His publications include Contemporary 9 Research on Terrorism as co-editor, and Aviation Terrorism and Security as co-editor, He co-authored with Joseph S. Harmon Paul Wilkinson and Brian M. Rapoport ed. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Terrorism — Prevention. W For obvious reasons the new edition has required consid- 5 erable revision and updating.
Needless to say, the author is solely responsible for any errors. Or are they focused too narrowly on the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan and missing the wider picture? Al Qaeda militants have a fanatical belief in the inevitability 3 of ultimate victory for their global jihad, but fanatics often overestimate 4 the effectiveness of terrorism as a political weapon. It is likely that there is only a very limited period perhaps two to 2 three years before some elements in the Al Qaeda network succeed in 3 acquiring viable, if only relatively crude, CBRN weaponry, hence the 4 urgency of greatly enhancing our counter-proliferation and emergency planning measures to mitigate this threat.
He believes it is 7 just as dangerous to overestimate the capabilities and strategic and tactical 8 strengths of the Al Qaeda movement as it is to assume that it has suffered 9 mortal blows and to write its premature obituary. The 3 central conclusion of the author is that although the Coalition states fully 4 realise the seriousness of the terrorist threat posed by the Al Qaeda network, 5 their fundamental weakness is the lack of an agreed strategy to which all 6 allies in the Coalition have participated in developing and to which they 7 are fully committed.
In short they suffer from a failure of leadership and 8 a failure to mobilise global support for a genuine multinational, multi- 9 religious and multi-pronged strategy to unravel the Al Qaeda network and to win the crucial battle of ideas that must be fought if democratic soci- 1 eties are to prevent new generations of young, alienated and angry Muslims 2 from enrolling in the ranks of suicide bombers. At the most fundamental level the author has had to subject the main thesis to the question: is the case for a principled liberal democratic response to terrorism still sustainable in the face of the most lethal form of non-state international terrorism the world has ever seen?
Paradoxically, by suppressing human rights in the name of pro- tecting national security they play into the hands of terrorists. It would be absurd to pretend that by upholding values of the rule of law and human rights, democracies will convert Al Qaeda militants to a belief in liberal democracy.
In the light of the recent experience of international terrorist networks recruited and operating within western democracies the author now believes that the development of effective pro- active measures is urgently needed to integrate young, potentially alienated members of minority communities into our democratic political systems at all levels. It will be extremely dangerous if the task of promoting good citizenship through all sections of society is neglected. Education in citizenship and genuine opportunities for participation in democratic politics must go hand in hand with careful policing, constantly aware of the sensibilities and particular problems and concerns of minority religious and ethnic communities.
These are some of the major issues for domestic policymakers in liberal democracies. This is a matter to which the author devotes some 2 attention in the conclusions of this revised edition. Since then almost all the major democracies have developed national anti-terrorist legislation and many individuals have been convicted of terrorist offences. Terrorism is not simply a label; it is a concept that has proved indispensable in legal and social science to deal with a complex global phenomenon.
However, in an operative 2 democracy the major threat of terror is posed by non-state movements or 3 groups seeking to destroy or undermine democratic government and to impose their own agenda by coercive intimidation. The damage and disruption caused by violent single issue groups should not be underesti- mated, but so far, at least in the UK, they have not succeeded in killing anyone. Al Qaeda is not simply another group 6 like ETA but under a different label. ETA has certainly committed hun- 7 dreds of brutal killings. However, unlike Al Qaeda, ETA did not explicitly 8 adopt a policy of mass killing as an integral part of its strategy.
Their track record of brutal mass killing in New 7 York, Washington, Kenya, Bali, Casablanca, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and many 8 other places is proof positive of their remorseless use of mass terror. Ultimately their aim is to establish a pan-Islamist caliphate uniting 7 all Muslims. These aims may appear grandiose in the extreme, but we 8 need to bear in mind that bin Laden and his followers fanatically believe 9 that they will prevail in their jihad because Allah is on their side. These networks provide the move- 3 ment with a presence and a capacity to act in at least 60 countries. The clear exceptions to this in recent history occurred in the period of anti-colonial struggles against the British and French after the Second World War, for example in ending British Mandate control in Palestine, in ending British control of Cyprus and Aden and in ending French rule in Algeria.
The anti-colonial movements also had the inestimable advantage of large-scale sympathy among their own population, and the colonial authorities faced a wall of silence when they sought intelligence among the public. But in the post-colonial period there is not a single case of a terrorist movement seizing control in any country. There are two other major factors to be considered here. Second, it should be remembered that the use of terror as a weapon of control by dictatorships has been gener- ally much, much more effective than the use of terror as a weapon of insurgency, mainly because dictatorial regimes generally have more ruth- less and powerful domestic agencies of repression with which to suppress any incipient opposition.
However, there is a key difference between terrorists gaining all their strategic goals and terrorists having a strategic impact on macro-political and strategic events and developments. With careful timing and skilful planning terrorists can certainly have a strategic impact on international relations and politics from time to time.
Hence, just as it is possible to engage in acts of terrorism 8 without mounting a full-scale insurgency, so it is possible to wage an 9 effective insurgency by relying on a combination of guerrilla and conven- tional warfare, and eschewing the weapon of terror. Terrorist campaigns 1 inherently involve deliberate attacks on civilian targets and are therefore 2 analogous to war crimes.
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Nor is it the case that the weapons of terror are 3 used solely by sub-state perpetrators. The tendency of modern governments to apply the terms terror and terrorism exclusively to sub-state groups is blatantly dishonest and self-serving. Employing the criteria outlined in this chapter, I conclude that a major characteristic of contemporary ethnic insurgencies is the widespread use of terror both by insurgents and by the counter-insurgent regimes and military and paramilitary forces ranged against them.
