision makers is far greater as compared to other means of protests. This perspective views terrorism as an effective way of pressurizing governments to make or undo important strategic and ideological decisions. The strategic model is based on three basic assumptions (1)Terrorists / miscreants are influenced by the political parties which are comparatively strong and in-power; (2) Terrorists analyze as which political party can be best usable to them in terms of achieving their political objectives; and (3) Terrorism is resorted to when the political objectives are not attainable through peaceful protests. However, the empirical examples contradict these basic assumptions. The terrorists’ organizations have no particular agenda to follow. On the other hand, they continue their activities even after their so called goal is achieved. West Germany’s RAF (Red Army Faction) which initiated its activities for liberation cause continued their terrorist activities even when the political objective was achieved. They then started targeting other organizations having similar agenda as theirs. By attacking civilian population, terrorists have hardly acquired their objectives. Majority terrorist’s organizations such as Al-Qaeda and Hammas and many others have hardly achieved their desired political achievements. Although, they have a success rate of very minimum percentage, this minor percentage cannot be considered as a solid example of success rate. The second assumption of the strategic model is that terrorists resort to terrorism only when they have o other option left. This assumption is a contradiction in itself. The majority of countries that are becoming target of terrorism are democratic. This fact means that the individuals belonging to these countries have all the rights of expression and speech as well as protest. How then it is possible to regard terrorism as the last resort to protest. Mostly the terrorists are prone to this type of protest of violence. They continue to do so in one form or another. Even after gaining political rights or desired political objectives they refuse to unarm, as in the case of militant Sunni groups of Iraq, which is still placing hurdles in the smooth democratic process of the country after a very long oppression by a dictator. Thus, terrorism cannot be justified as the last resort to protest. Terrorists usually do not compromise or negotiate. As terrorism is inherently extreme in its nature it never succumbs to compromise or stepping down. Following truly the political agenda would mean to accept even half of what was asked instead of facing a complete deadlock or non compliance. Yet, terrorists tend to negate this assumption as well. They have a history of non-negotiating temperament and tend to increase their terrorists activities to pressurize the governments to fully accept the terms or face the dire consequences. The strategic model also assumes that terrorists usually have stable and consistent motives. Yet, the available examples negate these assumptions as well. The objectives of terrorists’ organizations keep wavering. The most typical example is that of Al-Qaeda, which had initial agenda of discarding soviets from Afghanistan, which then changed to the mutual cause of eradicating all non-Muslim agendas from Muslim countries. This was ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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