ABSTRACT

Sources of Terrorist Conduct March 2004   [open pdf - 57KB]

In this article, Hutchings draws an analogy between the U.S. strategy for Soviet containment, as identified in the 1947 Foreign Affairs article title "Sources of Soviet Conduct," and the sources of terrorist conduct. He arguest that in today's contemporary security environment that terrorist conduct is today's counterpart to soviet conduct. However, Hutchings did point out several key differences such as; the Soviets behavior was constrained by it being a sovereign state with defined borders, an established populace, recognized government, and official ideology. Terrorism, by contrast, does not operate within boundaries, nor play by any rules of diplomatic conduct. Thus containment is not likely to prove an appropriate strategy for dealing with such an elusive adversary. But neither, I would venture to say, is war a fully adequate concept for addressing terrorism as a long-term strategic challenge. Terror is the tactic, not the adversary itself. To deal with terrorism over the longer term, we have to focus on underlying causes.

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2004-03-19
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