However, I argue that there is no inevitable evolutionary pattern in insurgent organisations whereby they begin as exclusively terrorist groups and only later show an interest in acquiring the manpower and weaponry for a wider insur- gency. Most insurgent leaders view terrorism as a useful auxiliary weapon. I conclude by presenting some general conclusions on the relationships between insur- gency and terrorism. The concept of insurgency Insurgency is a relatively value-neutral concept denoting a rebellion or rising against any government in power or the civil authorities.
It should be stressed that although the idea of a rising against the government may appear to imply a large popular movement, in reality many insurgencies have involved very small numbers of rebels. This was achieved, for example, by the Taliban against their opponents in the latest civil war in Afghanistan. While it is true that counter-insurgency strategy and 3 doctrine pays considerable attention to political, social and economic meas- 4 ures and inevitably involves the police and criminal justice system, it is also clear that there are numerous examples of the whole spectrum of 6 conventional military force being deployed to suppress insurgency.
They have been fought mainly by armed 4 militias, mercenaries and paramilitaries. Their prime targets are civilians. There are no clear 8 front lines in such wars, and there is generally not even the most minimal 9 attempt to adhere to the Geneva Conventions. In Rwanda 3 and Burundi, for example, the ethnic cleansing reached genocidal propor- 4 tions, and yet UN action has been largely restricted to belated provision 5 of some humanitarian aid and the setting up of the International Tribunal 6 to try cases of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in 7 Rwanda.
And in the Former Yugoslavia international military intervention 8 to stop further ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Kosovo, though ultimately 9 effective, was extremely belated, leaving tragic legacies of gross viola- tions of human rights, huge socio-economic destruction and disruption, 1 and simmering ethnic hatreds and thirst for vengeance that could at 2 any time break out into further savage warfare.
Hence there is a real danger of the political and economic stability of other states and whole regions being undermined. In addition to classifying insurgencies on the basis of their relative intensity and lethality it is also instructive to categorise them in terms of their general political motivation. It would be a serious error to assume that ideological-driven insurgen- cies are a thing of the past. In Latin America and parts of South and South-east Asia, for example, there are numerous groups challenging regimes in the name of some kind of extreme left ideology.
In addition it should be borne in mind that these categories are by no means mutually exclusive. This trend towards waging armed struggle in the name of religion is, however, rarely manifested in pure form. Al Qaeda on the other hand, aims at establishing a pan-Islamic caliphate. However, the cases of 8 the Caucasus, Punjab and Kashmir again show how religion is closely inter- 9 twined with ethnic separatism.
In order to understand the key role of ethno-nationalism, the next section will explore the reason for the salience 1 of this political motivation for modern insurgencies. This has been compounded by the fact that the borders of over 9 two-thirds of the member states of the UN were drawn quite arbitrar- ily by the diplomatists of the major powers in the nineteenth and early 1 twentieth centuries without any respect for maintaining ethnic or tribal 2 homogeneity. Yet it was these borders, often drawn by diplomatic confer- 3 ences in the capitals of the European colonial powers, that almost without 4 exception formed the inherited boundaries of the newly independent post- 5 colonial states as they broke free from European rule in the s and 6 s.
But the causes of the recent upsurge in ethnic insurgencies are 1 to be found not only in historic hatred and rivalries but also in the changes 2 in the international system wrought by the ending of the cold war. It is notable that in all these cases the emergence of militant nationalist leaders capable of mobilising their own ethnic constituencies and playing on the perceived threat posed by enemy groups is a key feature.
Finally, it is most important to stress that there is nothing in the histor- ical and social science research literature on insurgency to suggest that the recourse to armed rebellion is inevitable, or that the precise methods of armed struggle adopted by insurgent groups can be predicted by the use of some general formula.
It is, one 6 could say, the natural weapon of the strategically weaker side. In most twentieth-century cases, guerrilla warfare on a major scale has been linked to revolutionary warfare, a struggle between a non-government group and a government for political and social control of a people in a given national territory. Many theories of guerrilla warfare formulated by revolutionary leaders proclaim that counter-insurgency measures by incumbent regimes cannot be effective, and assume that such measures will tend only to enhance popular support for the guerrillas.
Guerrilla movements often use urban guerrilla and terrorist tactics in a deliberate effort to provoke the author- ities into a counter-insurgent overreaction, thereby inducing an effect on domestic and international opinion favourable to the guerrillas. Thompson is one of many writers who have argued against an overemphasis on mili- tary aspects of counter-insurgency.
Among the twentieth-century revolutionary war theorists there have been changing emphases and doctrines of guerrilla warfare. It was therefore found unsuitable for transmission to Asia. Mao Tse-tung tried the route of insurrection in the cities, but this was a complete failure. Chiang Kai- shek was able to defeat the Chinese Communist Party in Mao concluded that henceforth communist revolutions could only take the form of revolutionary wars. Mao stressed the vital importance of gaining the mass support of the peasants as a basis for revolutionary struggle.
This aim was partic- 2 ularly clear after , when the struggle became basically a confrontation 3 between the conventional forces of North Vietnam and those of the United 4 States and South Vietnam. Obviously the North Vietnamese could not have hoped to win a conventional military victory over US forces. What 6 the guerrilla struggle helped to achieve was the American withdrawal, 7 leaving the path clear for a conventional victory over the demoralised 8 South Vietnamese army. The revolutionary leader- ship of the foco combines political and military command. The guerrilla 4 band is seen as the party in embryo.
A 7 major weakness of the foco concept was its elitism and its almost inevitable 8 isolation from the peasant and urban masses. These efforts also ended in failure 3 due to determined and ruthless efforts to suppress them and the failure of 4 the revolutionaries to gain substantial and lasting mass support. Guerrilla warfare continues to prove effective in 9 tying down large numbers of security forces, in disrupting government and the economy and as an auxiliary weapon in a wider revolutionary 1 war.
