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The War on Terror: The Ineffective Use of Violence in Isolation as a Method

of Countering Terrorism

Esther Hoffman
Global Perspectives
Mr. Babcock
May 15, 2017
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Table of Contents

Preface----------------------------------------------------- 2
Summary of Research Methods------------------------ 5
Significance----------------------------------------------- 6
Background------------------------------------------------ 9
Expert----------------------------------------------------- 13
Role of Control------------------------------------------- 16
Logic of Evil---------------------------------------------- 18
Role of Politics------------------------------------------- 22
Case Studies----------------------------------------------- 27
Nigeria----------------------------------------- 27
Afghanistan------------------------------------ 33
Philippines------------------------------------- 38
International Organizations---------------------------- 42
Canadian Connection------------------------------------ 48
Solutions-------------------------------------------------- 52
Conclusion------------------------------------------------ 57
Appendix-------------------------------------------------- 59
Bibliography---------------------------------------------- 61
Work Cited------------------------------------------------ 71
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A person consists of his or her morals, beliefs and ideologies. When multiple people with
similar views band together, they form a community. When a community forces its fundamental
beliefs on others using illegal methods of violence in order to further its political aims, it becomes
a terrorist group. These groups create chaos within a country and across borders. They cause harm
to citizens and destroy nations in the battle to gain control and dominate. Throughout history,
governments have devised plans to eradicate terrorist groups, which usually involve violence. It is
often found that when governments attack terrorists, they cause a surge in terrorist activity, damage
the basic human rights of civilians, and use excessive safety measures that violate the right to
privacy. The current war on terror is ineffective and needs immediate revision to eliminate terrorist
groups around the world.

Terrorism is not just made up of the people who represent it, but rather of an ideology that
grows over years and becomes much harder to extinguish. To truly understand why using violence
to counter terror is unproductive, there are many factors that need to be taken into account. The
logic motivating terrorist groups is the deeper meaning that fuels their aggressive actions.
Understanding this logic will help in solving the issue with non-violent methods. The current
methods used in countries experiencing frequent terrorist attacks have been unsuccessful. A review
of some international organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union will
uncover their methods of fighting terrorism and allow for an evaluation of these methods. They
will show that there is no simple solution to the problem of terrorism.

Understanding ineffective methods of countering terror is very significant because if

terrorism is not dealt with, it will only increase. Many Islamist terrorist groups want to create one
Islamic state that abides by Sharia Law. This set of rules, as interpreted by fundamentalist groups,
is not in the best interest of everyone globally. Even though this paper focuses mainly on Islamic
terrorism, it is understood that terrorism is not linked to one religion or ideology.

The War on Terror increased significantly in intensity after 9/11 when the President of the
United States, George W. Bush, announced a global attack on terror. However, the War on Terror
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did not truly start on 9/11: there was a buildup of resentment between countries such as Iran and
the United States due to the trading of oil and over the United States foreign policy. Bush and past
presidents have used foreign policy ideologies like the Monroe and Truman doctrines to involve
themselves in other countries foreign policies. Over time, the fear of terrorism has rapidly
increased and currently it plays an important role in todays politics.

There are two types of terrorism: domestic and international. Domestic terrorism is when
an extremist group commits acts of terror in its own country against its fellow citizens. They often
do not have global political goals. On the other hand, international terrorism in when a terrorist
group commits acts of violence in a foreign country. They often have political goals that extend
globally. This paper will examine both domestic and international terrorism to achieve a better
understanding of the issue.

This paper will also consider the opinions of Robert Imre, a senior lecturer at the University
of Newcastle. His vast knowledge of politics has framed the way he looks at terrorism, the use of
violence to combat it, and some non-violent methods of countering it.

Three main groups are involved in the War on Terror; the first two being the terrorist groups
and the governments. In these situations, it is important that governments maintain control over
terrorists, without abusing their power, because there are dangerous consequences to extremist
actions. The third media also plays a large role in the war on terror since it can spread awareness
of issues to other countries.

The deeper meaning of terrorism, the logical reasons terrorists use political violence and,
in some cases, how religion acts as motivation and justification will be explored. Additionally, it
will look at the logical reasons behind the use of violence to counter terrorism and how fear and
the need for power plays an important role.

Next, it will delve into the role politics plays in the War on Terror. Since this endeavour is
heavily based on political gains, politics plays an important role in many ways. There is a large
amount of government involvement because one of terrorists main goals is to control territory and
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rule. The media is involved because they can define how society sees the issues. Human rights are
often violated during the war between terrorists and governments because many terrorist groups
do not adhere to basic rights. Governments may also violate their citizens right to privacy because
they are constantly worried about local terrorists. Terrorism and politics go hand in hand; there is
not one without the other.

This paper will then look at three different case studies. It will consider how Nigeria has
dealt with the Boko Haram and whether their attempts were successful. Next, it will look at
Afghanistan and whether the Afghan government, as well as foreign military forces have made a
beneficial impact in fighting the Taliban. Lastly, it will consider how the Philippines has used
negotiations more recently to combat a local terrorist group, the New Peoples Army and how it
has dealt with Abu Sayyaf Group.

The contributions of international organizations like the United Nations and the European
Union will be considered. This paper will explore how their counter-terrorism strategies are
favourable while there are some complications they both come across in the battle.

Serving as a fourth case study, Canadas contributions to the war on terror will be
examined. This paper will look at how in the past and the present Canada has made some mistakes
in the war on terror, but is now trying new methods that are more likely to result in a positive

Finally, some non-violent solutions to the problem of terrorism will be proposed. Changing
the strategy, the way countries are operated, and counter-terrorism measures will be considered in
coming up with useful resolutions.
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Summary of Research Methods

This report uses a variety of sources combined to properly explain the ineffective use of
violence as a method of countering terrorism. Most of the research has been done through online
sources such as: international organization websites, government documents, PDF files, online
books and news articles. Many emails were exchanged with Robert Imre and John Horgan to get
a more personal view of the issue through expert opinions. Lastly, Responding to Terrorism:
Political Philosophical and Legal Perspectives by Robert Imre, T. Brian Mooney and Benjamin
Clarke provided a well-rounded and broad perspective of the different opinions about countering
terrorism. This book was used often in many sections of this report, especially in the Logic of Evil
and the Solutions.

Both quantitative and qualitative data was used to write this report. Data with specific
number was checked twice with two different sources to ensure accuracy. All dates used are the
most specific that were found through extensive research. Many quotes and personal stories were
used to develop and deeper connection between the reader and the issue being presented.
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Countering terrorism with violence is not only immoral, but there are serious repercussions
to it as well. It does not eradicate terror in the long run, acting with it is an unquestionably
ineffective and isolated method of countering terror; however, it is still used. This issue is very
important because if countries continue to use these unproductive methods of combatting
terrorism, terror rates will only increase, and that is not in the best interest of a changing and
diversified world. A goal this world is trying to achieve is acceptance of any race, religion and
orientation. We strive for world peace, individual rights and opportunity for everyone. Terrorists
do not share this same goal. Islamic extremists, and many other religious extremists believe their
religion should be the basis of rules and values, a view not held by society at large. Left-wing
extremists believe in complete equality, following the ideology of Marxism-Leninism. These
fundamental beliefs are not the same as every individuals values and therefore should not be
forced upon them. It is important that successful methods of fighting terrorism should be used
rather than an emphasis on political violence because terrorism cannot increase. If it does, there
could be global chaos.

