1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Terrorism is not a new phenomenon it has long been a method of violent action by organizations and individuals attempting to achieve political goals. Indeed, terrorism is not an end but rather a modus operandi. According to Bruce Hoffman, all terrorists share one common denominator: they “live” in the future and are convinced that they will defeat their enemies and achieve their political goals. The questions on how we can have a secured and terror free world have been a recurring one with little answers. The threat of terrorism has steadily increased over the last 30 years. With advances in technology, Terrorist acts have come much more destructive and the perpetrators of those acts have become more elusive. Maintaining a secured world has been a difficult task especially in this era of globalisation.
Looking at the security side of the globalization analysis, security became so complex and multi-dimensional, traditional national border-setting type of security perception is not capable of recognizing new threats that transcend the national borders. In this context, international terrorism became one of the main concerns with its highly complicated characteristics. Thus, globalized world has to face an immediate threat: international terrorism. This problem has been recognized not only by one nation, but also in the era of globalization when the nations became much more connected and interdependent, it became a threat to international security.
The dynamic nature of terrorism further exacerbates the threat terrorist pose to security officials. Even if they achieve success in foiling terrorist plots, security agencies cannot rest on their accomplishments as terrorist organizations constantly change their tactics, organizational structure, and even their tactical objectives. As such, terrorist groups and those who work to counter them are constantly competing strategically in an attempt to stay one step ahead of each other, whether via new technologies or operational tactics. In this manner, the phenomenon of terrorism has evolved over the years, with each stage emerging more dangerous and lethal than the preceding stage. Some few states have witnessed terrorist threats since many years. Nevertheless, though these states have already known the pains of terrorism, it became more a concern of many other states with September 11, 2001 (9/11) terrorist attacks in the United States. This a turning point for all the nations to see the threat of terrorism. The September 11 attacks represented a new reality in international terrorism. The world community, in the wake of these attacks, found itself seemingly in unprecedented peril. The face of international terrorism had changed. But the phenomenon of global jihad terrorism has roots and ramifications that reach back several years. Before 9/11, it was convenient for many states and world leaders to turn a blind eye to the unfolding threat, as long as they were not its direct victims or its central focus. Indeed, the radical Islamic movement originally focused not on attacking western targets, but on conquering the hearts and minds of Muslim communities all over the world through educational, religious, and welfare activities, known as “dawah” activities. These activities were based on the dogmatic radical perspectives of the movement, which praised the use of violence in “defence of Islam.” Still, in most cases, the principle remained theoretical, and the call to violence never manifested itself as a concrete act of violent terrorist activity. This made it possible – and even convenient – for world leaders to underestimate the threat. The death of nearly 3,000 civilians, the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings, and the destruction of parts of the Pentagon building on September 11th, forced the international community and especially the American people and US administration – to acknowledge the imminent threat of terrorism. Since then, members of the global jihadist network have not hesitated to utilize a method of modern terrorism that has proved more effective than any other, namely, suicide attacks. Almost a new awareness has started, because everybody saw its damages while a lot of people have died or injured, and unfortunately while terrorist declared their success. Terrorism became the main topic on the top agenda for many nations and institutions. Today, global terror is a giant problem for all humanity. We are used to think security in terms of military threats and arising beyond the borders of one’s own country. Traditionally national security is understood as “the acquisition, deployment and use of military force to achieve national goals. Since the September 11 attack, nations saw that it is of great importance for countries to cooperate and share information as regarding to security and tackle the spontaneous threat posed by terrorists.