Guerrillas continue to be used, often highly effectively, in many parts 2 of the world, sometimes with substantial help from friendly foreign govern- 3 ments. If well led and well armed, guerrillas can still present a formidable 4 threat to weak and unstable governments in divided societies, especially 5 where the guerrillas have ample wild and inaccessible terrain from which 6 to operate and a friendly state across the border. Typical methods of modern terrorism are explosive and incendiary bombings, shooting attacks and assassinations, hostage- taking and kidnapping and hijacking. The possibility of terrorists using nuclear, chemical or bacteriological weapons cannot be discounted.
Terrorism is not a philosophy or a movement. It is a method. Paradoxically, despite the rapid growth in the incidence of modern terrorism, this method has been remarkably unsuccessful in gaining strategic objectives. Regimes of totalitarianism, such as Nazism and Stalinism, routinely used mass terror to control and persecute whole populations, and the historical evidence shows that this is a tragically effective way of suppressing opposition and resistance.
Another major factor conducive to the growth of modern terrorism has been repeated weakness and appeasement in national and international reaction to terrorism, despite numerous anti- terrorist laws and conventions and much governmental rhetoric. Early writing on terrorism tended to treat it as a relatively minor threat to law and order and individual human rights.
In a series of studies, I concluded that major outbreaks of terrorism, because of their capacity to affect public opinion and foreign policy and to trigger civil and international wars, ought to be recognised as potentially dangerous to international security and a threat to human rights and, in extreme cases, to international peace.
The militant Chechens also showed, in their mass hostage takings of —96, how terrorism could be a strategically valuable weapon in their war against Russia, forcing the Russian government into massive concessions. It is the deliberate 4 destruction, disruption or damage of equipment, power supplies, communi- cations or other facilities.
The term is derived from the French saboteur: to spoil through 9 clumsiness, or literally to clatter in sabots clogs. It has frequently been used as a weapon 2 of modern insurgents, for example by the Resistance during the Second World War. It is often combined with guerrilla warfare, but it is not gener- 4 ally used by groups exclusively engaged in terrorism because they are 5 primarily concerned with creating fear by causing or threatening to take 6 life or to cause serious injury.
It sometimes happens that acts of sabotage 7 do result in loss of life, but in such cases this is not terrorism as the loss 8 of life was not intended by the saboteurs. Some guerrilla leaders and theor- 7 eticians, such as Che Guevara and Mao Tse-tung, opposed the use of terror 8 against the civilian population because they believed it would lose them 9 the support and active cooperation of the peasants on which they depended so heavily, and hence it would be counterproductive. Others, such as 1 Carlos Marighella in his Mini-manual of the Urban Guerrilla, believed 2 that terrorism was a weapon the revolutionary could never afford to relin- 3 quish.
At the other extreme is the case of Pol Pot, who led the Khmer 4 Rouge insurgency in Cambodia and conducted mass terror on the scale of 5 genocide. If you are a guerrilla leader you do not have to read Mao Tse-tung or Guevara to realise that you are unlikely to win and retain the vital support and cooperation of the general popu- lation if you engage in terrorist attacks against civilians.
It is true that many guerrilla groups do engage in kidnapping, especially of foreigners, in order to gain valuable cash ransoms, and this is clearly terroristic activity by its very nature. Only a minority, approximately 25 per cent, number their members in the thousands. The tiny groups simply lack the critical mass necessary for launching a full-scale insurgency.
Is there a discernible evolutionary pattern in these organisations whereby they begin as exclusively terrorist groups and only later acquire an interest in acquiring the manpower and weaponry for a wider campaign of insur- gency? From the outset of their formation all the insurgent groups listed above began to acquire guns and ammunition and recruits on a scale far beyond what would be needed to man terrorist cells.
On 4 the contrary, the vast majority of groups using the weapon of terrorism 5 remain locked in a cycle of individual, usually very spasmodic, acts 6 of bombing, assassination, hostage-taking, etc. Only a small minority 7 of terrorist campaigns succeed in expanding their struggles into wider 8 insurgencies. There are no clear front lines, and there is 6 no adherence to the Geneva Conventions. Compared to colonial regimes and autocracies the Western liberal democracies have been remarkably free of large-scale revolutionary strife and separatist wars. However, they have not proved to be immune against terrorist attacks: on the contrary, the intrinsic freedoms of the democratic society make the tasks of terrorist propaganda, recruitment, organisation and the mounting of operations a relatively easy matter.
There is ease of movement in and out of the country, and freedom of travel within it. Rights of free speech and a free media can be used as shields for terrorist defamation of democratic leaders and institutions and terrorist incitement to violence. If the government is provoked into introducing emergency powers, suspending democracy in order to defend it, there is always the risk that by using heavy repression to crush the terrorist cam- paign the authorities may alienate the innocent majority of citizens caught up in the procedures of house-to-house searches and interrogations.
For example, Hitler was able to exploit the climate of popular resentment over the Versailles settle- ment, the crisis of the Depression and the erosion of popular support for democracy when he deployed a combination of political propaganda and terror to undermine the Weimar Republic and seize absolute power. Hence, although 9 terrorist attacks within Western democracies and against their citizens and facilities overseas remain a threat to innocent life, it is the newer 1 democracies, established following decolonisation and after the ending of 2 the cold war, that have experienced, and are likely to continue to suffer, the severest levels of political violence and instability.
This is clearly illus- 4 trated by the recent history of southern Africa, the Indian sub-continent, 5 former Yugoslavia, and many other regions. The following brief survey is an attempt to identify some of the key developments that led to the emergence of 6 terrorism as a challenge to the liberal democracies in the mid and late 7 twentieth century.
Wherever there is a deeply felt sense of 3 oppression and resentment against alien rule on the part of a large section 4 of the population, the nationalist rallying cry is a grave danger signal for 5 the incumbent regime. For the terrorist movement that proclaims national 6 independence as its major goal can bid to represent a whole ethnic con- 7 stituency, however dubious the credentials of the terrorist leadership and 8 however undemocratic their internal processes. If a nationalist terror move- 9 ment is recognised as legitimate by a large proportion of its proclaimed constituency say a quarter to a third of its members , it will have a more 1 powerful basis on which to challenge the incumbents than any nihilist 2 or utopian revolutionary could hope for.