Some Islamic extremists believe that there should be a global theocratic Islamic state.
Unfortunately, their authoritarian interpretation of Islam violates human rights, such as the rights
of women, the LGBTQ community, and religious minorities. Their beliefs follow Sharia Law,
which, interpreted literally, is the extremely strict and repressive law of Islam that derives from
the Quran and the words of Muhammad (also referred to as Sunnah). The law can be interpreted
in many ways; however, Islamic terrorist groups such as ISIS and Boko Haram view it in manners
that contradict widely acknowledged basic human rights. There are many different rules to Sharia
law, some of these being: theft is punishable by amputating the criminals right hand; a grown man
can marry an infant child and then consummate that marriage at the age of nine; and to prove a
woman was raped, a minimum of four testimonies from male witnesses are required. These few
examples of the law represent how brutal and harsh it can be. As a progressing world, the goal is
to push forward and remove laws that are cruel and oppressive to women and others. While these
religious beliefs may be what is considered right to the extremists, not everyone shares the same
ideas. For that reason, as the opposing force in the war on terror, it is important that the rights of
those who do not want to be ruled by an Islamic state are protected and they are not forced under
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a tyrannical rule of government. As Islamist extremists attempt to fulfill their goals, governments
must use effective methods to counter their acts of violence. Using violence to fight them does not
work in the long term because they are not afraid of it. They support suicide missions; they are
willing to die for their cause under the impression that they are following the word of God. Using
violence against them only strengthens their resolve and inclines them to become more aggressive
or in the very least, continues their rule. For example, in August of 2016, American forces killed
ISIS leading propagandist and senior operational leader, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani. Though it
affected ISIS in the short term, a new leader - Abu Bakr al-Baghdidi has stepped up and ISIS is
still causing terror. Killing every new leader does not work because their ideology continues to
live on and someone is always willing to step up. The ineffective use of violence as a method of
countering terrorism must be recognized so other methods can substitute or add on to it; by
realizing this significance, many may not have to fall under the rule of totalitarian extremist views.

Left-wing extremists believe in Marxism-Leninism, which is a political ideology that

focuses on working for the sake of universal happiness rather than money. It forms the basis of
communism, which is taken up by many left-wing extremists around the world. Communism,
unlike capitalism, follows the idea that everyone deserves equality, no matter how hard one person
works compared to another. In theory, this is a good idea; however, in practice, it often does not
work and ends in government corruption. This is because communism removes the incentive for
the individual to work harder because they have other people to do the work for them. It results in
a lack of effort from most of the population, creating resentment of those who dont work as hard.
While some countries such as Cuba have a communist government, and some are happy with it,
many countries have had unsuccessful attempts at communism. Russia, for example, was run by a
communist government which entailed a dictatorship, and even though complete equality was the
goal, many were still oppressed. Left-wing extremists believe that communism can work just as
well in practice as it does in theory. They, like other extremists, attempt to force their will on others
using means of political violence. For example, in June of 2015, the Revolutionary Armed Forces
of Colombia (FARC) bombed the Colombian Oil pipeline to damage the countrys oil and
electricity infrastructure. Though left-wing extremism is not as prevalent as Islamic extremism,
there is still the need to eliminate it to avoid the dangers that a dictating communist government
would likely bring. In 2012, the Colombian government took violent action against FARC, killing
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thirty-six members and capturing three. In the short term, this was a victory; however, the guerrilla
group did not take well to the violence and continued terrorizing Colombia. In 2016, the
Colombian government signed a peace deal with FARC, ending the fifty-year long conflict and
proving that violence does not work in combatting a terrorist group, but peace agreements do. It is
important to understand that using violence to fight terror does not work so that other methods
such as peace deals can be implemented. If violent methods continue to be used, terrorism will
only increase or in the least, continue, and eventually many places will be ruled by oppressive
governments, which is an even larger issue.

The ineffective use of violence as a method of countering terrorism is very significant

because acting on a strategy that does not work is futile. If terrorism is not dealt with in a manner
that works, more countries will live under repressive governments as a result. If Sharia law is more
widely implemented, many more women will lose their rights, and if communist ideologies and
governments are enacted in countries that are against it, there will be corrupted governments and
oppression of classes. Ultimately, the end goal of terrorist organizations is not in the best interest
of everyone. It must be combatted in ways that will be productive rather than cause long-term
damage that can be used to foster and cultivate terrorism in the name of religion or other aims.
Violence is an unsuccessful strategy in the war on terror and must be revised to achieve a
progressive and free world.
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Officially, the war on terror began after the 9/11 terrorist attack when the American
president, George W. Bush, declared a worldwide War on Terror. However, there was a buildup
of anger and resentment between countries that led up to 9/11 and therefore, led to the war on
terror. It began due to the need for oil. Countries such as Iran and Iraq had oil and the United States
did not, as such, the trading between these countries became troubled when foreign policy was
enacted and evidently led to terrorism. This is one of the many reasons that terrorism comes to be:
it is economically driven. The war on terror is a military-driven strategy that caused a great deal
of unnecessary damage and unjust deaths.

Terrorist groups had been harvesting anger and frustration, specifically in the Middle East,
where oil is found. In 1901, William K. DArcy, a British investor, was granted a sixty-year
concession to extract oil in Iran. Later, in 1928, investors adopted the redline agreement
distributing Iraqs oil to countries such United States, Britain, the Netherlands and France.
Throughout many years to follow, Iran voted to nationalize its oil under the lead of Mohammed
Mosaddeq. However, the United Kingdom and the United States, unhappy that they had lost
control of Irans oil fields, helped orchestrate a plan to remove Mosaddeq from power and reinstate
the Shah of Iran. The intelligence agencies werent the ones getting the oil the countries were as
a whole. In these same following years, The United Nations partitioned Palestine into separate
proposed Arab and Jewish states. In 1948, the newly-formed Israel declared its independence, and
a hatred began to form between Israel and neighboring Arab nations. In 1967, the Egyptian, Syrian
and Jordanian militaries gathered at the Israeli border, prompting Israel to launch an air strike
which began the Six-Day War, and resulted in Israel taking control of the West Bank, Sinai
Peninsula, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights. In retaliation, in 1973, Egypt and Syria attacked Israel
on Yom Kippur, which damaged the Israeli army. The United States provided tanks and planes to
help Israel rebuild its military. The Arab nations then banned all oil sales to the United States
because of their support for Israel during the Yom Kippur attack. In 1979, Iranian students stormed
the American Embassy in Tehran, taking 66 hostages. One year later, President Carter ordered a
military operation known as Operation Eagle Claw to rescue the American hostages. It was a
failed mission and resulted in the death of servicemen. These events and others, helped lead up to
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the 9/11 terrorist attacks, fueled by the anger within Islamic extremists in the Middle East towards
the United States, the country which had taken their oil and showed mercy to their enemy.

