TERRORISM HAS BEEN LARGELY CONTAINED BY POLICIES AND POLITICAL REALITIES
THE WEST HAS BEEN FAIRLY SUCCESSFUL AT CONTAINING TERRORIST THREATS
Samuel Huntington, chairman of the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, January 28, 2001 BANGKOK POST HEADLINE: GLOBAL VIEWPOINT: Another new world order in the making//VT2002acsln
HUNTINGTON: Yes, we have to take this seriously. So far, though, the West has done reasonably well containing terrorist threats. A year ago, Osama bin Laden had a very elaborate plan to cause trouble in various places across the planet. But he was mainly stopped. The high level of vigilance in the West against this threat seems to have paid off. For now, the main threat still seems to come from political Islamists. But terrorism is the weapon of the weak. So, undoubtedly other groups will emerge in the future.
TERRORISTS AVOID WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION BECAUSE HIGH BODY COUNTS DESTROY POPULAR SUPPORT
Richard Falkenrath, Robert Newman and Bradley Thayer, Director of Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Arms Control Specialist, Visiting Assistant Professor of Government at Dartmouth, 98 (America's Achilles' Heel: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Terrorism and Covert Action, p.49-51
Groups that knowingly kill large numbers of innocents are likely to be perceived as crazed mass murderers, not the righteous crusaders that traditional terrorists present themselves to be. National separatist movements, for example, must avoid actions that permanently alienate international opinion, since their ultimate objective is to create a state with respect and standing in the international community, and not to bring the wrath of the larger community down upon their ethnic brethren. Likewise, ideological groups at the margins of society that hope to stimulate the dormant revolutionary impulses of 'the people" must avoid shedding so much blood as to permanently destroy whatever popular support they may have. Political goals tend not to be achieved through measures that intensify existing opposition and erode latent support.
This interpretation of political terrorism is fairly widespread in the literature." Among modern analysts, Brian Jenkins has had considerable influence with his analysis of terrorism as a strategic and political phenomenon. He writes that 'terrorists fear alienating the perceived constituents on whose behalf they claim to fight." Jenkins also penned the oft-cited summation: 'Terrorists want a lot of people watching, not a lot of people dead."