Causes of Terrorism in Modern World
Michael Mousseau argues that the economy is the driving cause of terrorism and believes that the lowest rung of economic ladder are most vulnerable to negative consequences associated with globalization. He discusses the three myths about terrorism since 9/11: (1) to win hearts and minds of people struggling, U.S. must signal friendly intentions, (2) terror can arise in the absence of democracy and U.S. should push for democratic change in developing countries, and (3) people who detest the U.S. only had greater exposure to American values their hatred would dissipate. Mousseau believes that there are two general approaches: rational and cultural explanations. I agree with his muthst about terrorism and how the U.S. should try to push for change, but at the same time I think that that can be extremely hard to do. It could possibly just cause more problems and more hatred toward the U.S.
In “Behind the curve” Cronin also believes that the economy is one of the driving causes of terrorism. She considers five reasons terrorist organizations can be dangerous to international security: (1) they struggle with good against evil; (2) their behavior will be direct or indirect; (3) they believe they are not limited to values or laws; (4) they are trying to replace the existing social system; and (5) they are worrisome because the support in civil society. I personally believe that economy isn’t the driving cause of terrorism. It definitely can be a part of terrorism because a lot of times a place that has a bad economy can take the biggest hits from a bigger group that has a good economy. I agree with her five reasonings as well because they point out how some groups believe that their values or laws are good, while others they believe are bad.
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In “Motives of Martyrdom” Assaf Moghadam says that suicide missions are one of the most lethal tactics by a terrorist group. Suicide attacks can be divided into four categories: (1) focus on individual bombers, (2) stressing group or organizational factors, (3) emphasizing sociocultural cases, and (4) suggest to integrate multiple levels of analysis. Moghadam criticizes Pape, and says “there are three reasons why foreign occupation doesn’t explain contemporary suicide missions” (Moghadam, 2009, p. 65). He also states how ideology can play a huge role in terrorism, but suicide terrorism will always be more complex than just that. I agree with how he present what suicide terrorism is and how they are divided into four categories. I also agree with how he say that terrorism will always be more complex and not just based on one specific thing.
In “What Terrorist Really Want” Abrahams believes there is a strategic model of terrorism. He states “The Strategic model rests on three core assumptions: (1) terrorists are motivated by relatively stable and consistent political references; (2) terrorists evaluate the expected political payoffs of their available options, or at least the most obvious one; and (3) terrorism is adopted when the expected political return is superior to those of alternative options” (Abrahams, 2008, p. 172). Abrahams talks about how there are seven puzzling tendencies of Terrorist Organizations. Abrahams also states how there is a supply-side and demand-side to counterterrorism. Supply-side is more of providing law enforcement or governments with terrorist organizations. Demand-side is more of trying to divide terrorism and reducing places of high demand terrorist attacks. I personally liked how Abrahams broke the seven strategies down and I agree with them, especially when he says that terrorism is never the last resort. Terrorism I feel will always be around in the world and if a group wants to get their point across they will go big first to try and get people’s attention.
In “Why Terrorism Does Not Work” Abrahams says that terrorist groups who attack civilians will never achieve their political goals but should focus on attacking opponents military instead of innocent civilians. He believes that when a terrorist group is fighting over territory they have two objectives: one reason is to get rid of a foreign military from another country and the second reason is to win control over a piece of land. He also believes that when a terrorist group is fighting over beliefs there are two objectives. One is to transform its beliefs to a different belief and the other is to completely destroy its values. Abrahams says that attacking civilians doesn’t work because they miscommunicate their objectives. The three cases that prove this: Russia 1999 apartment bombings, U.S. with 9/11, and Israel to Palestinian terrorism. I agree with this reading because I feel like a lot of times terrorist groups are attacking over specific beliefs and wanting to change a difference cultures opinions, but don’t succeed at all.
In “The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism” Pape believes that suicide terrorism is designed to achieve a specific political purpose or target a government to change their policy. Suicide terrorism usually stops once the political goals are reached. Pape believes that there are five principles to explain how terrorist organizations have assessed the effectiveness from 1980 to 2001. The first finding is that suicide terrorism is super strategic, usually random acts rather than in clusters. The second states that it is designed to achieve specific goals. The third findings is that suicide terrorism has been rising since they learned that it pays. The fourth finding states that it may fail but rely that it will inflict low to medium levels of punishment on civilians. The final finding state that to contain suicide, terrorists’ conficide must be reduced. I agree with what Pape is saying. Personally I think nowadays we see a lot more suicide terrorism compared to other forms of terrorism. I think terrorist use it more because it actually works and gets people’s attentions and even when a government or group tries to control terrorist groups from doing something bad, they can’t because when they use suicide terrorism it is hard for people to prevent suicide terrorism.
Samuel Huntington wrote “The Clash of Civilization and in it he believes that nation states will stay powerful actors in all world affairs, but there will always be conflicts between nations and groups of different cultures and civilizations. He thinks that we should base countries on their culture and not on their level of politics or their economics. Huntington believes that there will be eight cultures to clash in the future, Western, Confucian, Japanese, Islamic, Hindu, Slavic-Orthodox, Latin America and African, they will end up clashing because of their different religious views. The world is becoming smaller place which means the interactions between cultures are increasing. I agree with what Huntington says on who the different religious views will cause them to clash. A lot of times I feel like groups try and force their views on other groups or cultures and when that group doesn’t agree it makes them resort to terrorism.
There are four main reasons for terrorism: economic beliefs, ideology, political, and fighting over land. I personally believe that when a group uses terrorism is it because their political or religious beliefs is what motivates them to do these acts more than the other two. I personally think that Pape has good reasonings why terrorist groups would use suicide terrorism and I think that Huntington has good reasoning why civilizations will end up crashing, because of the different cultures and religious views. One reason I believe that terrorist groups also use terrorism is because they want the power that comes with it. They want to give people a reason to follow them and to be on their side. One way they can get other people to follow them is by making them fearful and using terrorism can cause that fear to gain the support or supporters they want.