Internal Code: MAS3925
Clausewitz’s dictum that war is politics by other means is a reminder that the primary goal of the war against terror is not to defeat and eliminate those who aim to attack the United States and its allies. Rather it is to enhance the security of the American people and their allies. How are these two goals different? These goals are the same only if terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda are isolated groups of criminals that need only be found and dealt with swiftly. But if al-Qaeda and its associated groups represent the values and beliefs of substantial numbers of people, and all signs indicate that this is the case, then defeating these groups will not end the struggle against terror This is an important point and central to the significance of the paper—Does someone hold the view that you need to defeat al-Qaeda to defeat terrorism? What is the author trying to get at here? Has he built a straw man argument? . Only by changing the values and beliefs of supporters of terrorist groups can the United States and its allies expect to achieve this objective. So the author is saying that to just defeat one terrorist group is not really going to be the best strategy—you will need to do something else. Which is? To win the war against terror, the United States and its allies must have both a military strategy and a political strategy. What do you think of this? Is it fair or practical? Are there any problems with such a comprehensive approach? Achieving political victory requires an understanding of the social basis of terror—that is, the values and beliefs that legitimate the use of extreme and indiscriminate violence against the civilian populations of out-groups. Such understanding will not reveal much about terror groups that seem to lack social support, such as the Basque terrorists in Spain, but it will help to reduce the influence of those groups that appear to enjoy widespread support, such as al-Qaeda Did al-Qaeda have widespread
support?. Seeking to understand the motivations of terrorists, however,their supporters claim motivate them So we should not believe terrorists when they tell us what motivates them? Or should we?. Some scholars have sought to link poverty with terror. Poverty, they argue, fosters terror because it creates a sense of hopelessness, restricts educational opportunity, and produces frustration over inequality.1 The direct causal linkages between poverty and terror are more elusive than scholars suggest, however. Indeed I am unaware of any comprehensive explanation in print for how poverty causes terror. Nor has there been any demonstrated correlation between the two This seems fair because not all “poor” people become terrorists. But is it part of the problem? If so how much?
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