How Terrorism Ends: Understanding the Decline and Demise of Terrorist Campaigns
Amid the fear following 9/11 and other recent terror attacks, it is easy to forget the most important fact about terrorist campaigns: they always come to an endand often far more quickly than expected. Contrary to what many assume, when it comes to dealing with terrorism it may be more important to understand how it ends than how it begins. Only by understanding the common ways in which terrorist movements have died out or been eradicated in the past can we hope to figure out how to speed the decline of today's terrorist groups, while avoiding unnecessary fears and costly overreactions. In How Terrorism Ends, Audrey Kurth Cronin examines how terrorist campaigns have met their demise over the past two centuries, and applies these enduring lessons to outline a new strategy against al-Qaeda.
This book answers questions such as: How long do terrorist campaigns last? When does targeting the leadership finish a group? When do negotiations lead to the end? Under what conditions do groups transition to other forms of violence, such as insurgency or civil war? How and when do they succeed or fail, and then disappear? Examining a wide range of historical examplesincluding the anti-tsarist Narodnaya Volya, the Provisional IRA, Peru's Shining Path, Japan's Aum Shinrikyo, and various Palestinian groupsCronin identifies the ways in which almost all terrorist groups die out, including decapitation (catching or killing the leader), negotiation, repression, and implosion.
How Terrorism Ends is the only comprehensive book on its subject and a rarity among all the books on terrorismat once practical, optimistic, rigorous, and historical.
Introduction 1 The Evolution of Terrorism as a Strategic Threat 3 A Word about Scope and Terms 6 The Conceptual Framework 7 Case Selection 8 Overview of Chapters 9
Chapter One: Decapitation: Catching or Killing the Leader 14 What Decapitation Means 16 The Arrest of Top Leaders 17 Abimael Guzmán and Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) 18 Abdullah Öcalan and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party 20 Mickey McKevitt and the Real Irish Republican Army 22 Shoko Asahara and Aum Shinrikyo 23 Assassination or "Targeted Killing" 24 The Philippines’ Abu Sayyaf 27 Russia and Chechen Leaders 28 Israel's "Targeted Killings" 29 How Decapitation Ends Terrorism 31
Chapter Two: Negotiations: Transition toward a Legitimate Political Process 35 Why Governments Negotiate 36 Why Groups Negotiate 39 Case Studies of Negotiations 42 The Northern Ireland Peace Process 42 Analysis of the Agreement 47 The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process 48 Terrorism and the Talks 55 The LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or Tamil Tigers) 57 Analysis of the Failure 61 Promising and Unpromising Circumstances for Negotiations 62 Stalemate 63 Strong Leadership 64 Sponsors 65 Suicide Campaigns 66 Splintering 67 Spoilers 69 Setting and Story 70 How Negotiations End Terrorism 71
Chapter Three: Success: Achieving the Objective 73 What Does "Success" Mean? 74 Survival 75 Achievement of Objectives 77 Perpetuating Terrorism: Tactical or "Process" Goals 77 Ending Terrorism: Strategic or "Outcome" Goals 80 Cases of Success 82 Irgun Zvai Le'umi (Irgun or IZL) 82 The African National Congress and Umkhonto 85 Other Notable Cases 89 How Success Ends Terrorism 91 Conclusions 92
Chapter Four: Failure: Imploding, Provoking a Backlash, or Becoming Marginalized 94 Implosion: Mistakes, Burnout, and Collapse 95 Failure to Pass the Cause to the Next Generation 95 Generational Patterns: Left-Wing Groups in the 1970s 97 Generational Patterns: Right-Wing Groups in the 1990s 98 Infighting and Fractionalization 100 Loss of Operational Control 102 Accepting an Exit 103 Marginalization: Diminishing Popular Support 104 The Ideology Becomes Irrelevant 105 Loss of Contact with "the People" 107 Targeting Errors and Backlash 108 How Failure Ends Terrorism 110
Chapter Five: Repression: Crushing Terrorism with Force 115 Analyzing the Strategies of Terrorism 117 Case Studies of Repression 122 Russia and Narodnaya Volya 123 Peru and Sendero Luminoso 125 Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party 128 Uruguay and the Tupamaros 129 Russia and Chechnya 131 Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood, 1928-1966 137 How Repression Ends Terrorism 141
Chapter Six: Reorientation: Transitioning to Another Modus Operandi 146 Criminality and Terrorism 148 Colombia and the FARC 149 The Philippines and Abu Sayyaf 152 Insurgency and Terrorism 153 Algeria and the GIA 155 Terrorism as a Catalyst for Major War 157 India, Pakistan, and the Kashmiri Separatist Groups 159 Outdated Paradigms, Practical Implications 162 How War Ends Terrorism 166
Chapter Seven: How Al-Qaeda Ends: The Relevance and Irrelevance of History 167 Is Al-Qaeda Unique? 168 Resilient Structure 169 Methods of Radicalization and Recruitment 171 Means of Support 174 Means of Communication 175 The Relevance and Irrelevance of History for Al-Qaeda: Applying the Framework 177 Decapitation: Capturing or Killing the Leaders 177 Negotiations: Talking to Al-Qaeda or Its Associates 179 Success: Achieving Al-Qaeda's Objectives 182 Failure through Implosion 183 Failure through Diminishment of Popular Support 187 Repression: Crushing Al-Qaeda with Force 190 Reorientation: Transitioning to Other Means 191 Al-Qaeda's Decline and Demise 193
Conclusion 197 Understanding How Terrorism Ends 201 Appendix: Statistical Analysis of Terrorist Campaigns 207 Notes 223 Selected Bibliography 283 Index 297