The practical advantages to the terrorist of having a large corps of activists and sympathisers, and a large passive element waiting fearfully to see who wins the struggle, are obvious. As a weapon against well-established liberal democracies or against indigenous autocracies, terrorism has proved an almost total failure.
Only in a small number of armed colonial independence struggles in the s, s and early s mainly directed against British and French colonial administrations did terrorism prove effective in persuading the metropolitan publics and their governments that the costs of maintaining their military presence outweighed the costs of withdrawal. Terrorist violence also played a key part in forcing British withdrawal from the Suez Canal zone base in and from Aden in , and French withdrawal from Algeria in These successes of the terrorist strategy were undoubtedly considerably facilitated by three other key factors.
First, the metropolitan governments and their publics were weary of war in general and colonial wars in partic- ular. Both colonialism and imperialism were no longer popular causes: jingoism had long since given way to a guilt-ridden dis- illusion with any overseas military adventures. The intractable problems of struggling to sustain internal cohesion and order have simply been 4 inherited by the successor states, many of which are pathetically ill- 5 equipped — economically, politically and militarily — to handle them.
More 6 often than not the new states inherited frontiers that show scant regard 7 for ethnic, linguistic and religious divisions. As the frontiers of the Third 4 World rigidify in the post-colonial era, we may expect an increasing number of these desperate groups, trapped awkwardly astride the diplo- 6 matic frontiers, to resort to the gun and the bomb.
No doubt terrorism 7 will not invariably be the primary weapon in the struggles of these new 8 nationalist movements, but all the signs are that this source of terrorism 9 will increase dramatically in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. These movements, whether of the neo-fascist 3 far right or the new Marxist and anarchist far left, are more analogous to 4 tiny gangs of bandits than to serious political movements.
Most tended to be recruited from among extremist political groups in the universities. Far from speaking the language of working classes, they lived in a kind of fantasy world concocted from vulgar neo-Marxist slogans and the dangerous ideals of Sartre and Marcuse. The chiliastic utopianism of groups such as the Baader-Meinhof gang, the Weathermen and the JRA totally rejected the existing order as being vile and beyond redemption.
There was no ground for negotiating any compromise between their ends and those of the rest of society. Ideological terrorists dwelt in a Manichean mental world divided into the oppressor-exploiters and their collaborators on the one hand and themselves as soldiers of revolutionary justice on the other. Instead of viewing the use of terrorism in instrumental-rational terms, involving a realistic calculation of its political effectiveness and the possi- bilities of success, acts of violence became ends in themselves. In short, for these revolutionary secret societies, terrorism became an integral part of their ideology and lifestyle.
In contrast, then, to the movement that has a genuine nationalist legit- imacy and popular constituency of support, the ideological sect are outlaws, francs-tireurs even in their country of origin. For the nationalist move- ment, the realities of political power bring their own responsibilities. Nationalists have to concern themselves to a considerable extent with building up their own bases of domestic support and with winning over foreign governments and international opinion to their cause. This in- evitably imposes certain restraints on the use of terrorism.
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They must learn when to play politics, when to exert diplomatic pressure and how to avoid alienating public opinion. Almost without exception the leaders of the insurgent groups espoused ideologies of Marxist revolutionism. After the cataclysm of the Six 9 Day War in June it became clear to the Palestinian leadership that their position had become desperate. The long-promised assault by com- 1 bined Arab armies to recover their homeland had failed.
Hence the Palestinian radicals began a series of international 7 terrorist attacks, such as hijackings, bombings and shootings of civilians 8 to augment their traditional methods of guerrilla border raids. Moreover, many groups 6 began to send their activists for training in Jordan and later in Lebanon 7 and Yemen.
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Al Fatah, for example, trained personnel from many other 8 groups. Key operatives in the Baader-Meinhof gang, it is worth remem- 9 bering, were trained at an Al Fatah camp in Jordan. Six weeks later they were busy establishing the RAF in Germany. In part this new emphasis was provoked by the dramatic 8 failures of attempted follow-ups of the Cuban guerrilla victory. Rural insur- 9 gencies in Venezuela, Argentina and Bolivia suffered severe defeats at the hand of increasingly better-equipped and trained government security 1 forces.
Furthermore, the revolutionaries came to realise that in heavily 2 urbanised states such as Brazil and Argentina, where well over half the 3 population was in the cities, they had to win power in the cities as a con- dition for seizing state powers. The worldwide dissemination of new technology has also greatly facil- itated the growth of terrorism. Perhaps most important of all the factors encouraging the spread of terrorism has been the sheer success of this method in achieving short-term tactical objectives of great value to the terrorist.
For although it is clear that terrorism rarely, if ever, wins strategic political goals, it has an impressive record in gaining such things as massive world- wide publicity, extortion of large ransom payments and the release of considerable number of imprisoned terrorists. Resort to violence, that is, 6 in conditions resembling those that spurred the Founders into 7 action. But it must be admitted that, from the estab- 3 lishment of the Unionist regime in Stormont in to the s, the 4 Northern Irish Catholic minority suffered from political, social and economic discrimination.
Moreover the Special Powers Act introduced in 6 Ulster in gave the government sweeping powers to suppress any 7 unwelcome forms of political opposition. The outlawed IRA did attempt 8 a campaign of bombings and attacks on policemen and soldiers in the 9 North from to , but it was an ignominious failure. The polit- ical initiative among the Catholics in the North was taken by the Civil 1 Rights Association in the later s, using non-violent demonstration, 2 petition and political pressure. The IRA was compelled to involve itself 3 in this political work to avoid complete isolation.
Apparently blind to the 4 real grievances of the civil rights movement, the hard-line Unionists 5 interpreted the movement as the front for the IRA conspiracy and revo- 6 lution. They had, after all, recently swung over to a political strategy in the North.
