Terrorism has contributed to changes in the mode of conflict both between and within nations. Conflicts today appear less coherent than in the past, at times exhibiting not two clear sides but several confusing and shifting alliances.
Based on this, comment in your initial post what you feel are the most significant emerging trends in contemporary terrorism? Also comment on what you feel we still need to learn in order to create policies that will prevent future terrorist threats.
The two replies to other posts can either be a response to a question about your analysis or to the classmate whose work you reviewed.
To complete this assignment, review the Discussion Rubric document.
Textbook: Global Terrorism, Chapter 13
This chapter discusses the continuing phenomenon of terrorism around the world.
The United States has been countering the threat of terrorism ever since its inception as a nation. However, the constant expansion and evolution of technology over the past century, from the invention of modern explosives to commercial aviation and cyberspace, has paved the way for new forms of terrorist activity. To that end, modern terrorist groups have proven the ability to improvise and adapt to the ever-changing landscape of the modern world. Experts agree that based on this trend, it is entirely likely that as technology continues to advance we can expect to see similar results over the next 100 years.
In order for us to fully comprehend current and emerging threats from modern terrorism and how terrorism may evolve in the near future, it is important to understand terrorism’s historical roots. Looking back at what is often referred to as one of the first modern manifestos on terrorism, “The Revolutionary Catechism” by Sergey Nechayev, we can start to understand the psychological realm of the would-be terrorist. Nechayev, a Russian anarchist, describes terrorists as “doomed men.” Nechayev (1869) goes onto explain that terrorists (or revolutionaries, as he calls them) have no personal interests, no business affairs, no emotions, no attachments, no property, and no name. According to Nechayev, the “revolutionary knows that in the very depths of his being, not only in words but also in deeds, he has broken all the bonds which tie him to the social order and the civilized world” (Nechayev, 1869).
Nechayev was an anarchist who fought to overthrow the Russian political system, but regardless of the ideology, every ideological movement that uses violence rests on a core group of terrorists committed to the end for their cause. This has proven to be true not only with Islamic extremists but throughout the history of modern terrorism. If there is one thing we can learn from studying the work of Nechayev, it is that terrorism is much more than just a tactic or even a strategy. Terrorists are not bound by traditional ethics and morals. They are free to innovate and adapt their weapons and tactics. They are also free to choose their victims and targets without question.
As a tactic or a strategy, terrorism has endured and continued to evolve throughout its history. Terrorism has proven to be a highly adaptive and highly effective tactic in the modern information age and continues to evolve and adapt to meet the challenges of the current and emerging operating environment as well as continuing to exploit new developments in modern technology. Over the past decade, terrorists have demonstrated the ability to adapt to U.S. counterterrorism efforts and to capitalize on U.S. political missteps. Terrorists continue to evolve by not only developing new tactics but also by improving the efficiency of their existing tactics, techniques, and procedures.
Nechayev, S. (1869). The Revolutionary Catechism.
Peer post 1
I believe that a significant trend in contemporary terrorism would be globalization. In our text it states that “many groups have opposed the intrusion of foreign cultures that have been seen as threatening to their societies…many nationalist or ethnic dissidents also see their societies threatened by the outside world and foreign cultures”(Lutz). This shows how individuals are moving and sharing land with others who share a different belief than they do, resulting in social stressors. Another point with globalization is the advancement of technology and how it has spread to all corners of the globe. This technology allows terrorist to operate more independantly. In Africa, terrorist groups there have been able to execute these style of attacks known as Lone Wolf attacks. “Lone wolf attacks have been encouraged by improvements in communications and transportations”(Lutz). By requring less resources these organizations can attempt multiple attacks and if just one is deemed successful then that organization can claim a victory while its victim might have been able to thwart a dozen previous attacks, that one attack will deem them as having failed.
I believe that it is impossible to prevent 100 percent any possibility of a future terrorist threat. “Since terrorism and dissident violence cannot always be defeated, terrorism will continue”(Lutz). Until the day comes where the world no longer needs a law enforcement agency the threat of crimes to include terrorism will continue to be a threat. I believe that what we can do in an effort to mitigate these threats is to put into place policies that exposes individuals to other cultures from an early age and hopefully this allows us to be able to coexist with one another even though we might have different beliefs.
Lutz, J. Global Terrorism. [MBS Direct]. Retrieved from https://mbsdirect.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781351124669/
Peer post 2
War as we know it has evolved through the ages from a chess match between nations with literal lines of Troops facing off to guerrilla warfare to air raids followed by ground forces advancing, but what about terrorism how has this evolved over time. I think if we only looked at the evolution of terrorism we would be doing the world a great injustice in that not only have terrorist attacks, methods and modes changed, but so too have the methods of interdiction amongst legitimate states. First lets look at the evolution of terrorism and with this I will be speaking about the most prolific terrorist organization on the planet Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda began it’s Jihad targeting structures such as embassies, governmental structures, public transportation, and the most notorious of them the World Trade Centers. However, more recently Al Qaeda, due to its many affiliated groups, has shifted it’s efforts from strutrually based attacks to more economical and informationally based attacks, (Braniff, B., & Moghadam, A., 2011).
With that being said we can take a look at the most prolific advesary of the United States to the East, Russia. In the height of the internal struggle in Kiev where the locals were calling for a change in political policy Russia took the lead. While they were doing so in a incladestine manner they were pushing their IO campaign by using small special operations teams imbedded within the small revolutionary groups to increase tensions in the region. At the moment in which armed conflict was inevitable Russia had accomplished what it sought out to do, annex a portion of Ukraine in order to push it’s defense boundary further to the west. With this we see a new mode of conflict that starts with pushing a campaign of information to help plant the seed for needed interdiction, (NATO STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE.)
With all of this being said we are beginning to see information campaigns to help spread the word of illegitimate sectarianism by exploiting rifts in relationships between nations and its people as well as amongst partnered nations. Furthermore, with the help of the media we are seeing stories that are not entirely true in regards to attacks on local industry, population, and government. In order to combat this we must take a stance against media messaging that can be seen as in favor of these illegitimate intrusions into foreign conflicts between states and people.
Braniff, B., & Moghadam, A. (2011). Towards Global Jihadism: Al-Qaeda’s Strategic, Ideological and Structural Adaptations since 9/11. Perspectives on Terrorism, 5(2), 36– 49. Retrieved from https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/binaries/content/assets/customsites perspectives-on-terrorism/2011/issue-3-4/towards-global-jihadism-al-qaedas-strategic ideological-and.pdf
https://www.stratcomcoe.org, RUSSIAN INFORMATION CAMPAIGN AGAINST UKRAINIAN STATE AND DEFENCE FORCES