On September 11, 2001, four American airliners were hijacked by nineteen activists
associated with Al-Qaeda. Two planes were flown into the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center
in New York City. The third plane crashed into the Pentagon outside of Washington, DC and the
last plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. The attacks resulted in the death of over 3000
civilians and about 400 firefighters and police officers. Soon after, president Bush declared the
war on terror, beginning by bombing Afghanistan to destroy the Taliban even though most of the
terrorists involved in 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia. Their goal was to capture Osama bin Laden,
who they believed was being hidden by the Taliban, and stop the use of Afghanistan as a training
ground for terrorists. The Taliban was weakened; however, United Nations official, Tom Koenigs,
stated, "The Taliban fighters reservoir is practically limitless. The movement will not be overcome
by high casualty figures," (Koenigs) confirming that terrorist organizations cannot be eradicated
by killing. 9/11 is to this day, the most brutal terrorist attack in the United States and it is the spark
that ignited the global war on terror.

After the war on terror began, many attacks were carried out in an attempt to eliminate
terrorist activity. As mentioned previously, in 2001, the United States invaded Afghanistan, which
caused a thirteen-year-long war. Another instance of foreign intervention led by the United States,
one from which the country still has not recovered, was in 2003, when the U.S. invaded Iraq on
the assumption that Iraq in possession of weapons of mass destruction. They did not have solid
proof of this, but invaded nonetheless, later to find that there were no such weapons. The American
government issued a National Counter Terror plan in 2003, which outlined the justification to
invade Iraq with little evidence. The document stated that in order to combat terrorism, measures
of war and violence must be taken: The more frequently and relentlessly we strike the terrorists
across all fronts, using all the tools of statecraft, the more effective we will be (National Strategy
for Combatting Terrorism, p. 2). Adhering to this principle, the United States invaded Iraq with
little evidence and destroyed the country. At the time, Iraqs United Nations ambassador,
Mohammed al Douri, acknowledged that the Republic of Iraq ceased to exist. The United States
rash decisions caused Iraq to hold a strong bitterness towards America and caused a rise in
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terrorism within Iraq. In fact, in the first twelve months after the American invasion, there were
78 terrorist attacks, and in the second twelve months, this number rose to 302. Bushs militaristic
methods of countering terrorism were unnecessary and they were one of the leading causes of the
rise of terrorist activity in the Middle East. Terrorist activity remains today.

As what is said to be the final American-led act in the war on terror, the U.S. military found
and killed Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the 9/11 terrorist attack. The secret raid was
carried out under the Obama administration on May 2, 2011, with only a few people having
knowledge of it. U.S Navy Seals flew to Abbottabad, Pakistan where bin Laden was hiding, killing
three men and women as they made their way through the compound. When bin Laden was found,
his wife was shot in the leg and he was killed. Since this was an operation of revenge, it was said
to be a success, even though Al-Qaeda remains and ISIS has emerged. In a speech made by Barack
Obama after the death of bin Laden, he claimed, We must define our effort not as a boundless
global war on terror, but rather as a series of persistent targeted efforts to dismantle specific
networks of violent extremists that threaten America (Obama) In this speech, he rewords Bushs
war on terror to not be as violent: rather than a war on terror, he wants to dismantle specific
networks of violent extremists. Obamas goal was to end terror without using warlike methods;
however, the new arrival of President Donald Trump suggests that the U.S. government is willing
to take up violent methods of combatting terrorism. His proposed Muslim ban along with his desire
for more nuclear weapons will evidently lead to many complications. History shows that
oppressing a group, like Trump is currently doing to Muslims, leads to an up-rise of terrorist
activity because the groups members grow frustrated with the way they are treated. As a result,
the war on terror is not over, and possibly never will end. If terrorist groups still exist, there will
always be a government to respond through oppressive, violent, and invasive ways, which will
only continue the cycle of terror.

Terrorism has been a prominent issue for many decades and history has shown that
countering it with violence has been unsuccessful in the past. The word terrorism was invented in
1793 following the French Revolution. In France, 1894, a bomber named Emile Henry committed
many acts of terror, one being the bombing of an orchestra on February 12. He was executed a
year later, which resulted in a series of anarchist revenge bombings throughout France. In the
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1920s, anarchist movements began to decrease and stopped altogether in the 1930s. This is because
countries stopped oppressive measures toward the groups and improved civil liberties while
undermining the anarchist groups. Johann Hari, a journalist, explains that the countries that had
the harshest crackdowns ended up with the largest anarchist movements of all, while those that
reacted calmly and kept their freedoms open saw the movements implode much faster (Hari). In
the 1970s and 1980s, the Red Army Faction in Germany and the Red Brigades in Italy were both
successfully defeated by illegalizing terrorist organizations and attacking the terrorists with
minimal human rights violations. Most terrorists belonging to these organizations were imprisoned
and questioned rather than killed at first chance. History has proven that using violence against
terrorist groups in ineffective and only causes a greater surge in terrorist activity.
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The war on terror is a very controversial topic. Many believe that using violence is the most
effective way of fighting terrorism and many others view it as the worst method possible. Robert
Imre, a senior lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Newcastle in
Australia, believes that violence is an ineffective method of fighting terrorism. Imre completed his
Bachelors, with honours, in Political Studies at Queens University in Canada. He also received
his PhD at the University of Queensland, Australia. Imre is fluent in Hungarian and has accepted
a total of four grants. In 2008, he was given two grants of $6 700 allowing him to study the shift
in the fascist and neo-fascist movements in Hungary. In 2010, he was granted $13 967 to examine
the mainstream political discourse and the devaluation of political culture. Lastly, in 2012, he won
a research excellence award, which earned him $4000. Overall, Imre has been funded with $24
667 dollars during his career. Imre is currently in Finland, working with a research group that deals
with the problems involving political violence. Robert Imres studies of terrorism, especially the
use of violence, has allowed him to conclude that violence is an ineffective way of countering

Imre has been contributing a great deal to this issue. His most significant efforts are to
inform the world of the inevitable repercussions of using violence to combat terrorism. As a
professor, he teaches students about political violence and gives them the information to allow
them to make a properly informed decision on whether extreme methods are effective. He passes
on his ideals by informing people instead of telling them how to think. Imre also has published
many books and articles in order to share his views with everyone, rather than just his students.
One book he wrote, along with two other professors, is called Responding to Terrorism. This book
details the causes and cures to terrorism, whether torture is an effective response, whether terrorism
is an inevitable consequence of globalization, and the different methods of countering terror such
as public and social policies, social engineering and war. Imre also participates in many research
groups around the world to find new plans and solutions to countering terrorism. He uncovers
research allowing him as well as many others to change or sometimes continue with current
methods. Lastly, Imres research helps unmask the deeper meanings behind terrorism, thereby
giving him better insight into political violence. Imre often leads and participates in public
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discussions. He gives media interviews, writes newspaper articles and advises policy-makers, all
in an attempt to inform and teach the world about political violence. Robert Imre contributes to
the war on terror by using his knowledge to help inform the rest of the world to be able to make
decisions that will be productive.

