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This project uses a network analytic approach of three types of illicit organizations that generate a wide range of serious crime problems: youth gangs, conventional criminal organizations drug suppliers , and terrorist groups. The project aims to explain the characteristics, rise and decline of criminal organizations, and the recruitment and desistance of their members. In the context of the project, I am in the early stages of work on a book on the Rise and Decline of Terrorist Organizations.

In the s I became interested in the problem of responses to human rights violations and creating a data source that was accessible, reliable and trusted that could be used to evaluate current conditions within nations. The data was then used to evaluate the implementation of the human rights standards for United States development assistance decisions. It has been used quite widely by scholars exploring the implementation of human rights policies around the world. Continuing updating of the scale continues under the direction of Mark Gibney at the University of North Carolina Ashville.

Information on the scale may be found at: Political Terror Scale Click here to download a PDF version You can view a creative visual use of the scales here. Communication Monographs, 72, Over the past five years we have combined our interest in human rights with an exploration of corporate social responsibility. The first publication in this area is Stohl, M. May, G. Cheney, and J. Roper Eds. The second is Stohl, C.

The most recent is Stohl, M.

A Reminder to Our Government That White Supremacist Violence is Terrorism - Full Frontal on TBS

At present, we are collaborating with graduate student Mathew Carlson in an examination of the development of corporate social responsibility and codes of ethics in the Arab world. The failed state is considered "utterly incapable of sustaining itself as a member of the international community" Helman and Ratner, Foreign Policy, and depends on steady streams of foreign assistance. The list of failed states is growing as they impinge on what Chase, Hill and Kennedy Foreign Affairs, referred to as "pivotal states" and their importance as a threat to that region and global security.

Terrorism as war by other means: national security and state support for terrorism. However, this approach is problematic due to the fact that most terrorist organizations are backed or exploited by some states. In this article, I take issue with the non-stateness of terrorist organizations and seek to answer the question of why so many states, at times, support terrorist organizations. I argue that in the face of rising threats to national security in an age of devastating wars, modern nation states tend to provide support to foreign terrorist organizations that work against their present and imminent enemies.

The analyses suggest that, for many states, terror is nothing but war by other means. Keywords: state-sponsored terrorism; national security; war. Introduction Terrorism has been a growing concern of the international community in the post-Cold War years. The rise in casualties resulting from terrorist attacks, the globalization of the reach and network of some terrorist organizations, and the frightening probability of nuclear terrorism have resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of scholarly articles and conferences aimed at shedding light on the causes of terrorism and how to fight against it.

However, this new field of terrorism studies has significant weaknesses, one of which has to do with the very concept of terrorist organization.

The conventional approach in International Relations has been to treat terrorist organizations as "non-state" actors of international relations. However, this approach is becoming problematic due to the fact that most terrorist organizations are backed or exploited by some states. In this article, I seek to study the question of why states at times support terrorist organizations.

I will argue that increasing threats to national security increase states' support for terrorist organizations that work against their "present and imminent enemies.

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It seems that for many states terror is nothing but war by other means. I conclude with an elaboration on the importance of my analysis for effectively fighting against global terror. Terrorism As is the case for many other concepts in social science, there is neither an academic nor a political consensus on how to define terrorism. Surely, there is virtue in scholarly disagreement. But, unlike in many other cases, the disagreement on the definition of terrorism is not just an intellectual matter; rather, it has grave consequences for states' policies toward particular militant or terrorist organizations.

A troubling weakness in the study of "war against" terrorism is that terrorism is typically defined in ways that absolve states both from their own terror-like crimes and from their complicity in terrorists' acts.

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But there are two major problems with this "terrorists as non-state actors" and "terrorism as tool of the powerless" approach. First, some of the relatively concrete definitions of terrorism such as the one adopted in a U. General Assembly report, "any action constitutes terrorism if it is intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a Government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act" 2 , or the one in the U.

Code of Federal Regulations, "the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives" 3 could indeed cover certain acts of states as well, such as the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States WALDRON, , p.

Terrorist organizations have been tools of the "powerful" as much as terrorism has been the tool of the powerless. It would be far-fetched to argue that terrorist organizations are creations of foreign states; however, it would be equally far-fetched to assume that such major terrorist organizations like Hamas, the PKK, or the MEK could have reached more than a fraction of their material capability without the support of foreign states. State support has played a key role in the strength and effectiveness of many terrorist organizations, if not in their birth—which moves us to the next section.

State supporters of terrorism Although all governments have condemned terrorism in rhetoric, many states provided valuable support to terrorist organizations at one time or another. Indeed, most modern terrorist organizations have been backed or at least tolerated by at least one state. Unfortunately, things have not changed much since then. Why have so many terrorist organizations been supported by states in the post-WWII era?

Motives that lead states to support foreign terrorist organizations are many. But a more common state motivation for supporting terrorism is national security. In almost all major cases of state support for terrorism such as Syrian and Greek support for the PKK, Iranian and Iraqi support for Hamas, Iranian support for Hezbollah, Iraqi and American support for the MEK, American support for Cuban CORU, or Pakistani support for several militant and terrorist organizations in Kashmir , the fact that the supported terrorist organization is or was fighting against a threatening enemy state is or was the major reason for these states' support for the given terrorist organizations.

