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2012-02-27 Global, National, and Regional Terrorism.docx

8 Pages

Course Code
Geography 2142A/B
Mireya Folch- Serra

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Global, National, and Regional Terrorism February 27, 2012 Why is geography important to assess terrorism? -Geographical extent of terrorism: global, national, regional -global: the whole world -national: only in a country -terrorism contained in a country -regional: e.g. Middle East 1. Global scale of terrorism -e.g.Al Qaeda -After September 11, 2001, the media focused on global terrorism -British and American governments deployed traditional implementation of a ‘territorial solution’ -Traditional approaches (territorial watchfulness) seem incapable to eradicate global terror networks -not effective in understanding because they are networks -Terror networks defy traditional geopolitical outlooks -they have become international -Networks do not have territorial centre, but are capable of effortless diffusion of ideas. How? th -solutions from the 20 centurystave been challenged in the global community of information and networking in the 21 century -Networks have an array of temporary operative sites -Al Qaeda’s bases, scattered in several states at the same time, make possible the recruitment of new members Al Qaeda’s bases -Iraq, Sahara Desert, Somalia, Arabian Peninsula,Afghanistan/Pakistan border, Indonesia -traditional/territorial approaches not effective because it’s scattered 2. National scale of terrorism -Spain and Ireland -Ireland: IRAcontained as of today -Spain: Basque ETAnot completely contained -lasted 50 years -Nationalist movements draw their strength from a broad base of the population -terrorists have ties and support from people in the countries -population support IRAor Basque ETA people -Examples: Irish Republican Army (IRA) in Ireland, Shining Path in Peru, Ulster Defence Force (UDF) in Ireland, Red Brigades in Italy, Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, Jemaah Islamiya in Egypt, and Euzkadi teAskatasuna (ETA) in Spain -Some were successful in their aims: theArmenian RevolutionaryArmy (ARA), and the Jewish “Stern Gang”, Irgun and Freedom Fighters for Israel -goals are nationalistic 3. Regional scale of terrorism -Hezbollah, Sikh extremists, Islamic Jihad, and FARC -These organizations limit their operations to the regional scope -Hezbollah has its basis in Lebanon but many of its activities also take place in the surrounding countries of the Middle-East region -FARC headquarters are in Colombia, but has extended its activities to the surrounding areas -It can be said that the regional scale of terrorism tends to overlap sometimes with national and global scales Some definitions of terrorism -Threat of the unknown, the uncertain -terrorism not predicted; it’s done without announcement; threat that we don’t know when it’s going to happen -Acrisis no one predicted or expected -Political motivation (non-economic) -terrorists don’t do it for money (they need money, but they don’t do it solely for money) -they are highly political -‘Surprise’nature of violence -Maximum use of publicity -Committed by a group -(not a part of government) -But there is also state terrorism Who defines what terrorism is? -Nelson Mandela, Che Guevara have been called terrorists -Nelson Mandela, according to the West, had been called a terrorist -Mandela was a BlackAfrican fighting against apartheid -he was fighting for his people for emancipation -Leaders of National Liberation movements have been called ‘terrorists’ -In apartheid SouthAfrica (Nelson Mandela) -called a terrorist by the West -In South America (Che Guevara) -seen as a terrorist by right-wing fascist government -In Chiapas, Mexico, the Zapatista movement (Comandante Marcos) -goal is liberation for the indigenous population of Chiapas -depends on period of times and geography (where we are), we decide who is a terrorist Some terrorist groups -Al-Qaeda (Global) -Irish RepublicanArmy (Ireland) -Shining Path (Peru) -Ulster Defense Force (Northern Ireland) -Red Brigades (Italy) -Tamil Tigers (Sri Lanka) -fighting for national liberation -sometimes not considered as terrorist -Jemaah Islamiya (Egypt) -Euzkadi teAskatasuna (ETA) Spain How would you deal with terrorism? 1. more military spending? 2. better intelligence? (spies) -homegrown terrorism or outside source terrorism? -depends on where 3. Addressing economic inequality? -e.g.Afghan farmers have jobs and if they had economic stability, they wouldn’t join terrorist groups and fight back 4. Cultural understanding? 5. Imposing ‘regime change’? The case of permeable borders -Can global terrorism be effectively combated by MILITARY MEANS? -Technology changes reduce the influence of distance in war (e.g. Iraq,Al Qaeda) -International borders are increasingly permeable to new types of security threats -Globalization of security threats Defense spending of selected countries -Israel, Russia spend more -Canada, Brazil spend less Can security be equated with military might? Is state sovereignty best preserved by a strong army? -Technology changes may override the military of individual states, for example: -Nuclear, chemical, and biological changes -Global Terrorism -International crime (war on drugs) -Environmental damage -Unmanned airplanes (DRONES) Anew global threat -Security is invoked as the justification to escalate military expenses -But traditional ways of combating aggression are not as effective as in times past -Biological weapons Terrorism as a pretext to strike -The threat of terrorism has been used as a pretext to strike down hostile regimes (so-called preventative strikes) -Iraq was attacked because it was said to be supportingAl-Qaeda -but,Al-Qaeda was against Iraq’s secular regime of Saddam Hussein -so, it was a lie -the reason of supporting Al-Qaeda was used in justification to attack on Iraq -Innocent people are jailed for no reason -A religion is blamed wholesale for terrorist activities -An entire community is suspected of terrorist activities Why do terror networks challenge traditional geopolitics? -Post-Cold War era (after 1990) is not dominated by super states and their inter-state alliances -The nature of networks imply diffusion and lack of territorial centre -Al-Qaeda bases scattered in several states -The ‘territorial solution’ is not operative ‘War on Terror’after September 11, 2001 Some assumptions: -If Afghanistan’s regime was overthrown the destruction ofAl-Qaeda would automatically ensue -if Taliban has been overthrown, it would do nothing to eradicate the network ofAl- Qaeda -The 2003 assault on Iraq, would terminateAl-Qaeda cross-territorial terror network These assumptions do not address the threats posed by global terror networks -we have to be critical and sceptical Osama Bin Laden at large 10 years -Killed on May 2, 2011 by US Navy Seals and CIA. Shortly after his death, his body was buried at sea.Al-Qaeda acknowledged his death on May 6, 2011, vowing to retaliate Can democracy be spread by military means? -Will democracy end the terrorist threat? -some regimes are not sympathetic towards the We
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