Robert Imre believes that the use of torture and political violence, especially by authorities,
will only increase terrorism. His view is that using violence against people who use violence as a
way of stopping them is hypocritical and ineffective. Since combatting terrorism is so complicated,
Imre instead explains the best ways to continue it, which are often the very counter-terrorism
methods that governments use today:

A sure way to keep terrorist organizations alive is to: torture people, keep people mired in
poverty, lock those same people inside the borders of a defined territory, demonize those
people when they manage to get out of said territory, make those people seem to be inferior
in many respects such as culture, religion, language, or even how people might dress.

Terrorists are filled with anger and hatred for those around them because of oppression. They are
so devoted to their causes that they are willing to attach bombs to themselves and blow themselves
up in public places. With that knowledge, killing terrorists will not scare them into stopping their
political acts, but rather make them even angrier than they already are. Terrorists see themselves
from a political and economic standpoint as victims. They grow from areas that are in poverty and
have oppressive governments where they cannot express their own ideas and slowly become angry
and in need of guidance. As a result, in their perspective, they are the victims and the government
is the villain. The more the government fights terrorism with anger, the more the terrorists will feel
the need to retaliate to protect themselves. Imres extensive research has shown him that terrorism
should not be fought using violence because it only makes matters worse.

According to Robert Imre, the best way to fight terrorism is to fight fear with cooperation.
He believes that since responding to terror with fear is exactly what the terrorist wants, that doing
the opposite cooperation would work best. The purpose of an act of terrorism is to create fear
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in society, so responding by denouncing the terrorists as evil and declaring that they must be
stopped, gives them the attention that they crave. We must stop allowing the idea of torture and
brutality to become a commonplace and an accepted mode of conduct (Imre). Currently, using
methods of war to destroy another group has become a normal and customary way of fighting
terror; this makes it very hard to change policies because everyone is so used to the status quo.
The problem is that the status quo does not work as well as most people believe it does. Imre says
that we must stop justifying the use of force for political aims, stop treating war and violence as
acceptable modes of social action, and finally, stop being so afraid of terrorists.
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Role of Control

There are three major power holders when it comes to terrorism, two being the terrorists
and the government. The terrorists want more power because they want to control a government
according to their own beliefs. The government wants to maintain power and in the end, demolish
the terrorist groups so they are unable to grow any further. This is something that needs to happen;
however, the government cannot use their power to kill, which is what they have been doing up
till now. Social media plays a role in spreading the word of violence and terror. The constant battle
between government and terrorism is ongoing and likely to never end, though the outcome is
ultimately in the hands of the side with the most influence.

Governments constantly try to gain and maintain power over the terrorists. They attempt
to stay one step ahead at all times. They do this by trying to stop terrorist attacks before they
happen, for example, by spying on the phone calls and emails of citizens in hopes of finding a
terrorist before they attack. They collect metadata surrounding emails and phone calls and they
spy on the sender, recipient, the time of messages, and the length of phone calls, but not the actual
content of the communications. The government is in control of how they combat the terrorists
and they often use violence. However, there are other methods of countering terrorism as well.
There are military methods, technological methods and, soft power measures. The military
methods include using drone strikes and covert operations while technological methods include
electronic eavesdropping and surveillance. Finally, the soft power measures involve using
propaganda to undermine terrorists as well as paint a positive image of the governments
experiencing the terrorism. These methods of countering terrorism often have the best results when
used all together. Violent methods should be more of a last resort because they usually worsen the
situation in the long term. These decisions are all in the hands of the government and the
government controls the initial response.

The media holds a lot of power in the war on terror. To understand that social media can
be used to affect political conditions on the ground, one needs only to examine the Arab Spring.
The Arab Spring had an uprising of revolutions because of social media, particularly Facebook
and Twitter. Tunisia and Egypt began the movement to oust their leaders using social media. They
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created fake accounts and spread the word through tweets, hashtags and videos. Over a dozen
countries and territories were involved in the Arab Spring, and it galvanized movements as far
apart as Morocco and the UAE. The revolutionary uprising was in the hands of social media, which
shows how quickly and easily social media can be used. It showed that it is possible to stop a
repressive regime in power by constant protests and that eventually the leader will give in.
Violence is not always the answer and social media is a great way of proving that to the world.
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Logic of Evil

On the surface of terrorism is the evil nature of the extremists and the simplistic reasons as
to why many choose violence to combat it. Many people view terrorism as heinous acts of violence
but do not understand the underlying reasons that cause these extremist groups to form. Terrorist
groups grow because of years of growing frustration towards those in power, making them resent
the government and protest using war measures. They also form based on religious beliefs,
particularly fundamentalist terrorists who interpret their religion in the most literal way. Though
terrorism is undoubtedly immoral and very cruel, there still are justifications that must be
considered, especially when coming up with viable ways to counter it. Violence is the most
commonly used method of countering terrorism. This is a very controversial topic because many
believe that the only way to fight such violent people would be to kill them. On the other hand, it
is also viewed as an unjust, hypocritical way of countering it and will not work. The main reason
politicians use violence to fight terrorism is that they fear the terrorists and it appears as a simple
way of ridding them from society, but that is just temporary. That helps them stay in power because
the public is under the impression they are being protected. They are under the pressure of
combatting them and sending weapons and soldiers to kill the terrorists seems like it would be the
best method seeing as it instills so much fear in our nation. Terrorism is an extremely complex and
layered topic; because of this, it is necessary to acknowledge and understand the deeper reasons
behind acts of violence from both sides of the war.