As advancement in military technology has made modern wars extremely costly and devastating, hence almost "unthinkable," all-out wars between established states with comparable powers are nearly "a thing of the past" KALDOR, , 5; see also KEEGAN, , A conventional war between Turkey and Greece, Israel and Iran, Pakistan and India, or Colombia and Venezuela will bring to both parties of the conflict enormous devastation, regardless of who wins the war eventually.

In such a context, terrorist organizations have provided many states a less costly alternative to direct confrontation with the enemy in both economic and political terms. Indeed, as early as , the then U. Deputy Secretary of State, John C. Whitehead was most probably right, except that terrorism and terror organizations are used not just " against the West and its friends" but " by the West and its friends" as well. For the state supporters of terrorist organizations, these organizations have not only been less expensive mercenaries, but they have also allowed a degree of "plausible deniability.

States supporting foreign terrorist organizations against their enemies avoid direct responsibility for the violent acts of their "agents," thereby lessening the chances of retaliation from the enemy. Additionally, given the clandestine nature of the support, the domestic cost is likely to be less than that of an open coercive operation in case of failure STOHL, , In the remainder of this section, I analyze three cases of state support for terrorist organizations that target an "enemy state.

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Hamas has been targeting Israeli civilians since Hamas militants have carried out dozens of suicide bombings in Israeli property as well as in occupied Palestinian territories, claiming hundreds of lives. Since , the group has also been firing Qassam rockets into Israel, in a campaign that has not been very fatal but has nevertheless terrorized Israeli citizens in southern Israel. Hamas has been listed as a terrorist organization by the U. Hamas is certainly not the most militant group in Palestine, but it is the most influential because of its size, social network, and popular support ROY, Both militant and non-militant Palestinian groups have received significant economic and political support from almost all Muslim parties to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Currently, Iran is a major supporter of Hamas' official non-conciliatory stance on Israeli-Palestinian peace process even at times more so than Hamas itself. Iran also has provided valuable economic support to the organization through various channels. Ideology, religion, geo-strategy, and national security are among potential motivations.

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Notwithstanding what the Islamic Republic's persistent anti-American and anti-Israeli rhetoric might prima facie suggest, an overall assessment of the post-revolution Iranian foreign policy and some Iranian overtures in the last decade suggest that Iranian support to Hamas is more about geopolitics and security than ideology and religion. The more we dig under the surface, the less we find of fundamentalism and more of pragmatic—even opportunistic—populism," asserts Ervand Abrahamian, one of the leading experts on modern Iranian politics , 4.

The historical rivalry between the two sects of Islam is well-known. When we consider the traditional prudence in Iranian foreign policy and the religious rift between Hamas and the Iranian regime, two major geo-strategic and security motives stand out behind Iranian support for Hamas. Standing up for the Palestinians has been a sine qua non for any major Muslim country in the Middle East with aspirations of regional leadership.

Supporting this security-driven approach, Iran made conditional offers to Israel and the U. In return, Iran asked the U. The PKK and its wings sporadically fought against Iran and rival Kurdish groups in northern Iraq, but its main target has been the Turkish state and military. The PKK also ruthlessly targeted hundreds of Turkish civilians as well as hundreds of unsupportive Kurdish civilians. Along with Turkey, about two dozen countries and organizations, including the U.

Mainly due to mutual historical grievances, the Turkish Republic did not enjoy friendly relations with any of its neighbors until recently. Turkish-Syrian relations have been particularly strenuous, making both countries perceive one another as enemies and threats during most of the 20 th century. Two major elements of the enmity between Syria and Turkey have been Syrian irredentist claims over Alexandretta Hatay , which joined Turkey in , and disputes over sharing the waters of the Euphrates River, in which Turkey is the upstream country.

Like all other states in Turkey's vicinity that had an interest or a stake in weakening or destabilizing Turkey, Syria provided valuable support to the Kurdish militants fighting against the Turkish state. Syrian support for the PKK increased as the Turkish threat to Syria escalated on two fronts during the s and s; Turkey's massive dam projects on the Euphrates River and Turkey's increasing partnership with Israel posed serious threats to its already water-scarce southern neighbor, who had an inimical relationship with Israel.

Syrian support for the PKK was mainly driven by the "enemy-of-my-enemy" mentality, using the PKK militants as a tool to weaken Turkey and as a counter-balancing "bargaining chip" against Turkey's "water weapon. There was neither an ideological nor a moral reason for Syria to support the PKK.

Syria was itself a minority-dominated autocracy. More importantly, Syria has its own Kurdish minority, and supporting Kurdish rights has never been high on the Syrian agenda, as was evident in the comparable suppression of Kurdish civil, cultural, and political rights within the country BRANDON, Turkey's downgrading its strategic partnership with Israel and adopting a policy that sought a subtle balance between Israel and the Arab world since the "post-Islamist" AKP assumed power in late made Turkey even dearer and more reliable in Damascus' eyes.

The MEK targeted and killed dozens of military and political figures as well as civilians during the Shah era. Although, since they were joint dissidents of the Shah regime, the MEK members and Ayatollah Khomeini's followers joined forces during the Shah era, the MEK along with other leftist groups such as the communist Tudeh Party found itself sidelined by the Khomeini regime after the revolution.

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As a result, since the early s the group has opposed and targeted the Islamic regime in Iran using similar violent methods it had used during the Shah era. The U. In a address to the U. General Assembly, former U. Email or Customer ID. Forgot password? Old Password. New Password. Password Changed Successfully Your password has been changed.

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