It is worth keeping in mind that Belfast was the most ideal terrain for the urban terrorist. It was a city of over , people, most of whom lived in small homes in narrow streets. There were few natural boundaries within the city, and because of its featureless anonymity it was relatively simple for the terrorist to evade patrols and merge into its surroundings. Much of the property was Victorian or Edwardian, and yards were divided by high walls. But the major sources of IRA weapons, including Semtex, AKs and machine guns, were huge shipments of arms from Libya in the mid s.
Certainly the border with the Republic was in constant use by the Provisionals both as a source of arms and ammuni- tion and as an escape route for terrorists. In sum, all these conditions were conducive to an extraordinarily protracted and bitter ethnic sectarian feud between the extreme republicans and the extreme loyalists and a war of attrition waged by the Provisionals with the aim of compelling the British Army to withdraw.
It is true that they could depend on widespread sympathy among the Catholic population. By late the sympathy had been largely eroded by the revulsion against the particularly indiscriminate and bloody campaign of bombings in Belfast and Derry, which hurt the innocent population Catholic and Protestant alike , ruined livelihoods and which seemed to prove to the majority of the population the absolute necessity of a contin- uing British military presence.
He has no time for poli- 1 tics of any kind — and a revolutionary who has no time for politics 2 is in my mind a madman. They repeatedly demon- 7 strated capability in carrying terror bombings into London and other 8 English cities. This reassuring conclusion should not lead us to 1 neglect the tragic costs of prolonged terror in a democracy: community 2 values are destroyed; families are divided and bereaved; children are brought 3 up in an atmosphere of suspicion and hatred and, in their teens, are socialised 4 into terrible violence.
Normal business and industry becomes impossible 5 and new investment ceases. Whole sectors of cities are so damaged by ter- 6 rorism that they take on the appearance of a land subjected to air attack. Both extremes 9 take on organisational forms and attitudes of paramilitary movements.
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Both sides had to adapt to a much more complex real- ity. Eventually, in , the IRA announced the decommissioning of its weapons and the use of only peace- ful means to pursue its goals. Meanwhile the security forces and successive British governments have had to learn that combating protracted terrorism in modern democratic society under the spotlight of the media and international opinion must be carried out in ways fully compatible with the maintenance of democracy, respect for human rights and the upholding of the rule of law.
Even in this severe test, the criminal justice model of response and the police primacy worked best, with the army providing invaluable support to the police. The impact of the rise of radical Islamist movements Terrorism motivated by religious fanaticism has been perpetrated through- out history. Arguably it is as ancient in origin as the use of terror regimes. However, if the late s and s were characterised by the rise of secular nationalist and neo-Marxist terrorist groups, such as the PFLP and the Red Brigades, the early s saw a dramatic emergence of terrorism motivated by extreme Islamist movements.
There was a deep disillusion with the secular ideologies 9 and movements of nationalism, Nasserism and pan-Arabism. Widespread poverty and the failure of Arab governments to meet the basic needs of 1 their peoples provided an opportunity for Islamist radicals to develop a 2 stronger popular base for support. They attempted this not only by forming 3 political parties and contesting elections where allowed to do so but 4 also by providing better social, educational and welfare provision than the 5 governmental structures have been able to deliver.
Under various noms de guerre Hezbollah conducted a series of kidnappings of US, British and French citizens. The kidnappings of US citizens brought such pressures on the US government that certain elements in the National Security Council embarked upon the Iranian-Contra arms-for-hostages conspiracy, which in turn led to a grave US political crisis endangering not only the credibility of US counter-terrorism policy but also the position of the President himself.
As we shall see in later chapters, terrorism of this kind, motivated by religious fanaticism, is not the only form of terrorism that causes large-scale civilian casualties. Nevertheless this religiously motivated fanaticism now constitutes the most dangerous form of non-state terrorism. As in earlier periods of history, religious fanaticism and terror are not the exclusive preserve of any single major religion. Christian Identity cults and sects in the United States, preaching the hate propaganda of white supremacism and anti-Semitism and armed opposition to the federal government, are linked with the shadowy groups believed to have been involved in the Oklahoma bombing, and we should not forget the strand of religiously motivated terrorism in modern Jewish fundamentalism.
In the Israeli security forces managed to thwart a plot of Jewish extrem- ists to bomb the Dome of the Rock, one of the holiest places in Islam. In February , a Jewish extremist, Baruch Goldstein, a follower of Rabbi Kahane, massacred 29 worshippers in a crowded mosque at Hebron. It is as absurd to equate mainstream Islamic religion with the terrorism committed by extremist groups acting in the name of Islamic beliefs as it would be to blame the Christian religion for the actions of Torquemada or of the self- styled Phineas Priesthood in America.
We must be vigilant in guarding against the prejudice, stereotyping and intolerance that lead, for example, to incidents of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. As a matter of histor- ical record, the overwhelming majority of the victims of the terrorism committed by Islamist fanatics in the late twentieth century, for example in Algeria, Iraq and Afghanistan, have been fellow Muslims. A key feature of all these groups is that they 9 are bitterly opposed not only to the United States and Israel but to all Western countries.
It appears highly likely that the group of Islamic fundamental- 9 ists responsible for blowing up the World Trade Center building in New York in February was operating as a type of semi-autonomous 1 group, inspired and encouraged by their spiritual mentor, Sheikh Omar 2 Abd-al-Rahman, and not controlled by a state sponsor. They would also 5 be able to recruit fanatical members from the expatriate community in the 6 host state with the great advantage of considerable local knowledge.
However, Al Qaeda is waging a par- ticularly bloody campaign in Iraq and attempting a comeback in Afghanistan. I believe that at the time of writing autumn it is far too early to pre- dict the decline of the Islamic fundamentalist challenge in the Middle East. But when one examines the activities of groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas, the Algerian GIA and the Al Qaeda network, one is struck by the predominantly political nature of their agendas. Religiously motivated groups, like ethnic separatist groups, are extremely varied in their belief systems, attitudes towards violence and the capacity for adapting to changes in their strategic, political and socio-economic environments.
