10 Things Everyone Must Know About Terrorism
10 Things Everyone Must Know About Terrorism by Anti-Media News Desk – The Anti-Media
Terrorism is a complex subject, but the key elements can be distilled and presented in an internet-friendly format. Welcome to the definitive listicle on terrorism. This is the bare bones, so process all of it. Don’t skim this one.
Terrorism is “the calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear. It is intended to coerce or intimidate governments or societies. Terrorists usually pursue political, religious, or ideological goals. Enemies who cannot compete with Army forces conventionally often turn to terrorist tactics. Terrorist attacks often create a disproportionate effect on even the most capable conventional forces.” (FM 3-0, 9-37) Even within the United States government, there are varying definitions related to terrorism. Most agencies tailor the definition to suit their mission and therefore increase their budget. The above definition is as close to a consensus as can be found.
Terrorism is not an ideology. It is a military strategy and a set of tactics. That’s it. While in today’s politically charged climate, the following statement will certainly be viewed with contempt, it needs to be said. Terrorism should not be a dirty word. Some of the world’s greatest heroes employed terrorism. That’s why you’ll find many writings use the term “asymmetrical warfare”. It’s terrorism by another name. Specifically, it’s the name the US government uses to describe the tactics of its allies who engage in terrorism.
Terrorist success rates are high. Most estimates suggest that 85 to 90% of initiated terrorist attacks are successful. If a group is committed to using these tactics, they will be successful at the operational level.
Terrorist attacks are militarily ineffective. The most spectacular terrorist attack in history occurred on the morning of September 11th, 2001. It’s still talked about and used as a justification for military actions today. Without a doubt, the 9/11 attacks were the most successful terrorist attacks in history. They did not hinder the US warfighting capability in the slightest way. So why do terrorists use a militarily ineffective tactic?
Terrorism is an advertising campaign. An act of terrorism is designed to bring attention to a specific grievance or list of grievances. Sometimes, it’s as simple as the IRA’s short term goal of “Brits out!” Other times, it’s a more complicated series of demands relating to ideology or religion or even a desire to completely undermine entire societal systems. The Unabomber wasn’t killing simply to kill and scare people. He was killing to draw attention to his beliefs.
The public reaction to an attack is more important than your actual emotions. Most of the world saw the man fleeing the London terrorist attack with his pint of beer in hand. That image is an image that defeats terrorism. The “Keep calm and carry on” mantra defeats terrorism. 24-hour news coverage, changing your social media profile, or hashtagging #PrayForPickTheNextCity encourages terrorism. Why? The goal of terrorism is advertising. It’s about dominating headlines. When you prolong the coverage, you are helping the terrorist. By the same token, emotional displays of anger and fear, such as the one from the Representative from Louisiana, Clay Higgins, provide the terrorists with exactly what they want. His rant can already be found on Al-Jazeera and will undoubtedly be used in ISIS propaganda videos. Islamic State strategists couldn’t have written a more useful response themselves.