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Sociology Essay

1437 words - 6 pages

Stephen Asher
Although many groups, both state and non-state actors, have used terrorism as a tactic for hundreds of years, scholars differ in their opinions about the nature and consequences of terrorist attacks in recent years. Among other questions they ask: Did the terrorist attacks of 9/11 change the international system? Have non-state actors increased in relevance since the attacks.
The terrorist attacks of 9/11 were an eye opening experience for many Americans. The amount of television coverage and visual trauma shown to the nation increased the brutality of the events. Religious and militant groups have used terrorism as a tactic for hundreds of years. The events on 9/11 were ...view middle of the document...

From smuggling to sex trade, terrorist will find ways to make money to fund their operations. Funding is not limited to illegal activities. Businesses such as construction companies, banking, and other apparently legitimate businesses are part of the networks used to finance terrorist activities. Other means of funding the illegal activities include those based from the traditions of the Islamic religion. Charitable giving is a pillar of the Islamic faith. There is very little differentiation between civic and religious life
The attacks since 9/11 have not grown in complexity. The most deadly terrorist attacks that are successful still rely on conventional weapons with intense planning and some creativity. Technology increases have created more hardened targets that are difficult to attack. Terrorist will look for weak spots and places technology has overlooked to attack. The terrorist will continue to attack with conventional means and while most will be stopped the ones that are successful like 9/11 are accomplished without specialized skills and training on the part of the attackers.
In many ways the attacks of 9/11 have emboldened terrorist around the globe. Since the bombing of Pearl Harbor very few attacks on U.S. soil have had any measure of success. Since 9/11 the frequency of attacks initially increased and then generally decreased after 2001. Protecting Americans from terrorist attacks remains an ever changing challenge for the department of Defense and Homeland Security. It is now important more than ever to understand that there is no silver bullet for thwarting terrorist attacks. No single method can disrupt terrorist attacks. Most planned attacks are discovered through a combination of happenstance, in other words good breaks. Intelligence is now more important than ever to discovering planned terrorist actions before they are able to take form. Still the way in which the attacks 9/11 were executed gives hope to other terrorist organizations that attacks on the US can be successful.
The term state terrorism is not recognized in international law. State terrorism can be separated into four groups including 1. terrorist acts committed during armed conflicts; 2. Terrorist acts perpetrated usually on foreign soil by state agents outside the framework of an armed conflict; 3. acts involving the state in the activities of terrorist groups; and 4. internal state terrorism. While state sponsored terrorism appears to be on the decline, terrorism tolerated by the state appears to be on the rise.
Academic research has been on the rise since the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Much of the emphasis has been on preventing future attacks by understanding the rationale of terrorist organizations. Modern terrorism is a termed defined to describe a form of psychological warfare intended to spread fear and anxiety among the target population. The fear is converted to political pressure on those in office to change policies that serve the...

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