Some groups, such as Hezbollah and Hamas, have shown an ability to engage in electoral politics and build constituencies of mass support. Other groups, such as Al Qaeda, Aum Shinrikyo and the bizarre violent cults in America, seem to be entirely imprisoned by their own dogma. Such groups are unlikely to be constrained by the political factors that have tended to limit the violence of the more politicised and pragmatic groups.
If the ultra-fanatics believe they have a monopoly of revealed truth, that their acts of violence are a sacramental duty and that those who are not converted to their beliefs are unbelievers who do not deserve to live, they are unlikely to care two hoots about causing mass casualties in public places. However, we should bear in mind that purely secular terrorist groups have been willing to engage in indiscriminate acts of terrorism on a huge scale, as, for example, the Bologna railway station bombings by Italian neo-fascists, which killed 84 people and injured , the Birmingham pub bombings by the IRA, which killed 20 civilians and injured , and the bombing of Korean Air Liner Fight by North Korean agents, killing all on board.
It would be a serious error to assume that fanatical religious groups are uniquely capable of the fanatical belief in their cause and hatred of their enemies that enable them to carry out acts of great carnage and destruction.
But most terrorist groups also get 8 involved in organised crime for more mundane reasons: unless they are 9 lucky enough to be funded by a generous state sponsor regime they will resort to crimes of armed robbery, fraud, racketeering and extortion in 1 order to raise money to buy weapons, vehicles and other resources neces- 2 sary for their campaign and generally to sustain their organisation. Nor 7 should we be under any illusions about what happens to those who refuse 8 to pay. ETA shot him in 3 the back as he was returning home. Sadly there is no sign of these aspects of terrorist activity 7 fading away.
For instance, in Northern Ireland in April , even after 8 the Good Friday peace agreement, the terrorist groups were still engaging 9 in punishment attacks, in one case kneecapping a year-old man in the New Lodge area of Belfast. These gangs have routinely used lethal violence to instil 7 fear in members of their own gangs and the communities in which they 8 operate in order to suppress rivals and to deter anyone from informing on 9 them to the authorities.
The huge bomb killed the judge, his wife and three bodyguards. It is known that he was on the brink of examining a list of secret Swiss bank accounts, some of which were believed to contain illegally held funds and which would have established the links between Italian politicians and businessmen to the Cosa Nostra.
Tragically their advice was not heeded. Huge rural areas of the country are 2 now totally ungovernable. As a leading article poignantly observed in The Economist: 4 5. And not all the victims are even adult. Which armed men 9 do just what is, of course, disputed conveniently but maybe rightly, the shadowy paramilitaries get much of the blame.
But the results 1 are plain, and horrible. The ending of the cold war removed many state sponsors of terrorism from the scene at a stroke, but the major state sponsors cur- 1 rently active have been part of the international scene for between two 2 and three decades.
The majority of the secular international terrorist move- 3 ments active in the late s were established in the s, and most of 4 those motivated by religion emerged in the s. Both cases, though very different in political context and tactics used, provide clear evidence that it is a serious error to assume that the weapon of terror to destroy democracy has been universally abandoned. The discussion for the future of terrorism in Chapter 11 will seek to examine both the factors that might impel terrorists towards use of WMD and the very real constraints, disadvantages and dangers involved.
He travelled to Afghanistan in when he met bin Laden. He arranged the merger of the Egyptian al-Jihad group with Al Qaeda. Abdallah Azzam, who had major differences with bin Laden over strategy, was assassinated in while in Pakistan. It was Zawahiri, a fanatical believer in the use of terrorism as the key weapon in the global jihad, who became deputy leader of Al Qaeda. In reality Al Qaeda had much wider ambitions. A key part of their strategy is their commitment to using terror as their key weapon as they really believe that they can terrorise their designated enemies into submission.
They aim to do this by waging holy war to win control of a base area within the Muslim world as a platform for expansion and to attack the homelands of the US and its allies by using terrorist attacks against Western targets. Al Qaeda, 2 unlike most traditional terrorist movements, explicitly aims at killing large 3 numbers of people and causing maximum economic damage and disrup- 4 tion to create a climate of fear.
Its most commonly used weapon has been 7 the large suicide vehicle bomb. They believe their ends 1 justify any means. It has a presence in well over 60 countries, 5 making it the most widely dispersed terrorist movement in history. Why the Al Qaeda network is far more dangerous than traditional groups Many Europeans are still under the illusion that Al Qaeda is just the same as any other terrorist group.
This assumption is not only misinformed, it is positively dangerous because it grossly underestimates the nature of the threat the Al Qaeda movement poses to international peace and security. From an early stage in its development it was clear that Al Qaeda was not going to resemble the traditional terrorist groups with their monolithic structures and centralised control: instead it was developed into a world- wide network of networks.
Prior to the over- throw of the Taliban regime thousands of militants from many countries went through the Al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan, which gave Al Qaeda a safe haven up to the autumn of America and its allies — including, of course, Israel. Ultimately Al Qaeda wants to 1 create a pan-Islamist caliphate to rule all Muslims on lines dictated by 2 bin Laden and Zawahiri. Their typical tactic is to mount coordinated no-warning suicide 1 attacks using car or truck bombs designed to maximise carnage and eco- 2 nomic destruction.
Their choice of targets shows that they have no com- 3 punction about attacking soft targets where crowds of civilians are likely 4 to be gathered, such as public transport systems, tourist hotels and restau- 5 rants, etc. A 1 leading example of a traditional group is the IRA. It was respon- sible for killing more civilians than any other terrorist group in Europe.
They aim to rid Ireland of the British presence in the North and to unite the whole of Ireland under a single Republican government. Their leaders and their political wing, Sinn Fein, have shown a degree of realism and pragmatism in recognising that they are not going to achieve their aims by terrorism, but that they have a better chance of pursuing their political agenda by political means.
