Chapter 9 ? Terrorism and the Future of the Nation-State U.S. is only able to be challenged by sub-national global terrorist networks Terrorism is not a new phenomenon, magnitude of attack and high-value nature have been shocking, and give them more significance Western national military organizations are not fully equipped to meet new security challenge posed by transnational terrorism Clausewitzian assumptions have prevailed for the past century War and the threat of it help define states and whether they survive Cold War was example of state-centric warfare If crisis were to get out of hand, they could sit down and negotiate and manage the endgame Demise of cold war brought new forms of security challenges The Asymmetric Strategy of Terrorism Offensive Action Hampered by the fact that terrorists rarely possess fixed targets that are easily detectable for offensive action Terrorists can change location of operation, so cannot target states that fund them States often cannot use the same tactics that terrorists employ due to moral, legal, and political constraints Defense Action Terrorist acts are surprise attacks States can only defend if they know where the terrorists are coming from and what their strengths and weaknesses are In order for unconventional defense strategies to succeed, high levels of intelligence are needed Further complicated with suicide attacks Deterrence May not work with sub-state actors because terrorists are prepared to die for ideological cause Massive retaliatory strikes on state or population would make terrorists? cause gain wider appeal Successful strategy requires adequate capability, commitment to use force, credibility in the threat of retaliation, and ability to communicate to the target tacitly or openly Deterrent threats will not work because terrorists do not care about their destruction or the destruction of their societies Some love to see chaos Compellence Opponent can ignore the compelling threats because it knows the larger power is unable to execute a war Opponent can retaliate years later when military strategies have ended Coercive diplomacy unlikely to work because a negotiated settlement is impossible to achieve with terrorists who may be holding ideological objectives War by indirect means, which is avoiding contact Negotiations with terrorists lends them legitimacy Problem gets complicated with religion because there is no real solution Coercion plus diplomacy does not work on terrorists Terrorism is a form of power struggle between inferior and superior entities in conventional military terms Unpredictability is a strength of terrorism, and a source of power Number of features that characterize asymmetric wars exist in terrorist form of violence Willingness to pay high price because of intense religious or ideological positions Rarely involved direct head-on collision, but indirect means Innocent victims selected as target Conventionally superior armies follow rigid organizational patterns, making them inflexible to confront indirect strategies Terrorists use unconventional and flexible patterns Netwars Information age, terrorists rely on information technology Suicide Bomber Willing to die for the cause Democracies vulnerable because surveillance and preventive action can infringe upon individual rights State can become a police state Global Networks of Terror and Military Planning Post Cold-War has given policymakers in the west a false sense of security Those not directly benefitting from the U.S. as the global superpower hate the world Information revolution has increased reach of terrorist organizations ?Complex Terrorism? Technological changes that brought about closer and faster communications Rich nations tend to concentrate vital assets and key workforces in small geographic areas Al Qaeda represents new global terrorist group fighting sole superpower using highly asymmetric strategies Strength comes from stealth US cannot attack Al Qaeda because it hides, but allowed members to vanish Demise of communism has allowed religious terrorism to rise Terrorism has become more bloody New Terrorism is amorphous religious and millenarian aims, high level of lethality due to easy access of weapons Conclusions Terrorism presents multifarious problems for the nation-state Any effort to solve the problem of terrorism purely through a traditional state-centric military approach is not likely to succeed However, military action must be taken not to look like a bitch battle must be fought on different fronts
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