Ultimately, terrorist groups form because of frustration. In countries such as Iraq and Syria,
many citizens grew up under oppressive governments, with few opportunities and a lack of
motivation. They are full of anger and hatred towards their governments (domestic terrorism) and
often foreign governments (international terrorism) because of their terrible quality of life. They
cannot voice their opinions in public meetings or talk to embassy officials because that is not an
option in some countries. Over time, they assume that there is no negotiation which causes them
to turn to violence and form terrorist groups. Acts of violence grab the attention from not only their
government, but many other countries around the world. Jesse Morton, who is also known as
Younus Abdullah Muhammad, a former member of Al Qaeda admitted, It gave me an outlet to
have meaning, to have purpose, but it also gave me an outlet to express my rage and my frustration
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(Morton). Morton grew up in an abusive household and his childhood caused him to seek
acceptance which Al-Qaeda provided. He, like many others, willingly joined a terrorist group as a
form of expression, even if he did not support their goals and ideals. Once a person has joined a
terrorist group, two things can take place. They either realize they do not like the ideals the group
shares but are unable to leave because it is likely that they will be killed. Nadia Oweidat, a Fellow
at think tank New America, explained, When an extremist defects, they risk being completely
targeted by their community - it's like saying you're gay publicly. There are life-altering
consequences and you don't approach it lightly (Oweidat). Even if a person who is part of a
terrorist group does not want to be an extremist anymore, they cannot leave or they will die; often
by being tortured by their own group. On the other hand, many who join terrorist groups find
themselves enjoying that feeling of solidarity and give them the social aspect that they desire. They
agree to many missions that often involve killing or harming people because they want to show
that they are part of the group and be accepted because they usually have never experienced that
in the past. Once they have joined, the sense of family also becomes a mob mentality and they
eventually adapt to the extremist beliefs if they did not before. These ideas involve their frustration
for governments and others in power who oppress them. They feel that their only way of enacting
some sort of change is through violence. This is because it is the only way that they can get
attention. Governments only care about these minorities when people are dying because that is
when they are forced to listen to them. Oppressive governments force people who have been
rejected from society to form groups so they can have that personal justification and be heard.
Their main goal is political change and to enforce their ideas, which they believe are right. In their
opinion, they are doing what they think is more proper than the government, or sometimes lack of
one, is doing. The acts of violence enact fear which works to their advantage because the more
people are scared, the more attention the media will give them which grows the amount of hatred
for them; however, it also creates more knowledge for those who do want to join. Frustration
caused by oppressive governments is a major contributor to the formation of terrorism. They rebel
for attention to their cause so they can promote fear and eventually govern and force their ideals
and laws on everyone. In their minds, this is the best way of life.

Furthermore, terrorist groups form because of religious reasons. From a political

standpoint, Islamic extremists want to enforce their religious laws as means of governing a
Hoffman 20

country. As mentioned before, they want to enforce the Sharia Law upon one large Islamic state
because their religion tells them that that is the best way to live. They believe that the Islamic
religion is the only way of life and those who disagree with that belief are sinners and should be
punished by death. Religious terrorist groups such as ISIS and the Taliban interpret the Quran in
the most severe or most literal sense to them. The Quran states: Those who believe, and have left
their homes and striven with their wealth and their lives in Allah's way are of much greater worth
in Allah's sight. These are they who are triumphant (Quran 9:20). Orthodox Muslims who have a
strong connection to their God do whatever they can to be righteous in his eyes. They interpret this
literally, thinking that those who believe in God are better than those who do not. This sentiment
forces a divide between Muslims and other cultures, causing many Muslims to see their religion
as superior. The Quran also says: I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve.
Therefore, strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them (Quran 8:12). Here,
extremists view this as a justification for using violent methods to scare and eventually rule. They
believe that those who do not have the same views as them should be killed because they are
unworthy and will not contribute to their values. The Islamic religion provides justification for
terrorists to use acts of violence in order to express their beliefs and achieve their goals. Religion
also inspires others to join terrorist groups. People with similar views have that outlet to express
their religious ideas, especially if they want a combination of mosque and state. The world sees
terrorism as cruel and wrong but extremists think that they are doing what is right. Everyone has
a different idea of morals and what is good and to religious fundamentalists, their religion is in the
best interest of everyone. Their morals and ideas stem from religion, it is the basis of their values
and justifies their violent actions.

Lastly, there are many reasons behind why governments choose to use violence when
countering terrorism. There is a debate of whether violence is a viable method of countering
terrorism. There is a lot of examples of violence being an ineffective way; however, governments
still chose to use war, such as sending troops and weapons to terror ruled countries, to counter it.
Terror enacts fear into the governments which causes them to think less rationally and choose the
method that is most often done in the past violence. In the short term, violence damages terrorist
groups. For example, killing Osama bin Laden worked at first because he was the main operation
leader for Al-Qaeda and it damaged their structure. Many people only see the short term and
Hoffman 21

believe that continuing to kill will eventually cause so much damage that groups will be eradicated.
For politicians, using violence gives them the appearance that they are powerful and are doing
something to combat terror and keep society safe. John Horgan, a professor at the Global Studies
Institute and Department of Psychology, at Georgia State University, explained, Using military
action is something that politicians tend to support quite a bit. It sounds like a quick solution, and
it helps the politician to remain popular (Horgan). The population likes to see fast action and
sending in troops puts a dent in terrorist operations, momentarily stopping their violent protest.
For political reasons, they often use violence to get popular support and seem powerful. However,
in the long run, it often does not work and creates more anger. Horgan also stated, One thing we
know is that killing terrorists doesnt really solve the problem - it just seems that way (Horgan).
There is a stigma around violence being that it is the best option because it is so quick and well
known. It is hard to change the way that terrorism has been dealt with in the past and many people
do not like change. It is easy to continue with the well-known policies and methods rather than
coming up with policies that work better in the long-run. Behind using violence to combat
terrorism lies fear, the political need to stay popular and lastly the simplicity of not changing the
current methods.

The underlying reasons behind why terrorist groups exist and why politicians choose to
use violence to counter it are extremely important when dealing with terrorism. Terrorists are often
rejected from society and need validation which is provided when they join terrorist groups. Their
religion provides them with a justification to their violence and gives them incentive to use such
harsh methods. Governments are faced with the fear that terrorism causes and the need to do
something that is effective yet also pleases society. Terrorism is not a simple act of evil and
combating it cannot be done with one simple method. Its complexity makes it a very different
situation to handle because there are so many factors that contribute to it; especially because
oppressive governments cause the groups to form and then fight them when they attempt to express
themselves. Often these reasons get ignored because it is hard to look at something as horrible as
terrorism and justify it. It is just as difficult to consider why politicians would use the same war
methods to combat it while at the same time, criticizing it. It is very important that these reasons
are well known because they make up terrorism, and somewhere within them is the solution.
Hoffman 22

Role of Politics

Politics and the war on terror go hand in hand. Since terrorists commit acts of violence for
political gain, terrorism often crosses the path of politics. In the war on terror, the government is
up against the terrorists. They often need to come up with new policies in order to come up with
different ways to combat terrorism. The United Nations came up with a Global Counter-Terrorism
Strategy in 2006, which is reviewed every two years. The media also plays a large role in terrorism
due to his heavy bias towards terrorism in developed countries while ignoring terrorism in third
world countries. Often people in Western countries do not know very much about the terror in
other countries and therefore the governments do not feel obliged to help them. Also in developing
countries, there is a lack of education and therefore they do not understand basic human rights.
This causes many issues within the country because there is a lack of respect for the locals rights
during the war and they do not care who governs them; either way, they are not treated well. Lastly,
terrorism causes many economic issues from terrorist attacks and the cost of combating terrorism
using violence. Politics in a major contributor in the war on terror since it is at the core of the issue.

In the most common situation involving terrorism, there is a terrorist group trying to
discredit the government, who is trying to put a stop to the terrorists. This is a constant battle,
especially because terrorists could attack at any moment and the results can range from minor to
drastic very easily. With this in mind, governments often find themselves needing to revise and
change their methods of combatting terrorism since terrorists are constantly changing and
innovating their ways of protesting. In the past, they had bombs hidden in their bags to carry
suicide bombings. Now they are so small that they can hide them in their belt buckles which are
extremely hard to find. As terrorism changes, so must the policies that govern how to counter it.
The United Nations has a four-pillar strategy that was put into play in 2006. The first pillar is to
address the conditions conductive to the spread of terrorism (United Nations). This is when the
government looks at the what may cause terrorism to spread. By doing this, they can understand
how to work with the second pillar: measures to prevent and combat terrorism (United Nations).
These include methods of violence, peacekeeping, surveillance and financial aid. There are also
what is referred to as soft measures, for example, creating a positive image of those the terrorists
hate and undermining the idea the terrorists are trying to put out. These soft measures are often
Hoffman 23

viewed as propaganda. Next is the third pillar, Measures to build states capacity to prevent and
combat terrorism and to strengthen the role of the United Nations system in that regard (United
Nations). This pillar is about building up other nations to be able to combat terrorism and
improving the overall structure of countering terrorism; it is for improvement purposes. The last
pillar considers human rights, to ensure that they will not be violated during the war on terror.
Often human rights get ignored because governments only focus on succeeding and the terrorists
often do not understand what human rights are. This pillar states, Measures to ensure respect for
human rights for all and the rule of law as the fundamental basis for the fight against terrorism
(United Nations). These main pillars are the guidelines to combatting terrorism; however, they
often are neglected or not carried out very well. For example, Donald Trump, the President of the
United States, is currently attempting to prevent terrorist acts in the United States by creating a
Muslim ban. Following pillar twos guidelines, he is violated pillar four by discriminating
against the Islamic religion. Section one, of the fourteenth amendment of the American
Constitution states:

No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of
citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or
property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the
equal protection of the laws. (Washington, Adams, Hamilton, Jefferson)

Trump has deprived Muslims of their liberty and property by attempting to force them out of the
United States. This is currently in the courts being examined since a Judge from Hawaii blocked
the ban. These four pillars, even though they are reviewed every two years, they are still often not
followed and these issues must be addressed so that everyone treated properly while terrorism is
being combatted. President Trump has permanently tried this two times but has been stopped by
the courts. The government is at constant uphill battle against the terrorists: they must revise and
change policies to keep up with the extremists.

In the war on terror, the media can alter, emphasize and hide acts of terrorism. In the United
States, terrorism sits at forty-third on the most important issue; however, it is still a controversial
topic often taken up by the media. The entire world knows what Donald Trump is doing in regards
Hoffman 24

to combatting terror because it makes every headline. On the other hand, the terrorism going on in
places such as Afghanistan and Nigeria are rarely documented in comparison to the United States.
As a result, the attention that Afghanistan and Nigeria need is not given to them if the United States
do not get something in return. In the end, United States has an increased level of fear towards
terrorists. This lead to Donald Trump creating the Muslim ban and a rise of islamophobia and hate
crimes around the United States. Heidi Beirich, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern
Poverty Law Center, explained in an interview,

Its [number of hate crimes] over 1,000, up to maybe 1,100 incidents in a short span of
time, maybe 10 weeks after the election. Its an astoundingly high number. In that time,
you might [normally] get 50, right? In a six-month period, you wouldnt even get that
number of hate incidents that surfaced. (Beirich)

In turn, the hate crimes become well known because of the media and result in terrorism. It creates
a cycle of terror: the media exaggerates the threat to western countries such as the United States,
a hostility towards Muslims festers, and the oppression of these groups and being rejected from
society leads to more terrorist activity which the media reports on which restarts the cycle. It also
contributes the hate in general. When the government promotes hate towards one group, they allow
hate towards other ones as well. These include minorities such as the LGBTQ community, Jewish
people. In the end, these minor terrorist threats towards the United States pulls the attention away
from the terrorist activity being experienced in third world countries. From 1999 to 2014, western
countries have only experienced about three percent of terrorist related deaths compared to the rest
of the world and eighty-two percent of deaths from terrorism in 2013 were in Iraq, Afghanistan,
Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria. (see graph I) in appendix) Even with the majority of terrorist activity
happening in these third world countries, most of the attention is on the United States since they
have so much power, and that is because of the large role the media plays in the war on terror.

In relation to human rights, the war on terror frequently neglects them. Firstly, acts of
violence more than often kill innocent people rather than the terrorists. Also, due to the violation
of citizens right to privacy and because it often happens in third world countries, basic human
rights, such as access to health care and freedom of religion, are an unknown concept to some.
Hoffman 25

Often, when the military conducts a war tactic to weaken the terrorist forces, many innocent people
are killed as a result. In 2016, the United States directed an airstrike in Syria to attempt to gain
control of the city Manbij. However, a coalition aircraft hit as many houses in Tokkhar, killing at
least seventy-three civilians and many others. There is a lack of respect for human rights during
these wars which leads to these innocent lives being killed. After the attack, a tweet by Raqqa_SL,
who controls the twitter page Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently,
stated, Congratulations to the Coalition u have a new 160 #ISIS new fighters who will join the
fight against u after u kill 160 civilian ##Manbij (Raqqa_SL). In the end, killing so many innocent
people because of these violent retaliations may only cause more terrorism.

The war on terror also leads to violations of privacy, starting with the USA Patriot Act after
the 9/11 attacks. The Patriot Act gives more permission for federal agents to investigate possible
terrorist activity. Over the years, many have become more interesting in invading citizens privacy.
For example, in 2015, Senator Mitch McConnell introduced Bill S 1035 which endorses the
invasive status quo with no end to bulk collection, no accountability, and no reforms to prevent
future secret mass surveillance programs under the Patriot Act. The proposed law would affirm
the NSAs violation of millions of peoples privacy (Wong). Terrorism enables a fear that makes
the government believe it is okay to violate the privacy of those who often did nothing wrong. In
third world countries, many do not know about human rights because they are uneducated. They
do not know they have rights to privacy and to water and food because they grow up in a country
that hides that from them. When a terrorist group forms because of an oppressive government rule,
they then turn around and ignore the rights of the people as well because it is all they know.
Ignoring the rights of the people causes cases such as in Syria with the refugees. Syrians are forced
to leave their country because the terrorists ignore human rights, torture and kidnap people and kill
for the sake of religion. In return, the rebels often ignore human rights because they believe
anything should be done to stop terrorism. The biggest human rights issue faced with terrorism in
third world countries is the lack of education surrounding it causing a cycle of violations. The
terrorists one goal is domination and unpredictability; they do not care who gets hurt, as long as
they get there. Governments must also combat these terrorists without violating human rights,
though that has not been the most unsuccessful in the past.
Hoffman 26

