Bombs Bursting In Air


Bombs Bursting In Air Essay, Research Paper

Bombs bursting in air are hardly glorifying. In order to understand why international terrorism is declining, one must look at psychological, physical, and societal aspects. Global Terrorism has been declining since the year 1987. In the year 1997, there were only half of the attacks than were in 1987. The statistics went from 666 down to 304 (Terrorism Primer 1). The 304 acts of terrorism was also one of the lowest annual totals recorded since 1971 (Patterns of Global Terrorism 1). While concern increases about home-grown terrorism in the United States, a State Department report released that international terrorist attacks dropped to their lowest annual total in 23 years in the year 1994 (Decline in International Terrorism 1). Even though international terrorism is a serious subject, statistics show that 858 more people drown per year in their own bathtubs than the amount of people that are killed by terrorists (About Terrorism 1). DOD defines terrorism as the calculated use of violence or the threat of violence to inoculate fear; intended to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or idiological (Basics 1). Christopher Ross describes international terrorism as terrorism involving citizens or the territory of more than one country. No one definition of international terrorism has gained universal acceptance (Patterns of Global Terrorism 3).

Most terrorists? motives are the same, and link back to the fact that they want power. Brian Jenkins, a leading authority on terrorism observed that ?terrorism is about being in control, about having power? (24). To better understand why terrorists do what they do, we need to look at their motives. One reason to terrorize is to promote various causes, such as a nation, a religion, or ideology, or an ethnic tradition or culture. Another reason for terrorism according to Terrel Arnold is to satisfy inner feelings and emotions, such as violence, revenge, anger, disappointment, fear, and personal inadequacy. The third reason he gives is to pursue personal drives, including greed, power, desire for professional success or recognition, and security (Think About Terrorism 9). Terrorism is a psychological act conducted for its impact on an audience (1). Terrorists are inspired by different motives broken down to rational, psychological, and cultural (3). Psychological motivation for terrorism derives from the terrorist?s personal dissatisfaction with his life and accomplishments. In most terrorists, a need is seen to belong to a group. Many cases show that group acceptance is stronger than political objectives of the organization (4). Culture shapes the values of people and motivates the actions of those people, which may seem unreasonable to on-looking groups (5). A threat to ones religion puts not only one?s present at risk, but also one?s cultural past and the future. Terrorism in the name of religion can be the deadliest. Terrorists view these acts as morally correct, and think of them as their ?moral duty? (Basics 6).

In a sense, terrorist goals are always political, as extremists driven by religious or ideological beliefs usually seek political power to compel society to conform to their views (Basics 2). Terrorists? reason to terrorize is to get society to notice their ideas. The purpose of terrorism is to be noticed (1). Terrorists don?t fear death, but fear to die unnoticed and unremarked. It defeats their purpose (Response to Rate 1). The worlds? policy on terrorism is to not surrender to the terrorists, to make no deals or concessions, even in the face of the most severe intimidation and blackmail (1). They also apply tough measures to penalize the state sponsors who give terrorist movements safe haven, explosives, cash, and moral and diplomatic support (Motives and Causes 7). Another policy says to make no concessions, and strike no deals (1). It also says to bring justice to the terrorists for their crimes (Patterns 1). Terrorist targets have changed in the 19th century (2). Before the 19th century, terrorist usually granted certain categories of people immunity from attack such as woman, children, and the elderly (2). Earlier in the history of terrorism, terrorist attacks were direct. They only intended to produce an effect through the injury or death of the victim (2). Now, entering the 20th century, terrorists have begun to realize the fact that killing dozens of innocent humans has more effect than killing one powerful leader (2). This means that there is now an infinite number of targets for terrorists (2). This large range of choices gives terrorists a high probability of success with minimal risk (Basics 3).

Terrorism is a special type of violence. It is a tactic used in peace, war, and conflict. The threat of terrorism is always present, and an attack is likely to occur when least expected (1). Combating terrorism requires a continuous state of awareness; it is a necessary practice rather than a type of military operation (1). Terrorism is a criminal offense under nearly every national or international legal code (1). One web site says, ?The terrorist?s analysis is similar to that of a military commander considering available courses of action (Basics 3).” We have a few principles and policies to help us deal with terrorism. The first says not to surrender to the terrorists, then another one says to make no deals or concessions, and the last one states that tough measures will be used to penalize the state sponsors who help the terrorists (7). We have something called Antiterrorism, which is defined as defensive measures used to reduce the vulnerability of individuals and property to terrorist act, to include limited response and containment by local military forces (7). If properly planned and executed, the Army antiterrorism program will reduce the probability of surprise while discouraging attack by raising the risk to the attackers (Basics 9). Possibly we will see a relative decline, perhaps even extinction, of what we traditionally considered ?ideological? terrorism (Future of Terrorism 1). To fight the war against terrorism, all databases on terrorist organizations must be unified (1). If we, as civilized nations, are to defeat terrorism, we must stand together (Rate of Force 1). Military action in conjugation with economic sanctions has also proven to be an effective means of fighting the war against terrorism (Tactics in Response 1). When using force to combat terrorism, it must be done cleanly and quietly. All terrorists understand that they risk their lives. Terrorists consider it honorable to die for ?the cause? (Rate of Force 1). According to the United States State Department, about 21 percent of world terror is targeted at the United States (Recent Trends in Terrorism 2).

Works Cited

Arnold, Terrel E. Think About Terrorism. New York: Walker Publishing Company, Inc., 1988

Decline in International Terrorism. 1995. 12 Oct. 1999. .

Hunter, Thomas. The Use of Force in Response to Terrorism. 1997. 26 Oct. 1999 .

Leslee, Glenn. Response to the Rate of Force in Combatting Terrorism. 1997. 26 Oct. 1999. .

Pollard, Neal A. The Future of Terrorism. 1997. 26 Oct. 1999. .

Pont, Pete. What to do About Terrorism. 1996. 26 Oct. 1999. .

Recent Trends in Domestic and International Terrorism. 1995. 12 Oct. 1999. .

Ross, Christopher. Patterns of Global Terrorism. 1997. 26 Oct. 1999. .

Sheehan, Michael A. Counterterrorism. 1998. 19 Oct. 1999 .

Snowden, Ben. International Terrorism Primer. 1998. 11 Oct. 1999 .

Terrorism Fact Sheet. 1998. 19 Oct. 1999 .

Terrorism: Motivations and Causes. 1995. 26 Oct. 1999. .

Terrorism Research Center: Basics. 1997. 26 Oct. 1999 .

Wilson, Richard. Tactics in Response to Terrorism. 1997. 26 Oct. 1999. .

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