المفارقة في أبحاث الخبراء بين تحديدهم للإرهاب وتوصياتهم
“Terrorism, in the most widely accepted contemporary usage of the term, is fundamentally and inherently political. It is also ineluctably about power: the pursuit of power, the acquisition of power, and the use of power to achieve political change. …[It is thus] used and directed in pursuit of, or in service of, a political aim”1. [emphasis added]
“The terrorist is not pursuing purely egocentric goals… [He] is fundamentally an altruist…a violent intellectual.”2
Hoffman defines terrorism as “the deliberate creation and exploitation of fear through violence in the pursuit of political change” and that it is “ineluctably political in aims and motives”3. [emphasis added]
According to Brian Jenkins, from the RAND Corporation, the use of the term ‘Terrorism’ implies a moral judgment: “What is called terrorism… seems to depend on one’s point of view. Use of the term implies a moral judgment… Hence the decision to call someone or label some organization ‘terrorist’ becomes almost unavoidably subjective, depending largely on whether one sympathizes with or opposes the person/group/cause concerned”4.
State’s Department’s definition: “[Terrorism is] premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience”5.
FBI’s definition: “[Terrorism is] the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a Government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”6.
The US Department of Defense’s definition: “[Terrorism is] the unlawful use of – or threatened use of – force or violence against individuals or property to coerce or intimidate governments or societies, often to achieve political, religious, or ideological objectives”7.
“If we cannot define terrorism, then we can at least usefully distinguish it from other types of violence and identify the characteristics that make terrorism the distinct phenomenon of political violence that it is”8. [emphasis added]
Distinguishing terrorism from ‘Guerilla’ warfare: “Terrorists do not function in the open as armed units, generally do not attempt to seize or hold territory, deliberately avoid engaging enemy military forces in combat and rarely exercise any direct control or sovereignty either over territory or population”9.
Distinguishing terrorism from ordinary criminals: “…while the violent act itself may be similar …the purpose or motivation clearly is not…the fundamental aim of terrorist’s violence is ultimately to change ‘the system’ – about which the ordinary criminal, of course, couldn’t care less”10.
Distinguishing the terrorist from the lunatic assassin: “To qualify as terrorism, violence must be perpetrated by some organizational entity with at least some conspiratorial structure and identifiable chain of command beyond a single individual acting on his or her own”11.
In dealing with the problem of terrorism, the experts and researchers analyze and define terrorism as an inherently political act that aspires to achieve, through the use of violence, a specific political objective.
One would expect, that upon reaching this conclusion, those same experts would formulate their recommendations (to U.S. decision-makers) based on a political analysis of U.S. policies and foreign relations, and that those recommendations would also be inherently political.
Instead, we find those experts exclusively confining their preventive advice to purely securitarian measures. Recognizing that the threat of “political” terrorist attacks against the United States is growing, they however limit their suggestions by urging the American authorities to exert more effort and allocate more money mainly on containment and response so as to reduce the probability of a successful and catastrophic attack with weapons of mass destruction, and reduce the level of vulnerability of the American society.
They recommend that the United States should increase funding and effort in five key areas in order to improve its ability to contain and respond to the unconventional NBC threat: (1) national strategy, planning, and coordination. This increased coordination should be between the local, state, and federal agencies; (2) intelligence and threat identification. This involves more intelligence and cooperation at the domestic level and at the international level; (3) operational preparedness for crisis and consequence management; (4) fissile material security; and (5) declaratory policy and law 12.
1. Hoffman, pages 14-15
2. Hoffman, page 43
3. Hoffman, page 43
4. Hoffman, page 31; Original Source: Ehud Sprinzak, ‘Fundamentalism, Terrorism, and democracy: The Case of the Gush Emunim Underground’, Wilson center Occasional Paper no.4 (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1986), p.11
5. Hoffman, p. 38
6.Hoffman, p. 38
7.Hoffman, p. 38, Laqueur, page 5
8. Hoffman, p. 40
9. Hoffman, p. 41
10. Hoffman, pp. 41-42
11.Hoffman, pp. 42-43
12.For more details on those recommendations see: Falkenrath, pp. 264-26 Heymann, pp. 155-158 Stern, pp. 156-160 Hoffman, pages 210-212