Wednesday, July 30, 2008

How Terrorist Groups End -- The Rand Report And A Collection Of Comments And Opinions On Its Conclusions

From The Rand Corporation:

How Terrorist Groups End -- Lessons for Countering al Qa'ida
By: Seth G. Jones, Martin C. Libicki

All terrorist groups eventually end. But how do they end? The evidence since 1968 indicates that most groups have ended because (1) they joined the political process (43 percent) or (2) local police and intelligence agencies arrested or killed key members (40 percent). Military force has rarely been the primary reason for the end of terrorist groups, and few groups within this time frame have achieved victory.
This has significant implications for dealing with al Qa'ida and suggests fundamentally rethinking post-9/11 U.S. counterterrorism strategy: Policymakers need to understand where to prioritize their efforts with limited resources and attention. The authors report that religious terrorist groups take longer to eliminate than other groups and rarely achieve their objectives. The largest groups achieve their goals more often and last longer than the smallest ones do. Finally, groups from upper-income countries are more likely to be left-wing or nationalist and less likely to have religion as their motivation. The authors conclude that policing and intelligence, rather than military force, should form the backbone of U.S. efforts against al Qa'ida. And U.S. policymakers should end the use of the phrase “war on terrorism” since there is no battlefield solution to defeating al Qa'ida.

Read more ....

Free, downloadable PDF file(s) are available below.
Full Document
(File size 3.1 MB, 13 minutes modem, 2 minutes broadband)

Download PDF Summary Only
(File size 0.1 MB)

Chapter One: Introduction

Chapter Two: How Terrorist Groups End

Chapter Three: Policing and Japan's Aum Shinrikyo

Chapter Four: Politics and the FMLN in El Salvador

Chapter Five: Military Force and al Qa'ida in Iraq

Chapter Six: The Limits of America's al Qa'ida Strategy

Chapter Seven: Ending the “War” on Terrorism

Appendix A: End-of-Terror Data Set

Appendix B: Al Qa'ida Attacks, 1994–2007

Appendix C: Regression Analysis



New Rand Report on Terrorism: Reminders of Reagan Administration -- Counter Terrorism Blog
Countering al Qaeda, a must-read for Pakistan -- Reuters
On Al Qaeda, Good News and Bad News -- New York Times
War on Terror Out; Counterterrorism In -- Wired News
How Does Terrrorism End? -- The Atlantic
In Fighting al Qaeda, Bush's "Global War on Terrorism" Is Off Target -- U.S. News And World Report
Strategy Against Al-Qaeda Faulted -- Washington Post
New strategy 'can beat al-Qaeda' -- BBC News
Ending the Global War on Terror -- TPM
Paul Cruickshank at UN Dispatch Says the Following

My Comment:The report is rather long .... over 200 pages .... I have read part of it and I find it quite eye opening. Chapter Six: The Limits of America's al Qa'ida Strategy and Chapter Seven: Ending the “War” on Terrorism are the two chapters that are a "must read".

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