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What do you think of when you think of the reality of war or terrorism? Why do you think someone might become a terrorist?
In this chapter, experts discuss the evolution of war over time, its marked decrease in recent years, and the rapid growth of terrorism throughout the world. While current research is unable to come to an exact consensus about what makes someone become a terrorist, there has been progress in identifying certain traits that terrorists share. You will learn about terrorism from an alternative, controversial perspective when Noam Chomsky suggests that the US is itself a terrorist organization.
Despite the recent increase in terrorist groups and activities worldwide, you will read that terrorism as a strategy is ineffective, creating an interesting paradox of why and how certain groups choose to become violent. You will see that part of this paradox is the threat response of strong Western nations, including the misapprehension of danger both by US leaders and the public. Looking at the issue from a solutions perspective, you will see the place of women in combating terrorism and attempts to establish a safer world for tomorrow.
Explore the different sections within this chapter by navigating through grey buttons. Once you are finished exploring a section, click Next to proceed to the next section, or Home to return to Modern War and Terrorism home page.
Jerry Bowen and the BBC. The Birth of Israel Documentary
Chenoweth, Erica and Adria Lawrence. Rethinking Violence: States and Non-State Actors in Conflict
Chomsky, Noam. Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire
Fettweis, Christopher. The Pathologies of Power: Fear, Honor, Glory, and Hubris in U.S. Foreign Policy
Gat, Azar. The Arabs' 1848
Gat, Azar. Nations: The Long History and Deep Roots of Political Ethnicity and Nationalism
Global Terrorism Database. Information on More Than 125,000 Attacks
Goldstein, Joshua. Winning the War on War: The Decline of Armed Conflict World Wide
Gura, David. Crisis in Congo: NPR's Talk of the Nation
Horgan, George and Audrey Hamilton. Speaking of Psychology: Getting into a Terrorist’s Mind
Institute for Economics and Peace. Global Terrorism Index 2014
Lankford, Adam. The Myth of Martyrdom: What Really Drives Suicide Bombers, Rampage Shooters, and Other Self-Destructive Killers
Mueller, John. Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, and Why We Believe Them
Mueller, John and Mark Stewart. Terror, Security, and Money: Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland Security
Spataro, Armando. Why Do People Become Terrorists?
Ethnic Cleansing: the expulsion of an "undesirable" population from a given territory due to religious or ethnic discrimination, political, strategic or ideological considerations, or a combination of these. Foreign Affairs
Genocide: any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part, imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. United Nations
ISIS or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria: A militant radical group working to establish a caliphate, a state governed in accordance with Islamic law, or Sharia, by God's deputy on Earth, or caliph. BBC
Narrative: a basic human strategy for coming to terms with fundamental elements of our experience, such as time, process, and change. OSU Project Narrative
Pathology: mistaken or incorrect beliefs that inspire irrational action. Threat and Anxiety in US Foreign Policy
PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: a mental health condition triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. Mayo Clinic
Terrorism: the unlawful use, or threatened use, of force or violence against persons, societies, cultures or governments in order to create a desired change. The change sought may be political, religious or social in nature. State of Maine Information and Analysis Center
Resolution 1325: urges all actors to increase the participation of women and incorporate gender perspectives in all United Nations peace and security efforts. It also calls on all parties in conflict to take special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse, in situations of armed conflict. United Nations
Resolution 2178: requires countries to take certain steps to address the Foreign Terror Fighter (FTF) threat. This includes calls upon states to enhance Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) efforts and take steps to decrease the risk of radicalization to terrorism in their societies, such as engaging relevant local communities, empowering concerned groups of civil society, and adopting tailored approaches to countering FTF recruitment. United States Mission to the UN
War: an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political communities. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy