Thursday, June 28, 2012

Terrorism is counter productive


Interesting read on why terrorism is not effective.  I was struck by the lack of research on the effects of terrorism which is in contrast to the tomes written about it's root causes.

http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/isec.2006.31.2.42

Summary quote: "Groups whose attacks on civilian targets outnumbered attacks on military targets systematically failed to achieve their policy objectives, regardless of their nature. These findings suggest that (1) terrorist groups rarely achieve their policy objectives, and (2) the poor success rate is inherent to the tactic of terrorism itself. Together, the data challenge the dominant scholarly opinion that terrorism is strategically rational behavior. The bulk of the article develops a theory to explain why terrorist groups are unable to achieve their policy objectives by targeting civilians."