Economically, terrorism is expensive. Not only does the after effects of the attack have to
be paid for, but the operation to combat terrorism costs money as well. The 9/11 attacks alone cost
a total of about three trillion dollars while it only cost Al Qaeda half a million dollars to put the
plan into action. Terrorism is expensive but it costs the recipient of the attack a lot more than it
does for the terrorists. On the other hand, combatting terror is an extremely expensive task;
fighting the terrorist group ISIS from the air is coming at a high price for US taxpayers about
$11 million per day (Engel) in the United States, so for about one year, it costs four billion and
fifty million dollars to combat terror just from the air. To compare, the approved budget for UN
Peacekeeping operations for the fiscal year 1 July 2016-30 June 2017 is $7.87 billion (Financing
Peacekeeping). Therefore, it costs about three billion, nine hundred eighty-five million dollars per
year to fight terrorism through military methods rather than peacekeeping. Terrorism has an
extremely negative effect on the economy and fighting it using violence is not only ineffective but
extremely expensive.

When dealing with the war on terror, politics plays the biggest role. The government is the
main opposition when dealing with terrorism, the media continues the cycle of terror, the complete
lack of and disregard for human rights and the major toll terrorism takes on the economy are all
extremely important when dealing with the war on terror. Considering the destruction of innocent
lives along with a corrupt media and the effect on the economy, fighting terrorism with violence
is extremely unproductive.
Hoffman 27

Case Studies

Nigeria is a country residing in the west of Africa with Niger, Cameroon, Chad and Benin
at its borders. It is the most populated country in all of Africa, housing over one hundred and sixty
million people. The south of Nigeria is rich with oil, which made it an appealing country for the
western powers looking to colonize. In 1884, the British colonized Nigeria, bringing a more
Western way of living and countering their anti-slavery attempts by forcing Nigerians to work in
their palm oil ports. In 1901, Nigeria became a British Protectorate and in 1914, still remained
divided in northern Nigeria, southern Nigeria and the Lagos Colony. As a result of this invasion
of the British, in 1945, a teenager named Mohammed Marwa began to propagate anti-western
culture which sparked the lead up to the founding of Boko Haram. The implication of western
culture as well as the separation of state and religion in 1999 lead to their rising. The poverty of
the country was also a major player in Boko Haram. The government did not favor Islam which
caused Islamic extremists to taken action, with the poor state of the country to help the growth. In
Boko Haram and the Nigerian State: A Different Perspective, Osaretin Idahosa writes:

In many of the studies carried out on the activities of Boko Haram in Nigeria, there is an
implicit assumption that the rise of the group (like others before it) was as a result of state-
neglect; a relative deprivation of a large percentage of the citizens by government. Central
to this argument is that increasing poverty in Nigeria is accentuated by increasing
unemployment. The resultant cost is that it creates the necessary condition for radical Islam
to thrive. (Idahosa)

The state that Nigeria was in allowed Boko Haram to thrive. The group has made it much harder
for the country to progress and until Boko Haram is officially defeated, Nigeria has a long way to

Boko Haram is a domestic terrorist organization in the northern area of Nigeria. It is loosely
translated to Western Education is Forbidden, which is what the group believes in. They want
one Islamic state governed by Sharia Law and are very against Western culture, specifically
Hoffman 28

education for girls. The evolution of Boko Haram is a response to the socio-economic flux borne
out of a combination of decades-long mismanagement and pervasive corruption in Nigeria
(Idahosa). They were founded in 2002 by Mohammed Yusuf who lead their first attack in
December of 2003 at multiple police stations in Yobe, a state in the northeast of Nigeria. In 2009,
Boko Haram experienced a five day uprising which a series of violent attacks on police stations
and gun battles in the streets that lasted for five days. It then was followed by a crackdown from
the Nigerian military. The militant group killed many police officers who retaliated by killing over
seven hundred Boko Haram members. The uprise was cut short after Yusuf was killed in custody;
Boko Haram claims it was an extrajudicial execution, though police say he attempted to escape.
During the up rise, Abu-Bakr Shekau, Yusufs deputy, was thought to be killed. Boko Haram went
into hiding with minimal terrorist activity for one year. In July 2010, Boko Haram released a video
showing that Shekau was not only alive, but had stepped up to become the new leader of Boko
Haram. Killing Yusuf worked in the short term; however, Shekau came back with more resentment
and more violence, proving that such strong military action is ineffective. Mike Smith, an author,
stated in his book Boko Haram: Inside Nigerias Unholy War, Boko Haram, once a Salafist sect
based in Nigerias north-east, has morphed into something far more deadly and ruthless: a hydra-
headed monster further complicated by imitators and criminal gangs who commit violence under
the guise of the group (Smith 5). As mentioned in other sections of this paper, killing a terrorist
groups leader has proven time and time again to be extremely ineffective as it enables more
violence within the group. Smith mentions that not only did the group become far more deadly
and ruthless but there was also a rise in copycats, further complicating the situation.

Later in 2014, Boko Haram committed one of their most heinous act of terror and captured
international attention as a result and evidently becoming the most violent terrorist organization.
On April 14, 2014 members of Boko Haram attacked a government secondary boarding school in
Chibok where girls from surrounding areas went to take exams. It was one of the only schools left
open since Boko Haram had attacked other ones in Nigeria, forcing them to close. Boko Haram
raided the dormitory late at night and kidnapped two hundred and seventy-six girls from ages
sixteen to eighteen. During the kidnapping, some girls managed to escape however two hundred
and nineteen were taken. Since then, most of the girls still have not been found; however, there
have been instances throughout the last three years where girls have been discovered and others
Hoffman 29

proving many are still alive. The month following their abduction, Boko Haram released a video
showing one hundred and thirty of the girls reciting the Quran. In April of 2016, CNN broadcasted
a video showing that many of the girls were still alive and then in August, Boko Haram released a
tape that showed around fifty girls, in which the group demanded the release of Boko Haram
prisoners in exchange for the girls. In May 2016, the military rescued one Chibok girl from the
Sambisa Forest, which is Boko Harams camp zero. On October 13, 2016, Boko Haram released
twenty-one girls in exchange for four prisoners after negotiations with Swiss officials. That has
been the only mass release of the Chibok girls and over one hundred are still missing. It is believed
that many of the girls have been forced into marriages, have children and/or have been killed. The
government has stated that Boko Haram cannot officially be defeated without finding every
Chibok girl. The capturing of these girls is one of the most well-known acts of terror since their
location is still unknown as well as their condition.

