Introduction to claims made regarding globalized terrorism
The statement that the significance of the globalized terrorism will be decreased within 10 to 15 years seems to be an impossible one. Terrorism has been in the roots of politics of the states from the era of ruling empires and it would remain a part of negative exercise of power. Unsolved conflicts and hatred among the nations which have been originated from a same region are mostly involved in the globalized terrorism. There are less possibilities that the terrorism would loose its significance within ten to fifteen years. In this paper this position will be critically elaborated and claims that support a position that globalized terrorism will loose its significance as a strategic challenge are rejected..
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The significance of the terrorism in the contemporary period is due a brief broadcast of terrorism by media. The focus of media would be more on the people died of suicide bomb rather than deaths occurring due to accidents. The media coverage of such events makes the problem larger than life. Terrorists in particular require media coverage to deliver their word to the world. Media have proven a very easy target for the terrorists1.
As noted above, terrorism has been in the roots of the states from the time of ruling empires. Terrorism has been a root cause of the conflicts between most of the countries. In the past, the terrorism activities have been recorded in the form of massacres, assassinations, aircrafts hijacks and in the form of hate crimes2. Terrorism is more sensational in the modern time due to the globalization occurring with double thrust. It will continue to stay in the roots of the states until certain factors such as media’s function in broadcasting of terrorist’s agenda.
Role of media and its impact on making terrorism a global issue
Globalized terrorism has been sensationalized by the media of both types of countries. Both types of countries mean those who are known as the super power and other countries which are poorly governed. Media itself is being headed with people who have hatred for their governments and the pacts between the states and the non-state actors.
The non-state actors are given an exaggerated significance and simultaneously to their terrorist activities. All in all it took less than four months for the terrorism to attain globalized attribute after the 9/11 attacks. The credit goes to the media coverage for terrorist attack. Media includes print and electronic medium for the coverage and to reach out to the common public through these mediums. According to the U.S department of Homeland security annual report, Internet has been noted as the biggest source for the spread of ideologies of Jihadists and other non-state actors. Due to the immortality of addition to the blogging and web forums, nothing seems to be private in the modern age3.
The intelligence communities have been replaced by the online training camps where the forums, chat rooms and other sources arouse the feelings of the mass audience. Such acts motivate others to take part in terrorist’s activities. In such a situation where the terrorist activities would continue to grow, it is complicated to think about the way out to such a problem4. Terrorism will not loose its significance due to the presences of many mediums and other factors which are contributing to exaggeration of terrorism.
Role of non-state actors, intelligence agencies and self-starters on the terrorism issues
A great numbers of editorial, journal articles and websites spurt out post 9/11. A research conducted by Cynthia Lum concluded that most of the journal articles were thought pieces. Lack of empirical analysis was lacking in most of the published papers and online websites. The hype around the media added in the chaotic situation5.
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Another concept adds in the impossibility of loosing the significance of globalized terrorism. The concept has been introduced as the self-starters. Individuals on their own commit terrorist activities. Individuals who attempt to commit terrorist activities are regarded as the self-starters or home-grown. They do not have any team to work with. These individuals or self-starters are influenced by the terrorism acts committed by non-state actors such as al-Qaeda or Taliban6. The greater picture displayed by the media to the world provides positive and negative impressions at the same time. Self-starters have been observed in the international politics after 9/11 due to the exaggeration of media regarding globalized terrorism. The terrorist attacks of these self-starters have been observed in 2005 London bombings or Madrid bombing attacks in 2004. The ramifications of the contemporary politics display the continuous growth of terrorists or non-state actors. The only possibility is that the globalized terrorism will decrease the statistics of attacks but it will not end7.
Another factor that is functioning in the defense of the terrorists is the technological advancement. According to Daniel Benjamin there are about 10,000 people who have the range of expertise to design weapons of mass destruction. This is due to the technological advancement and the reach of individuals to the advanced technology8. The claim that the globalized terrorism will be loosing its significance becomes impossible when the terrorist attacks are considered to become more deadly due the threats of using deadly explosives.
Due to the increasing number of explosives and technological trends the terrorists are complicated to detect. The availability of advanced technology gives chances to the non-state actors to move freely around the globe. The constant rise in the easy availability of these mass destructive weapons would increase the statistics of the globalized terrorism in the near future. The statements of Osama bin Laden act as the proof of the effectiveness of this claim. Osama Bin Laden’s statements pronounce that weapons of mass destructions should be used to attack infidels and cripple the economy of US9.