Another key difference between traditional terrorist groups and the Al Qaeda movement is that the former have not been conducting a global war, they have concentrated most of their violence on the country or region where they claim to have the right to a separate state.
It is true that the IRA and other traditional groups went to great trouble to establish diaspora support networks to raise money and weapons and political support for their campaigns, but they did not aim to alter the whole international system. Although we 3 know that Al Qaeda moves rapidly to replace its losses, we also know 4 that some highly experienced and expert operational planners e. Khalid 5 Sheikh Mohammed are very hard to replace with militants of equivalent 6 experience and capability. On the other side of the balance sheet, it is obvious that there have been some serious failures and mistakes, which help to explain why Al Qaeda remains very much in business and why the Coalition has a long way to go before success in quashing the Al Qaeda threat can be achieved.
Bin Laden and his deputy are particu- larly important as symbols, propagandists and ideologists and provide both general strategic direction and inspirational propaganda. In the long term and they have a totally different perception of the historical calendar from the secular West , they are convinced that Allah is on their side and will bring them victory.
Al Qaeda, in alliance with Taliban and local warlords, is creeping 7 back in alliance with local warlords, especially in the areas bordering 8 Pakistan and in the south-east of Afghanistan. The attempt to bring stability 9 and democracy to Iraq is likely to cost billions more US dollars and many more US, British and Iraqi lives.
The fragile interim govern- 9 ment of President Karzai is particularly at risk. In one sense this is an advantage: 7 it enables them to maintain global reach and exploit vulnerabilities in a 8 wide range of countries simultaneously. These cracks 1 in the Al Qaeda movement structure are already particularly apparent in 2 South-east Asia but are also beginning to emerge elsewhere. The Dutch police investigation discovered that the alleged killer was linked to a larger cell of 15 extremists with links to the Al Qaeda movement.
This network, labelled the Hofstad Group by the police, planned further assas- sinations. The murder of Van Gogh led to the tit-for-tat burning of places of worship and schools. The Dutch Security Service AIVD estimates that there are around extremists liable to commit violence and roughly 1, who support them. This is a tiny minority of the one-million-strong Muslim community in the Netherlands, but small numbers of fanatics are fully capable of carrying out deadly and determined terrorist attacks. The March Madrid train bombings which killed nearly people , the July bombings of the London Underground transport system which caused the deaths of 52 innocent civilians and the ensuing police investigations provided conclusive evidence of the presence of fanat- ical Al Qaeda networks within major European Union EU countries, comprising extremists recruited within the diaspora Muslim communities, yet linked to international terrorism.
Wanton murder and destruction — for that is how indiscriminate 3 bombings in city streets will be perceived by the general population — 4 may have the effects of uniting and hardening a community against the terrorists, of triggering a violent backlash by rival groups or of stinging 6 the authorities into more effective security measures in the ensuing period 7 of public revulsion. However, this is extremely rare. All the cards are stacked in favour of liberal democratic 1 governments, or mainstream mass parties engaged in constitutional oppos- 2 ition, which can offer voters the prospect of alternative polices.
More- over, it is a mistake to assume that political violence and terrorism will inevitably arise in conditions where there are high levels of perceived socio-economic deprivation. Research shows that it is very often the griev- ances of minorities concerning perceived lack of political and civil rights that trigger violence. This phenomenon is well illustrated by the struggle for black civil rights in America both past and present. One obvious reason for the predominantly peaceful nature of the majority of civil rights movements in democracies has been that the penalties for violence, or any involvement in any activities deemed to be aimed at subverting or overthrowing the government, have been very severe.
Prudence rather than idealist views of civic duty may have been the predominant constraint against more violent dissent. There is overwhelming historical evidence that effective and preferably timely programmes of political and socio-economic reform are the best antidote against the rise of anti-democratic mass movements of the extreme left or the extreme right. The tragedy of the Weimar Republic of Germany between the wars was that it conspicuously failed to meet the basic needs of the people and was unable to mitigate the effects of the economic blizzard of the great depression that struck Germany.
In Model 3 in the upper right we have five powers again, but this time of equal strength, thus creating a five-way parity. However, as the alliance of A and B is much weaker than the alliance of C, D and E, the system is in imbalance. Finally, Model 4 in the lower right shows a system where there is neither balance, nor parity.
Among the five great powers in the system, state A is clearly predominant. This mirrors Model 2. However, differing from Model 2, the two alliances in this system are not balanced. A is not allied with the weakest power as in model 2 but with the second strongest power state B. The alliance of A and B is thus much more powerful than the opposing alliance of C, D and E; the system is therefore in imbalance.
The four models in Figure 1 thus show different possibilities for relating parity and balance to each other under different configurations of power and alliances.
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Models 2 and 3 furthermore show that there are situations possible in which a power configuration is in balance, but not parity — or vice versa. Depending on which concept and underlying theoretical reasoning one uses, differing valuations of these configurations become possible. If we do not properly differentiate between the two concepts, proponents of PTT, for example, might accuse realists of certifying Model 3 a relatively high peacefulness, given the distribution of power among the five actors shows a situation of parity.
However, Model 3 might show parity but still no real balance of power as the alliance CDE is clearly stronger than alliance AB. Ceteris paribus — and in a simplified way — realism and PTT agree on the relative peacefulness of these models in two of the four cases, that is when parity and balance do not concur Model 2 and 3. In Model 2 with no parity but balance both would suggest that the system will likely be rather peaceful; in Model 3 with no balance but parity both would suggest that conflict is likely.
Regarding the other two models, however, realism and PTT come to contrary conclusions. In Model 1 where we can speak of both parity and balance, PTT expects conflict between the dominant power and at least one of the other powers in parity, while realism expects peace through a stable balance of power. In Model 4 where we have neither parity nor balance, PTT expects the preponderance to foster peace, while realism fears that the imbalance might lead to conflict.
