POLI SCI - Terrorism

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POLI SCI - Terrorism
2010-12-10 20:49:37

Terrorism and Responses - WP Chap 10, Pape, Abrahms
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  1. What are Robert Pape's (The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism) 5 main findings on Suicide Terrorism
    • 1. it is strategic (not isolated/random)
    • 2. strategic logic designed to coerce modern democracies to make concessions to national self-determination
    • 3. rising in the last 20 yrs, bc terrorists have learned that it pays (Israel withdrawal from Gaza)
    • 4. while moderate suicide terrorism leads to moderate gains, more ambitious campaigns are not likely to get greater gains
    • best way to contain is to reduce terrorists confidence in their ability to carry out attacks
  2. PAPE: Is there any specific profile of a terrorist
    no - varies in gender, age, employment, education ...

    not jsut about religion (islam) ... biggest group is Tamil Tigers (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam - LTTE) - Hindu
  3. PAPE: Terrorism follows __________ to achieve _________

    What to they aim to get by inflicting pain
    strategic logic; designed to achieve political purposes -- compel target government to change policies

    Inflict pain enough to overwhelm their interest to overcome terrorists demands
  4. PAPE: Demonstrative Terrorism vs Destructive Terrorism vs suicide terrorism
    demonstrative - directed at gaining publicity

    Destructive - aggressive - seeks to coerce opponents and mobilize supporters

    suicide - most aggressive - pursue coercion at the expense of losing support in their own community.
  5. PAPE: How does the willingness to die affect punishment
    • - attacks are more destructive
    • - signal more pain to come
    • - by deliberately violating norms (violence) they are better positioned to increase expectations about escalating future costs
  6. PAPE: Suicide Terrorism most likely to be used against governments with what type of system. Why?
    Democratic rather than authoritarian

    • - democracies thought to be vulnerable to coercive punishment
    • - suicide terrorism is a tool of the weak --> target states have the capacity to retaliate with much harsher punishment (?)
    • - attacks harder to recognize in auth. states
  7. PAPE: limits of suicide terrorism
    • - ambitious campaigns are likely to fail - only somewhat more effective than regular coercive punishment (air power, sanctions)
    • - does not affect the target states interests in the issues at stake
    • - unlikely to cause targets to abandon goals central to their wealth and security
  8. Max Abrahms - Why Terrorism (targeting civilians) Doesn't Work
    When CGTG (Civilian-Centric Terrorist Groups) attack civilians, target states think that they are trying to destroy their values, society, or both --> much less likely to make concessions

    When terrorists attack civilians, the people coorespond the organization with suffering of all sorts - failing economies, fear, erosion of civil liberties, ect. --> groups actual intentions dont matter
  9. Abrahms - Whether Terrorism is successful or not depends on target selection

    2 types of Groups / targets

    Also depends on objectives - 2 types
    • Civilian-Centric Terrorist Groups (CCGT's) - target civilians, unsuccessful
    • Guerilla Groups - target governments, diplomats - sometimes successful

    • Limited objectives - territory, natural resources - more likely to be resolved, still not usually tho
    • Maximalist Objectives - ideology, veliefs, values - less likely

    hard to distinguish objectives though
  10. Abrahms - why do some have the notion that terrorism works
    writers often say that terrorism works but arguments are empirically weak / based on a few well known terrorist victories - Hezbollah, Tamil Tigers, Palestinian terrorist groups

    however, achieve their goals only 7% of the time, when attacks on civilians > attacks on militaries, groups fail to achieve objectives