Some other factors that completely adds more in the terrorism in the contemporary world order is the growing wealth gap and economical status of different countries. Terrorism will continue to increase its significance over the ten to fifteen years due to the constant changes in the economy of most of the countries. The economical gap between states is more likely to destabilize the world order which will become a source of motivation for the non-state actors to attack the wealthy and richer areas10.
Other factors which could include local poverty increase the intensity of extremism which is the result for longing for stable future. Poor governments that fail to address economic stabilization, humanitarian relief and issues of security further furl terrorists and insurgents. Economically unstable countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan will remain the breeding land for the terrorists.
The remedies that have been projected in the world to counter terrorism would only work in the short run and not in the long run. For example the strategy of targeting the focal points of the non-state actors appointed by Pakistan in Waziristan and by America in Afghanistan completely increased the hype in the region instead of countering the terrorism11. Collective law enforcement and military actions are successful in removing the terrorist actions for on a temporary basis but the reaction would dissuade some individuals from taking up terrorist causes. They would do little to halt the terrorist activities.
It would be quite unrealistic, even to suppose that globalized terrorism would be disappeared over ten to fifteen years. Instead of the halt in the increasing terrorism, it is expected that in the near future globalized terrorism will increase disproportionally. This is due to the economical and social changes being observed in the world.
Social changes also work as the generator of globalized terrorism. Globalized terrorism is a disease that will continue to grow. According to research of Dr. Marvin Cetron, terrorism will continue to grow in some of the regions such as US, France and Britain. The reason behind the increase in terrorism in such regions is racism, fundamentalism and religious differences12.
The future fight for the natural resources would increase the gaps between states causing them to face extremism. In such a situation it will only help the states to adjust the domestic affairs but to counter terrorism will be a complicated task13. Terrorism will change the world order in the near future. Scarcity, unemployment, the proliferation of weak states or collapsed states, ongoing and post wars, economic and cultural globalization and political regime and legitimacy will increase in the insurgency and terrorism. These conditions will add terrorist activities over ten to fifteen years.
Use of technology by those involved in terrorism
It is difficult to counter terrorism and become completely successful in this regard. There is no particular remedy that has been found applicable to counter terrorism. Though different states have been undergoing through research process to find a remedy to exterminate terrorist and finish terrorism acts. The groups which claim that terrorism will loose its significance must understand the fact that the continuous access to technology and the pattern of globalization together are increasing the severity of the terrorism14. The current affairs and domestic politics of most of the states have been greatly affected after 9/11 especially Muslims living in western world have been facing great troubles since then.
People who claim that the significance of the globalized terrorism will decrease within no time might don’t understand the reality that is occurring in the international politics. The foreign policies and the state to state conflict is an old theory. The new world order that is shaping is a result of regime, legitimacy and law enforcement. All such factors failed to decrease the intensity of the terrorism in past years. The authorities that made the above claim would understand the consequences as it has been discussed in brief.
The consequences discussed above leads us to the conclusion the claim that globalized terrorism will loose its significance over ten to fifteen years would be unacceptable due to the fact that states would continue to exert power on other states. Exertion of power on other states would definitely increase the need of counter measures but by no means would any remedy eradicate the root-cause that is globalized terrorism. In near future the significance of globalized terrorism will increase with the change in the new world order.
Benjamin, D. (2007). Notes on the Future of Terrorism. Paris: Institute Francis des Relations Internationales.
Cetron, M. (2008). 55 trends: Now Shaping the Future of Terrorism. New York: Proteus USA.
Hamilton, L., & Cilluffo, F. (2007). Report of the Future of Terrorism Task Force. Washington: Homeland Security Advisory Council.
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Hamm, M. (2007). Terrorism as Crime. New York: NYU Press.
Lum, C. (2006). The Effectiveneess of the Conter Terrorism Strategies. Virginia: the Campbell Collabration.
Taylor, M., & Horgan, J. (2000). The Future of Terrorism. London: Routledge.
- Benjamin, D. (2007). Notes on the Future of Terrorism. Paris: Institute Francis des Relations Internationales.
- Lum, C. (2006). The Effectiveneess of the Conter Terrorism Strategies. Virginia: the Campbell Collabration.
- Hamilton, L., & Cilluffo, F. (2007). Report of the Future of Terrorism Task Force. Washington: Homeland Security Advisory Council.
- Same as (2)
- Same as (2)
- Same as (1)
- Hamm, M. (2007). Terrorism as Crime. New York: NYU Press.
- Same as (1)
- Same as (3)
- Same as (2)
- Same as (3)
- Cetron, M. (2008). 55 trends: Now Shaping the Future of Terrorism. New York: Proteus USA.
- Taylor, M., & Horgan, J. (2000). The Future of Terrorism. London: Routledge.
Same as (12)