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Historical Responding to Terrorism

Introduction to Terrorism

From the time of French revolution in 1793, terrorism has evolved to become one of the most dreaded issues across the whole world today. With the changing times and invent of sophisticated technology, terrorists have become techno perceptive, changing tactics every other day. Still fresh in the minds of many people is the September 11 attack on United States, which left 2993 people dead and thousands others injured.

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This calls for implementation of better approaches when responding to terrorist attacks. The way states and governments respond to these attacks calls for change in strategy to curb future attacks. The current approaches prove futile, because instead of curbing the vice, suicide bombings are on the rise contrary to what may be expected.

Current Terrorism Response Measures

Often the first thought is to retaliate especially when insurgent groups confirm their involvement in the attacks. This overlooks the basic principle of tackling the problem from the root cause. The targeted nations more than often, impose sanctions on the perpetrators and cancel all diplomatic relationships between the two countries. This does not solve the problem because alienating particular groups without addressing their needs, fuels more dissatisfaction and more attacks become inevitable.

Pursuing the perpetrators and making them pay for their crimes is part of the process, but it overlooks the most critical areas of reforms. For instance, last week anti terrorist police gunned down a suspected Al-Qaeda man connected to several terrorist mastermind projects in Somalia and Kenya. This led to suicide bombing of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) headquarters in Mogadishu, killing several AMISOM troops (Clottey par.2). This is a clear indication that the current response measures only propagate animosity between target states and the insurgents.

After analyzing and evaluating a cruise missile that struck Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998, Huddock (2) reports that the American Military Retaliation for Terrorism (AMTR) tabled several mitigation measures which tackle the issue of terrorism from a different perspective. These measures include peace-building processes. This step investigates and determines what led to the attacks, thus addressing the problem from the roots other than at superficial levels. It also incorporates the idea of letting the insurgents know that terrorism is not the only resort to injustices. Processes like peace talks, negotiations and compromise of some standards solves any stalemate amicably.

Recommendations to Improve the Response Measures

The team proposed that, the involved parties should give serious attention to decision-making processes to come up with proper solutions. This involves shunning domestic politics and balancing foreign policies, which includes respecting other states. Consequently, some societies will not feel alienated when engaged in healthy debates to chart the way forward. These are long-term measures, which will reduce terrorism in the end.


Targeted states should retaliate to deter future attacks, but this should come as the last option. Huddock (1) concurs that this will ward off any future attacks by acting as a warning that the targeted states can take action. AMTR noted that, justice should prevail and perpetrators of these heinous attacks face the law. However, this process should follow standard evidences based on intelligent investigations to avoid fueling more animosities. Retaliation is a short-term measure but it helps for the sake of the victims. It is relieving for the victims to know that culprits face the law and pay for their atrocities.

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Reference List

Clottey P. (2009). Somalia Government Condemns Calls for More Suicide Attacks. Web.

Huddock T. (2000). American Military Retaliation for Terrorism: Judging the Merits of The 1998 Cruise Missile Strikes Afghanistan and Sudan. Web.

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