The Future of Terrorism

By North, Steven M. | Military Review, May/June 2002 | Go to article overview

The Future of Terrorism


North, Steven M., Military Review


THE FUTURE OF TERRORISM,

Maxwell Taylor and John Horgan, eds., Frank Cass Publishers. Distributed by International Specialized Book Services, Inc., Portland, OR, 2000, 234 pages, $24.50.

The Future of Terrorism contains essays submitted at the conference for Future Developments in Terrorism, in Cork, Ireland, in March 1999. The central thesis that resonates in the editor's introduction and individual essays is that terrorism has evolved beyond the traditional view of state-sponsored organizations that commit acts of violence as an expression of nationalism. Terrorist organizations are now more complex, and their motivations stem from a more diverse range of ideologies. Two supporting views that the essayists submit that have significant value to military and civilian strategists expound on terrorists' use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and the emergence of terrorists as transnational actors.

As with many nations and various legitimate organizations, the end of the Cold War caused most terrorist organizations to change their modus operandi to guarantee survival. The authors and editors of The Future of Terrorism support this argument by discussing the decline of statesponsored terrorism, facilitated against the back-drop of the post-- Cold War; increases in intrastate terrorist organizations; the blurring of distinctions between terrorism and organized crime; and the emergence of organizations with motives based on extremism and religion. In fact, lawmakers can link terrorist organizations to crimes such as extortion and bank robbery. …

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