Terrorism is not a new phenomenon in human experience; it is characterized by the use of violence against civilians and military personnel with the expressed desire of causing terror or panic in the population. Terrorism is not unique to the 21st century. Terrorism existed in 18th century revolutionary France during the reign of terror, as well as among the Zealots of Palestine in opposition to Roman rule some 2000 years ago. Today, terrorist activity can be found in so many countries of the world. Terrorism is the universally recognised crime, a crime which at a moment notice can reach every facet of our lives and at times it can dominate our existence. In the past the first image that came to mind when one spoke about terrorism was that of the persistent Arab – Israeli conflict, today it is entirely different. Every day we read, see or hear about the death and destruction caused by terrorist, if it is not about Al-Qaida bombing in Pakistan it’s the Taliban bombing and kidnapping in Afghanistan or the mass and ruthless killings by Isis in Iraq and Syria and also the destructive nature of boko-haram in Nigeria. We can go on and on listing terrorist group and their violent nature. Today terrorism has changed as it is now becoming more organised and sophisticated and only few parts of the world have remained untouched by the current wave of terrorism in the 21st century.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Terrorism has been a major threat to international security and world peace. The international community under the auspices of various international organisations like the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), African union (AU) etc have all developed various strategies for the maintenance of security and peace in the world. One of the strategies is the concept of international security. International security consists of the measures taken by nations and international organisations such as the United Nations (UN) to ensure mutual survival and safety. These measures include military actions and diplomatic agreement such as the treaties and conventions. Looking at the world today, can the concept of international security be said to be effective? The measures taken by nations to ensure mutual safety and survival have it in any way helped to curb terrorism and its acts in any part of the world. Talking of terrorism, we ask how it is different from other kind of political violence. Why exactly is it wrong? Why is war often thought capable of being justified? On what ground should we judge when the use of violence is morally acceptable? Why do people resort to terrorism for the achievement of their goals in the 21st century? International security and global terrorism in the 21st century offers a critical assessment of international security with terrorism (global terrorism) as the focus of much of this work.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The general purpose of this study is:
i. To explore the various methods the international community through various international organisations are applying in the fight against terrorism in the globe.
ii. To analyze how these methods being applied by the international community have to a large extent curbed or reduced the threat to world peace posed by terrorism.
iii. To explain why individuals see terrorism as the channel through which their goals could be achieved.
iv. To understand the effect of terrorism on the globe and how it has changed the world in the 21st century.
v. To establish some similarities between terrorist acts and war fought by nations.
vi. To proffer solutions that would prevent terrorism, eradicate terrorism and solutions that would help in maintaining international security.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The concern of this study is basically about global terrorism, its causes, its effect and how it has changed policies and politics of the world in the 21st century. The research focuses on the international community, how they have contributed and how they are contributing their resources to fight and put an end to global terrorism. The steps to be taken by the international community under the aegis of the united nations (UN) to combat terrorism and its rise in the 21st century.
1.5 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
There are some limitation this data may have and the problems that could arise if this limitations are ignored. The verification of existing data is difficult, secondary data can be general and vague and sometimes it may cause difficulties in decision making. It is possible that the data could be outdated and the sample used to generate secondary data may be small. The source of data may not be reputable. While keeping in mind the limitation of this research, I will use data for my research from reputable academic websites and published literature.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Making the world a peaceful, secured and stable environment is a mission that requires all the effort and contribution of all states in the world. This study is therefore part of this effort to make the global arena a secured, peaceful and terror free world. This study will also contribute to the body of knowledge in ensuring security and peace in the world. Highlighting the roles countries and international organisation are to play in maintaining a secured and terror free world. The findings of this research will also assist various states, international organisation, security outfits, intelligence agencies etc, in making sure that the world is secured and free from the destructive nature of terrorism. In addition this work would impact much knowledge to students of political science, more especially those who are aiming at occupying the post of the president, governor, director of intelligence agencies etc. This work would guide them in various ways they can maintain security and gather intelligence to ensure a peaceful and terror free world.
The methodology of this research follows the qualitative approach of research and the evaluation is based on textbooks, journals, newspapers, magazines, online publications and articles from eminent scholars. It involves critical analysis cum normative judgement guided by the personal experience of the researcher in relation to terrorism. This is in order to find out how international security can curb the rising rate of global terrorism in the 21st century.
1.8 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
Understanding the motivations and causes of terrorism helps to frame a comprehensive counterterrorism strategy. Terrorists are not a homogeneous group. Their roots are diverse, not being the same from place to place. Some see themselves as legitimate geopolitical actors, while others are nothing more than gangs or thrill-kill cults. The history of theoretical effort at understanding terrorism comes from the subfield of collective violence in the field of political science, it can be safely said that political science pretty much had a monopoly over theories of terrorism, followed perhaps by other disciplines especially disciplines found in social sciences.
