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Terrorism - The Future Of Terrorism

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Because individual terrorists and their organizations are becoming harder to keep track of, and given the difficulties of identifying terrorists and terrorism in the first place, the policy assumptions of the past are likely to be counterproductive in the future. Containment, in particular, does not seem to be a promising strategy when the ease of travel and communication are helping to make anachronisms of international borders. Similarly, efforts to control investments and limit technology transfers appear to be not only failing but also aggravating the fears of people around the globe who distrust the motives of multinational economic and political entities. The 2000 demonstrations in Seattle and elsewhere against the International Monetary Fund are harbingers of what we can expect as the development-investment programs of the Western power centers sharpen the great differences between those favored by the programs and those disadvantaged by them.

The "new terrorism" of religiously dedicated holy warriors is less vulnerable to being deterred by military and law enforcement threats. Indeed, the use of violence has not only failed to diminish international and domestic terrorism but also provided the ideologists of terrorism with useful ammunition. Rightist domestic terrorism in the United States has been strengthened by such incidents as the Waco assault, as has Islamic terrorism by the attempted assassinations of Osama bin Ladan and other leading figures. Though understandable and perhaps even appropriate in some instances, military tactical responses to terrorist threats and attacks have given credence in the eyes of believers to religious depictions of Western, particularly American, societies as satanic. The new terrorists are convinced of divine approval of their actions and of ultimate victory, even if it is to be a supernatural one. As Laqueur emphasizes, the new terrorists are so dangerous precisely because they "are not primarily interested in gain or glory, but instead want a state or a society in their own image, cleansed of their enemies" (p. 277).

Such warriors can be expected to show little reluctance to use weapons of mass destruction. Although governments have concentrated investigative resources on reducing the threat of major nuclear attacks, most analysts are more concerned with the growing possibility of small-scale yet spectacularly alarming weapons being used. Small nuclear devices are perhaps less likely to be used than chemical or biological weapons, but in any event the casualties of the future will probably be much greater on average than in the past. Meanwhile, conventional weapons continue to be readily available, along with instructions on how to make and use them. The portent is more incidents, more deaths and injuries, and more terrorist challenges to established social orders.

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over 7 years ago

I dont like you all like you no never hahahha meow meow