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Terrorism Overview Inter vs. Intragovernmental War Rationality of Terrorism Religious Radicalism and Violence Inter vs. Intragovernmental War Intergovernmental ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Terrorism

  • Inter vs. Intragovernmental War
  • Rationality of Terrorism
  • Religious Radicalism and Violence

Inter vs. Intragovernmental War
  • Intergovernmental
  • Traditional state vs. state conflict
  • Symmetrical in that have to formally equal
    entities (states)
  • Advantage goes to defense

Inter vs. Intragovernmental War
  • Intragovernmental War
  • Encompasses everything from coups detat to
    revolutionary movements
  • Asymmetrical
  • Advantage goes to offense

Inter vs. Intragovernmental War
  • They differ also on the objective
  • In intragovernmental war, the aim is for the
    anti-government forces to forge an alliance with
    a significant third party group within the country

Inter vs. Intragovernmental War
  • In domestic violence...the essence of the
    conflict is the appeal to third parties. The
    direct action of the opponents upon each other,
    particularly in coups detat, remains important,
    but the decisive characteristic of the struggle
    is the effort to gain the support of those who
    initially are neither friend nor foe
    (Huntington, p. 490)

Inter vs. Intragovernmental War
  • Anti-government forces, being in the minority,
    need to
  • persuade a majority of the population to
    acquiesce, if not actually support the group, or
  • persuade a significant (important) elite group to
    join the cause

Inter vs. Intragovernmental War
  • The counterelite attempts to win the target
    group through terrorism and persuasion. In the
    normal intergovernmental war violence is
    directed primarily against the enemy it is a
    means of reducing his numbers and of undermining
    his will to resist...

Inter vs. Intragovernmental War
  • In the initial phases of a revolutionary war,
    however, the counterelite directs its terrorism
    and violence primarily against the members of the
    target group. The aim of the violence is not to
    eliminate the forms of the government but to win
    the members of the target group (Huntington, p.

Inter vs. Intragovernmental War
  • Terrorism is a weapon, however, which is
    effective not against the strong but against the
    vulnerable. Though sporadic murders and bombings
    would never suffice to destroy the forces of the
    government, they may suffice to win the active or
    passive support of the target group (Huntington,
    pp. 495-96)

Inter vs. Intragovernmental War
  • To succeed, the revolutionary group needs a
    secure base of operations
  • Given the aims of the revolutionary group,
    negotiation makes little sense
  • Negotiation will be perceived as weakness and
    simply further embolden the recruiting and
    propaganda efforts of the anti-government forces

Inter vs. Intragovernmental War
  • The decisive aspect of revolutionary war thus
    is the struggle for the loyalty of the vulnerable
    sector. In a sense, the war is conducted like an
    agonizing and bloody electoral campaign. If the
    counterelite can establish and maintain itself as
    the leader of the alienated sector, it has won
    its battle (Huntington, p. 500)

Inter vs. Intragovernmental War
  • On the other hand, if the revolutionary group is
    unable to maintain itself, then violence is going
    to continue as it struggles to gain that upper
    hand or until it is eliminated

Inter vs. Intragovernmental War
  • The more detached a government is from the
    society disrupted by revolutionary war, the more
    able it will be to surmount these obstacles
    i.e., of running counter to traditional ideas
    and established interests...

Inter vs. Intragovernmental War
  • Obstacles for success include
  • division in opinion in the home country for
    support of the war
  • over reliance on the challenged groups in order
    to fend off the revolution

Inter vs. Intragovernmental War
  • Revolutionary war is most likely in a society
    occupying an extensive territory and divided
    between different communities and races in which
    one group predominates in the government
    (Huntington, p. 501).

Logic of Terrorism
  • Not all political insurgent groups resort to
  • Not all revolutionary groups resort to terrorism
  • So, when does terrorism become the chosen mode of
    political warfare?

Logic of Terrorism
  • Note, the logic of collective action would
    suggest that terrorist groups should not form
  • Why should a rational person become a
    terrorist, given the high costs associated with
    violent resistance and the expectation that
    everyone who supports the cause will benefit,
    whether he or she participates or not?
    (Crenshaw, p. 511)

Logic of Terrorism
  • Conditions for terrorism to become rational
  • Weapon of the weak
  • Raises question of what is the basis for the
  • majority of population does not share ideological
    commitments of the group
  • failure to mobilize support successfully or
  • repression nullifies recruitment and mobilization

Logic of Terrorism
  • No matter how acute or widespread popular
    dissatisfaction may be, the masses do not rise
    spontaneously mobilization is required
    (Crenshaw, p. 514).

Logic of Terrorism
  • Rationality of terrorism (continued)
  • time constraints (impatience)
  • optimism for prospects of success
  • Sources
  • changed circumstances in the target regime
  • practices in target regime increase its moral and
    political vulnerability
  • new resources coming into the group

Logic of Terrorism
  • Given the preceding, what is the cost/benefit
    calculus for terrorists

Logic of Terrorism
Religious Violence
  • That cost/benefit calculation is further
    disrupted by the introduction of a religious
    element into the calculation
  • Religion adds
  • moral certitude and/or rectitude
  • absolutism
  • transhistorical dimension

A satanic enemy cannot be transformed it can
only be destroyed
Religious Violence
  • In some cases religious activists have been
    prepared to wait for eons -- and some struggle
    have not been expected to be completed within
    human history they must await their fulfillment
    in some transtemporal realm. There is no need,
    therefore, to compromise ones goals in a
    struggle that has been waged in divine time and
    with the promise of heavens rewards...

Religious Violence
  • There is no need, also, to contend with
    societys laws and limitations when one is
    obeying a higher authority. In spiritualizing
    violence, therefore, religion has given terrorism
    a remarkable power (Juergensmeyer, p. 525).

Religious Violence
  • If violence becomes an attractive option for some
    groups, then how should governments respond?
  • Is violence (a war on terror) an option?

Religious Violence
  • The war-against-terrorism strategy can be
    dangerous, in that it can play into the scenario
    that religious terrorists themselves have
    fostered the image of a world at war between
    secular and religious forces. A belligerent
    secular enemy has often been just what religious
    activists have hoped for. In some cases it makes
    recruitment to their causes easier, for it
    demonstrates that the secular side can be as
    brutal as it has been portrayed by their own
    religious ideologues (Juergensmeyer, p. 533).

Religious Violence
  • Unless certain of ability to eliminate the
    threat, then probably not a viable strategy for
  • conditions for certainty
  • threat is easily recognizable minority
  • threat is contained in specific geographic area
  • willing to engage in total war effort over
    potentially many years

Religious Violence
  • If cant eliminate threat, then second option may
    to try to alter the cost/benefit calculation by
    increasing the costs of participation in
    terrorist groups
  • May help dislodge some of the fringe members of
    the group, but unlikely to work against the
    hardcore believers at the heart of the group

Religious Violence
  • Violence wins
  • Peace possible if the terrorist demands are met
    and the target regime concedes
  • Remove religion from politics
  • Likelihood of that seems limited though
  • Try to take the high ground and demonstrate own
    commitment to moral (if not religious) principles
    (e.g., the rule of law, democracy, etc.)
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