Write a 16 page essay on The Strategies Of Terrorism.
According to Max Abrahms, terrorist attacks on civilians to intimidate the government to change policies do not work. Their attack on civilians undermined their aims. their purpose was just to destroy societies and they did not want to make concessions. Abrahms argues that there is the conventional wisdom that terrorism can be used to effectively coerce governments or the duly constituted authorities, but this contention is supported by the limited empirical study. The victories of Hezbollah, the Tamil Tigers, and Palestinian liberation groups were limited victories. The Palestinian liberation group conducted terrorism and bombings but until now the war is still going on with either Israel or Palestine declaring victory.
In Abrahms’ study of the 28 terrorist organizations, he coded the outcomes of the objectives of each group as: “total success,” “partial success,” “limited success,” or “no success,” and found that the 28 terrorist organizations had 42 objectives in all, and yet successfully achieved only 3 which is equivalent to 7 percent. Abrahms concluded that terrorists only succeeded with the “type of objective and target selection”. Terrorists succeed when they have limited territorial objectives (for example, ending a military occupation), and not when they have maximal objectives, such as overthrowing a government. Target selection determines the success of a terrorist campaign. If they attack civilians, the latter would feel that terrorists want to destroy society and their values. Thus, civilian support declines.
Andrew Kydd and Barbara Walter have counter-arguments. They opine that terrorism is effective in obtaining its objectives.