To analyze global terrorism in the 21st century, a good theoretical framework should be drawn up to achieve this task. Therefore, to do justice to international security and global terrorism, we have chosen the rational choice theory as possessing sufficient viability and explanatory powers. Rational choice theory, in particular, has found a place in criminology, and holds that people will engage in crime after weighing the costs and benefits of their actions to arrive at a rational choice about motivation after perceiving that the chances of gain outweigh any possible punishment or loss. Criminals must come to believe their actions will be beneficial -- to themselves, their community, or society -- AND they must come to see that crime pays or is at least a risk-free way to better their situation. Perhaps the most well-known version of this idea in criminology is routine activities theory (Cohen and Felson 1979), which postulates that three conditions must be present in order for a crime to occur: suitable targets or victims who put themselves at risk; the absence of capable guardians or police presence; and motivated offenders or a pool of the unemployed and alienated. Modern history has seen the rise of terrorist organizations, diverse in their political objectives and geographic origins.
All these terrorist organizations, however, share one, unifying variable – their reliance on the use of violence against civilians to achieve their goals. The decision to embrace terrorism as their preferred modus operandi is the outcome of a rational decision-making process, based on a cost–benefit analysis that leaves terrorism outweighing any other alternative. The decision to conduct a terrorist act does not necessarily mean that the perpetrators are “abnormal” or that they suffer from severe personality disorders. Rather, a rational calculation of the costs and benefits leads them to adopt the modus operandi, which they perceive as being the most effective method to achieve their political objectives and make a mark in their theatre of operations. Rational choice theory, in political science, follows a similar line, and holds that people can be collectively rational, even when making what appears to be irrational decisions for them as individuals, after perceiving that their participation is important and their personal contribution to the public good outweighs any concerns they may have for the "free rider" problem (Muller and Opp 1986). For those unfamiliar with it, the "free rider" problem is a classic paradox in social science and economics which asks why anybody should do something for the public good when most likely someone else will get credit for it and most everybody else will benefit merely by sitting idly and doing nothing. Perhaps the most eloquent spokesperson for rational choice ideas in the field of terrorism is Wesleyan professor Martha Crenshaw (1998), whose writings inform my remarks below.
Let's take, for example, a typical terrorist event that involves hostage-taking and all-too-frequent hostage-killing. From an individualist rational point of view, the best choice would be to keep at least some of the hostages alive in order to bargain with the government for leniency. Yet, often a collectivist rational mentality sets in, and the group choice (or groupthink) is to kill all the hostages. Is this killing senseless, the product of deranged minds, or an example of mob behaviour? The answer is NO on all points from a rational choice point of view. It may be a reasonable and calculated response to circumstances. It may involve a collective judgment about the most efficient course of action that has the most lasting impact on observers (for social learning purposes). And most importantly, the senselessness of it all may be just what the group needs to make their ideological point that they are terrorists, not just ordinary criminals. Factors that influence the rational choice of terrorism include place, size, time, and the climate of international opinion. A terrorist plot in a democratic society is less likely to involve senseless violence than a scheme hatched under an authoritarian regime because under the latter, terrorists realize they have nothing to lose with the expected repercussions.
Size is important because a small elite group is more likely to resort to terrorism when the population is passive. This means that more senseless acts of violence may occur in a stable society rather than one on the verge of collapse. Time constraints are important because the terrorist group may be competing with other groups or attempting to manage a tit-for-tat strategy with counterterrorism. The climate of international opinion, if low for the problems of the host country, may force the terrorists to take action that risks a repressive counterterrorist reaction, in hopes that their suffering will capture public attention. In short, terrorism is an excellent tool for managing the political agenda on a world stage.
1) International security as the sole responsibilities of states, through information sharing and diplomatic agreements.
2) The fight against terrorism should be taken as a collective action by states using the United Nations as a body to understand such actions.
3) Using all available technology to track down terrorist and sharing of information and such technologies between states in order to assist countries with low technological knowledge.
1.10 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Security: security can be defined as the freedom from danger, fear and risk and measures or precautions taken to guide against crime, sabotage and murder.
International security: International security consists of the measures taken by nations and international organizations, such as the United Nations, to ensure mutual survival and safety in the world. These measures include military action and diplomatic agreements such as treaties and conventions.
Terror: something that causes very strong feelings of fear. It can also be seen as a violence that is committed by a person, group or government in order to frighten people and achieve political goal.
Terrorist: An individual who uses violence, terror, and intimidation to achieve a result.
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