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NCJ Number: 99073 Find in a Library
Title: Terrorism and the Modern World
Journal: Terrorism  Volume:7  Issue:4  Dated:(1985)  Pages:431-447
Author(s): G P Shultz
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 17
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the meaning of terrorism, the moral confusion surrounding the understanding of terrorism, the United States' role in combating it, and the requirements of an active strategy for dealing with it.
Abstract: Terrorism is a form of purposeful political violence. Its goals include separatist causes, ethnic grievances, and social and political revolution. Its methods include suicide bombings, kidnapping, and assassination. Because the moral bases of democracy (e.g., individual rights, freedom of thought and expression) are powerful barriers against those who seek to impose ideologies or religious beliefs on others by force, the United States and other democracies are prime targets of terrorist activities. The stakes in the war against terrorist violence are high, not only in terms of the cost in lives, but in its threats to the principles and values of modern civilization. Because terrorism is clandestine and psychopathic, democracies relying on openness, reason, and persuasive logic face obstacles in combating it. A greater obstacle has been the moral confusion about the significance of terrorist goals versus their means of achievement. While terrorist goals may or may not be legitimate, the use of violence can never be. Further, terrorist incidents have been accompanied by self-condemnations and calls for changes in the United States' policies and principles. Yet, these are not at fault. The United States has a special responsibility to meet the threat of terrorism with active strategies for prevention, preemption, and retaliation. Such strategies will require a strengthening of intelligence capabilities, a determination to defend the values of civilization with force if necessary, and understanding and support by the public of government efforts to combat terrorism.
Index Term(s): Crime control policies; Domestic terrorism; International cooperation; Policy analysis
Note: Address given at the Park Avenue Synagogue, New York, on October 25, 1984.
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