Transcript of "Ppt 12 effectiveness of asymmetrical conflict al qaeda"
Crisis diplomacy International cooperation Asymmetrical conflict Utility of violence
Negotiations between actors in the global political arena in response to a crises, most commonly concerning conflicts and natural disasters, but also economic and health crises.
When global actors work together to achieve common goals. e.g. the EU, ECB and IMF lending funds to Greece in 2010 and 2012 to prevent it defaulting on its loans and triggering a financial crisis.
Violence used as a means of achieving one’s political objectives, commonly witness in global politics through inter state war. Traditionally perceived as an instrument of state power, violence and threatened acts of violence are increasingly used by terrorists groups as a means of achieving their objectives.
Most commonly used in regards to development policies, sustainability seeks to organise states and their economies so that currents needs are meet while not jeopardising meeting the needs of future generations.
The causes Responses and proposed solutions by key global actors Challenges to effective solutions Effectiveness of asymmetrical conflict in achieving a group’s objectives
Asymmetrical warfare is a violent struggle in which the two belligerents are mismatched in terms of their military capabilities e.g. the Taliban and the USA. In asymmetrical conflict the weaker power serves to exploit the weaknesses of the stronger power – often its civilians.
Weak forces utilize surprise, technology, innovative tactics, or what some might consider violations of military etiquette to challenge the strong (usually by targeting civilian populations). Terrorism is a global crises – turn of the 20th century there were 8 deaths of military personal for every civilian death. Now that figure has been reversed.
The war on terror has cost the United States some $1 trillion and al-Qeada remains a global threat.
A critical component to the execution of the attacks on September 11 (and other Al Qaeda bombings) was the ability of Al Qaeda to find individuals willing to die for their cause. Bin Laden very clearly understood the military disadvantage of al Qaeda and his followers; for that reason, he turned to a very common tactic in terrorist ventures: suicide bombing.
The 9/11 attacks cost al Qaeda between $400,000 and $500,000, “while America lost – according to the lowest estimate – more than $500 billion” ( a return rate of 400,000 to 1.)
In fact, there are various reasons why suicide missions are an appealing form of attack: Terrorists have become increasingly attracted to suicide attacks because of their unique tactical advantages compared to those of more conventional terrorist operations. Suicide tactics are devastatingly effective, lethally efficient, have a greater likelihood of success, and are relatively inexpensive and generally easier to execute than other attack modes. The terrorist decision to employ this tactic…is an entirely rational and calculated choice, consciously embraced as a deliberate instrument of warfare (Hoffman, 132).
For al Qaeda, suicide terrorism became a tactic that allowed them to successfully create devastation against an enemy with far superior weaponry, military organization, and resources. By including western civilians in their victims, al Qaeda’s strategies also attacked the psychology of the western people. This unconventional version of warfare and unfamiliar ideal of suicide posed a direct threat to the everyday person, generating thoughts and feelings of fear and vulnerability among the democratic populations.
The availability of suicide agents have expanded the strategies available to al Qaeda in terms of the types of attacks they can conduct as well as the targets they can hit. Although they are crucial to the cause, the suicide bombers do not need to be well trained to carry out their missions, and the fact that “suicide bombers don’t need to be sophisticated is precisely what makes them so dangerous”
Qaeda’s suicide bombers allow them to use “aircraft as human missiles (as in the 9/11 attacks) or boats as human torpedoes (as in the 2000 attack on the USS Cole), and other bombs or using pedestrians, connected to a manual or remote control). These capabilities allow al Qaeda to select their targets on a symbolic basis; as there is no need for an escape plan, they simply need to determine a means of successfully reaching a target in order to succeed in their attacks.
Terrorism combines surprise and shock to amplify effect and demoralize the broader public. It is asymmetric as it it "attacks vulnerabilities not appreciated by the target.” The U.S. government remains ill-prepared to counter such surprise. Most U.S. strategic planning with regard to terrorism focuses on replication of past activities.
This means when Al Qaeda develops a new technique, target or weapon – as in the new bombs which can pass through air security detectors designed to pick up metal, Al Qaeda has a significant advantage.
While a few exercises had considered the possibility of hijacked aircraft used as weapons, these were exceptions. Indeed, the US Defense Department cancelled one drill simulating a hijacked plane crash into the Pentagon because the scenario seemed too far-fetched.
The United States, despite increased security, remains vulnerable. In Russia, we have seen terrorist attacks at apartment buildings, schools, hospitals, subways, passenger trains, busy streets, shopping malls, a rock concert, a theater. In Israel, terrorists have carried out suicide bombings on buses, at restaurants, shopping malls, and hotels; in Madrid, on commuter trains. The reality is that these are vulnerable targets in the United States as well.
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