Terrorism and Deterrence

In the past two decades, an understanding has developed in the United States not only that an active foreign policy and large-scale military preparations are essential to the preservation of our interests, but also that security can be achieved in a great variety of ways. Indeed, since the war, we have sought increasingly to attain a measure of safety without resorting to violence on a universal scale; and as a consequence, we have begun to develop what is commonly known as a policy of deterrence. Until very recently, however, this policy was primarily concerned with two significant contingencies: an assault upon Western Europe and an attack upon the United States itself. The main instruments of deterrence that we developed for these contingencies were the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Strategic Air Command armed with nuclear weapons.One would tend to ask if these terrorist organizations could somehow get access to nuclear weapons and if they would be deterred from using them. Another question would be if the atomic weapons states could be having different strategic deterrence relationships amongst each other and concerning non-nuclear states since there have been major terrorist attacks in recent years. The last question would be if the nuclear weapons somehow deter acts of non-nuclear terrorism. There have been striking global developments that are majorly concerning demography and migration, science and technology that presage significant economic and political affiliations to a point beyond  which has been experienced in recent decades. A transtional change generally results to anxiety which is a major catalyst for propagating fear and offering an unforseen opportunity. Terrorism could result a residual category fueled by more fundamental and global dynamics. We know this because it’s happened before; terrorists can bomb and murder their way into high politics for a short time, but terrorist cults cannot readily institutionalize themselves, and so soon fade away. To call these times age of terrorism is, therefore, a significant category error.

After the 9/11 attacks,the then American  President George W. Bush brought forward a new American security strategy to prevent terrorists and dangerous regimes from developing, acquiring or using weapons of mass destruction. The new policy, called the Bush Doctrine, also pushed for the expansion of democracy in Middle East Muslim countries and elsewhere in the world. When the Cold War was nearing to an end, Iraq (which was led by dictator Saddam Hussein) invaded Kuwait to acquire oil. The United Nations Security Council permitted the use of force against Iraq, as long as they withdrew its troops from Kuwait by 15th January 1991. The United States formed a collaboration comprising of its NATO allies and other nations including several Arab countries. On 16th January , the alliance,which was led by American troops, begun driving Iraq out of Kuwait. When the Gulf War ended, President George H. W. Bush (the father of the current president) decided to contain Iraq’s potential military threat. He did this by stationing American military forces in neighboring countries. The U.N. Security Council issued resolutions calling for Iraq to disarm by ridding itself of weapons of mass destruction, and it sent weapons inspectors into Iraq.Terrorists are normally individuals who actually feel unable to negotiate their enemies in direct confrontations and who would rather use violence,  the threat of violence against innocent noncombatants with an objective of gaining in their political agendas. People would view terrorists as libeators and freedom fighters but who is or is not a terrorist and what may or may not be acts of terrorism depend primarily on the perspective of the person or group using these terms.






Does Nuclear Deterrence Apply in the Age of Terrorism?


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