The second central difference between the theories that I want to discuss here relates to the fact that realism is notorious for treating the state as a unitary actor and, even more, a black box. States are essentially the same and only differ because of their different placement in the international system and their different amount of capabilities Frankel , ; Waltz According to this logic, it is not the properties of any given state that decides how it behaves internationally but rather the existing distribution of power or, maybe, the distribution of threat Walt It belongs to the core of PTT that rising powers are often but not always dissatisfied with the international order, an order that — according to PTT — has been created by the dominant power Lemke , 56—7.
This dissatisfaction stems from the fact that the order in many ways benefits its creator along with its allies, while rising powers are being disadvantaged or at least perceive themselves so Tammen et al. For this reason, dissatisfied rising powers become challengers to the international order, striving at least to reform and at most to shatter the existing order and to build a new one.
In order to establish a new order, the rising power thus has to resort to the use of force Rauch , 49— This is why great power war happens according to PTT. Peaceful power transitions, on the other hand, are possible if the rising power is satisfied with the status quo Kim and Gates , ; Paul and Shankar ; Tammen et al.
The power constellation thus only tells us half of the story according to PTT. It is the combination of opportunity and motivation, of a parity-situation and dissatisfaction that constitutes a danger for the stability of the international order Nolte , ; Lemke , Dis- Satisfaction is thus a variable. Realists, on the other hand, often regard dissatisfaction — if they consider it as all — as an analytical constant.
To sum up: The most important differences among some others between balance of power realism and power transition theory concern a the different meaning of balance and parity, which leads to differing evaluations concerning the conflict-proneness of the same power constellation in two out of four ideal types; and b the different significance both approaches ascribe to the factor of satisfaction with the status quo of the international order.
What do these differences imply for the analysis and interpretation of global power shifts in general and the emergence and rise of powers like China and India in particular? Utilising gross domestic product as a crude power indicator we can describe the current global power constellation as follows. If we take nominal GDP ratings as indicator for state power, as of the United States is still in a leading position globally.
Additionally, two of these three powers Japan and Germany are allied with the US. Even if we look at the rest of the top ten-ranked countries according to GDP, we find a number of powers allied or on good terms with the United States France, United Kingdom, Italy and India , no committed ally of China and two powers whose allegiance is as of yet unclear Brazil and Russia. An imbalance of power thus exists and it favours Washington. Turning to power developments we see, however, that this might change. According to GDP growth rates, the United States was in decline in relation to China growing more slowly in all years between and , in decline in relation to India in all but two years and , in decline in relation to Brazil for 15 years, and in decline in relation to Russia for 13 years and in all but one year since see Figure 2.
The rise of China in particular but also India and to a lesser extent Brazil becomes even more pronounced when these growth rates are projected into the future. The US itself, on the other hand, has — as has been pointed out above — a number of powerful allies in all parts of the world, from other NATO members up to Japan and Australia. Let us try to situate the current and expected future power constellations within the typology introduced above: The current situation US still much more powerful than China, US alliance much more powerful than China and its friends might resemble most closely model 4 no balance, no parity.
If the rise of China goes on as expected this might change into a situation that rather resembles Model 2 no balance but parity. Balance-of-power theory suggests that such a rise — as in fact any meaningful rise of power of any actor in the international system — might become problematic as it disturbs the current power configuration. This theory might furthermore suggest that the best reply to the rise of China and India could be to create strong alliances or strengthen the existing ones in order to build stable counterbalances.
Maybe one of the rising powers most likely India can even be utilised to help balancing the other one most likely China. However, looking at the snapshot of the current global power constellations, China still remains far removed from the leading position which is still held by the United States. Taking into account alliances, the imbalance in favour of Washington becomes even more pronounced. The outlook based on PTT is generally characterised by concerns, too. Looking not only at the present power constellation but also the underlying dynamics it would highlight that for at least two and a half decades China has been growing faster than the United States, and that these trends give reason to expect a continuing catching-up process of at least China.
However, PTT would also suggest that conflict is most likely when China or India reach parity with the United States or with each other. Preponderance brings peace and parity is prone to war. Hence, Washington should do everything it can to prevent a peer competitor to emerge or, at a minimum, strengthen its own power position.
On the other hand, PTT, while being alarmed by the impending conversion of the power trajectories of the dominant and the rising power, would also ask whether the rising powers are satisfied with the status quo of the international order. Herein lies the key to conflict and peace. If the rising powers are found to be extremely and irredeemably dissatisfied, then PTT proper would suggest counter measures in the same as does balance-of-power theory.
If, however, the rising powers are found to be only slightly or not at all dissatisfied, PTT would counsel not to risk causing dissatisfaction by alienating the rising powers but rather to put measures in effect that mitigate dissatisfaction and make the rising powers share and stakeholders of the international order Paul ; Rauch , — Unfortunately, not all PTT research and PTT-driven commentaries take the centrality of the satisfaction variable seriously.
PTT light is characterised by its focus on power transitions often even between great powers as such and not only at the top of the international order and its careless to total neglect of satisfaction with the status quo. Though balance-of-power realism and power transition theory are related by their mutual focus on the distribution or development of power in the international system, I have argued that both are distinct and differing research agendas. For starters, they disagree about which power constellation is least war-prone.
PTT suggests that the most peaceful international order is one with a power preponderance, while realism prefers a stable equilibrium of power. And even if their central concepts of balance and parity sound comparable, they should not be mixed up. There are constellations in which balance and parity fall together, yet there are likewise constellations in which a balance exists but no parity and vice versa.
Thus, their joint focus on power does not lead balance-of-power realism and power transition theory to similar conclusions. Applying this to the current power shifts and, most notably, the rise of China, I have argued that balance-of-power realism and power transition theory not only come to differing evaluations concerning the perilousness of the situation but also prescribe quite different policy choices to deal with the situation.
This article is not about which of these perspectives is analytically, empirically or normatively more sound, but about highlighting that these differing perspectives exist and that it matters a great deal whether one regards current events through balance-of-power or power-transition glasses. Aron, Raymond. Garden City, NJ: Doubleday.
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