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BehindtheCurve.docx

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Department
Philosophy
Course
Philosophy 3810F/G
Professor
Steve D' Arcy
Semester
Summer

Description
BEHIND THE CURVE – READINGS INTRO  There has been little creative thinking about how to confront the growing terrorist backlash that has been unleashed  Strategy oriented toward influencing its means and ends over the long term  The tendency has been to fall back on established bureaucratic mind-sets and prevailing theoretical paradigms that have little relevance for the changes in international security that became obvious after the terrorist attacks  The increasing threat of globalized terrorism must be met with flexible, multifaceted responses that deliberately and effectively exploit avenues of globalization in return  US strategic culture has a long tradition of downplaying such atypical concerns in favour of a focus on more conventional state-based military power  In the age of globalized terrorism, they are dangerous  The current terrorist backlash is manifested in the extremely violent asymmetrical response directed at the US and other leading powers by terrorist groups associated with or inspired by al-Qaeda DEFINITIONS  The targets of a terrorist episode are not the victims who are killed or maimed in the attack but rather the governments constituents among whom the terrorist hope to engender a reaction  Terrorism is intended to be a matter of perception and is thus seen differently by different observers 1. Terrorism always has a political nature 2. Terrorism is distinguished by its nonstate character 3. Terrorism deliberately targets the innocent which also distinguishes it from state uses of force that inadvertently kill innocent bystanders 4. State use of force is subject to international norms and conventions that may be in use of force is subject to international norms and conventions that may be invoked of consulted  Although states can terrorize they cannot by definition be terrorists  Definition of terrorism is the threat or use of seemingly random violence against innocents for political ends by a nonstate actor  Modern terrorism is generally considered to have originated with the French Revolution  An examination of broad historical patterns reveals that the international system within which such groups are spawned does influence their nature and motivations  Terrorism occurs in consecutive if somewhat overlapping waves  Terrorism has been a power struggle along a continuum: central power versus local power  Widespread perception of opportunity  Is more accurate to see it as part of a larger phenomenon of anti-globalization and tension between the have and have-not nations  Reforms occur at a pace must slower than is desired, terrorists today aim to exploit the frustrations of the common people  The goal of terrorists was to engage in attacks on symbolic targets to get the attention of the common people and thus provoke a popular response that would ultimately overturn the prevailing political order  But terrorism tied to popular movements seeking greater democratic representation and political power from coercive e empires has not ceased  Arguments over the justice of international causes and the designation of terrorist struggles as wars of national liberation predominated with consequentialist philosophies excusing the killing of innocent people if the cause in the long run was just  International media influence  Individual, scattered national causes began to develop into international organizations with links and activities increasingly across borders and among differing causes  The world has witnessed the maturation of new phase of terrorist activity, the jihad era spawned by the Iranian revolution of 1979  The forces of history seem to be driving international terrorism back to a much earlier time  Therefore, the prescription for dealing with Osama bin Laden and his followers is changing the conditions that allow them to acquire so much power TYPES OF TERRORISM  Four types of terrorist organizations currently operating around the world, left wing terrorists, right wing, ethnonationalist/separatist and religious or scared  Left wing – intertwined with the Communist movement  Right Wing- drawing inspiration from fascism  Separatist – accompanying the wave of decolonization especially in the immediate post ww2 years  Sacred – becoming more significant  Different motivations have sometimes led to differing styles and modes of behaviour  Left wing were brutal but relatively ephemeral  Right wing – less cohesive and more impetuous in their violence  Targets are often chosen according to race more opportunistic than calculated  That broader popular support is usually the key to the greater average longevity of ethnonationalist separatist groups in the modern era  Anyone who is not a member of their religious or religious sect may be evil and thus fair game  Dehumanize their victims even more than most terrorist groups do  Second, religious terrorists engage in violent behaviour directly or indirectly to please the perceived commands of a deity  Religious terrorists consider themselves to be unconstrained by secular values or laws  Often display a complete sense of alienation from the existing social system  Dispersed popular support in civil society KEY TRENDS  A decrease in the overall number of attacks, an increase in the lethality per attack and growin
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