Since the Chibok girls kidnapping, Boko Haram has continued to terrorize Nigeria as well
as surrounding countries. Though they have had many ties to Al-Qaeda, they pledged formal
allegiance to ISIS on March 7, 2015. Though, two months prior, Boko Haram carried out their
deadliest attack from January third to January seventh. They arrived in Baga, a city in the North-
East of Nigeria in waves. The first wave was manageable as locals attempted to defend the town
using homemade weapons. Boko Haram retreated, only to return with more members, fired their
guns and chased locals down with their vehicles. There were so many victims that there has never
been an official body count, though it is estimated that up to two thousand people were killed. This
is known as the Baga massacre. 2015 was Boko Harams most active year with two hundred and
seventy attacks killing about six thousand and six people. However, in 2016, they were much less
active, only carrying out thirty-six attacks killing about four hundred and twenty-two people.
(Washington Post)

On March 28, 2015 Nigeria held an election in which the opposition took the lead and
Muhammadu Buhari was elected. The former president, Goodluck Jonathon of the Peoples
Democratic Party was in power for sixteen years before this last election. He had not done well in
combating Boko Haram. Jonathon was from the South of Nigeria where the wealthier, Christians
resided. He lacked experience dealing with insurgencies that attacked mainly Muslim areas in the
Hoffman 30

North and was unequipped to battle Boko Haram. Due to his Southern background, he had ties
with the south terrorist groups and could stop them. He does not have such connections in the
North and therefore, does not know another way. This led to Buhari being elected. He had a
military background as general and military head of state from 1983 to 1985, and is from the North.
He is the opposite of Jonathon, which gave the impression that Buhari would be more capable due
to his military experience and background in the North. The higher population of Muslims in
Nigeria also helped Buharis win since he himself is Muslim. He has done a lot in the quest to
defeat Boko Haram and Nigeria is making some progress.

The military and Nigerian government has begun to take more action in battling Boko
Haram since the election of their new president, Muhammadu Buhari. During Boko Harams
insurgency, many have accused the government and military of doing an ineffective job of fighting
them. Max Siollun, a journalist for New African magazine writes, The Nigerian army has been
accused of mishandling the insurgency, and any or all of: the indiscriminate use of force, torturing
innocent civilians, and being reluctant to confront Boko Haram fighters (Siollun). Since Buharis
presidency, he has acted to prove that statement wrong. In his campaign, he promised to be rid of
Boko Haram once and for all; however, they are still terrorizing the north-east of Nigeria. Though,
Buhari has made many attempts in combatting this group, including: moving military operations
further north, implementing more Red Cross volunteers, combining efforts with Chad and
Cameroon, asking for help from the United nations to help find the Chibok girls, and raiding camp
zero, the Sambisa forest. The Nigerian military dropped bombs on the Sambisa forest in
December of 2016, causing Boko Haram members to flee the forest. Buhari considered this a
victory, possibly ending the terrorist group, though the Chibok girls were not found after the raid
and their locations remain unknown. This military action worked in the short term however Boko
Haram has a history of defeat, only to come back stronger than before. It is very likely that Boko
Haram has gathered in another location and is planning another surprise attack as a result of losing
their territory. Since the Chibok girls were not found in camp zero, it is also likely that Boko
Haram has another territory the government and military are unaware of that the girls have been
sent to. Since the attack, there have been many suicide bombing around the Northern area of
Nigeria, though most were unsuccessful. These smaller attacks are less common with this terrorist
group. It either means that they are struggling due to Buharis new methods or could be preparing
Hoffman 31

for a larger retaliation. Former minister of the federal capital territory, Nasir El-Ruffian backs this

Tell me where in the world military action alone has solved an insurgency. You can never
solve any of these problems with military solutionsIt is a political issue; it is a social
issue; it is an economic issue; and until these issues are addressed, the military can never
give you a solution. (Rufai)

Storming the Sambisa forest wounded Boko Haram; however, the strong militarist method of
fighting them will not work in the long run.

Boko Harams insurgency has caused a lot of issues for Nigeria other than the many
killings. Since their ideology is based off the banning of Western education, many schools
throughout northern Nigeria have closed. In areas where schools remain open, families are
reluctant to send their children to school in fear of them being killed or kidnapped. Many girls,
lacking education and safety, are getting married in their teens under the impression that having a
husband will provide them with protection. Young boys continue to become terrorists themselves
because they are not being educated and are easily recruited. This education crisis is the biggest
issue Nigeria faces in relation to Boko Haram. Second to that is the economy. Since Nigerias
economy lies in the hands of their oil exports, it is not undergoing any severe damage since the oil
reserves are mainly in the south. However, in the north, there is a higher cost of living as a result
of the government implicating anti-Boko Haram security measures. These two factors are the main
effects that Nigeria is facing, though they are living in constant fear. Many are losing their homes
from bombings and fleeing to camps; however, with such a violent terrorist organization, they live
in constant fear for their lives and their country. Not only has Boko Haram impacted society but
the government has as well. To fight the group, the military has been using many violent methods
which have proven unproductive. For example, a Nigerian jet accidentally bombed a refugee camp
on January 17, 2017, killing over fifty-two civilians. Such abrupt military decisions often lead to
more harm towards the Nigerian people rather than Boko Haram.
Hoffman 32

Nigeria is facing an extremely dangerous terrorist organization. Throughout their attempts

at combatting Boko Haram, they have used many ineffective methods of violence such as killing
the leader and abrupt bombings. Nigeria is a prime example of how military methods do not work
to counter terrorism, especially in the long run. Boko Haram is still a threat to Nigeria and will
remain that way until the government takes more action regarding soft measures and non-violent
solutions. Sending in Red Cross volunteers as humanitarian aid and joining together with the
surrounding countries is a good start because it provides a stronger, united front; however, it will
take time.
Hoffman 33


Afghanistan is located in the greater Middle East in Asia and is ranked second on the Global
Terrorism Index 2016. For a great period of time, Afghanistan has experienced civil unrest. In
1978, the Peoples Party came into power which led to violence throughout Afghanistan because
they were communists. Later, in 1979, Hafizullah Amin became Prime Minister of Afghanistan
but the revolts were still occuring. The Soviet Union provided financial and military aid as well as
killing Amin and later pulled out in 1989. Babrak Karmal became the new Prime Minister; he
favouring the Soviet Union. The mujahideen, who were a resistance group fighting against the
Soviet Union, countered Karmal and eventually lead to a civil war in Afghanistan. After years of
war and government corruption, one faction of mujahideen appeared with the intention of stopping
crime and ending the civil war. This group is known as the Taliban.

The Taliban is an international terrorist group in Afghanistan that controlled about ninety
percent of the country from 1996 to 2001. In 1994, Pakistan chose a well-trained group of Taliban
(religious students) to protect a convoy trying to open a trade route from Central Asia to Pakistan.
They fought the mujahideen and eventually the Taliban began to rise until they officially captured
Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan in September 1996. This was not uncommon in the mujahideen
as factions had a reputation for fighting each other more than they did the Soviets. Throughout
their battle against the mujahideen, the United States and Pakistan provided military and financial
support to help the Taliban fight the mujahideen, which in the long run was not the best plan. These
two countries helped the development of a terrorist group that has been causing chaos in
Afghanistan for about twenty-one years. The Talibans time in power involved many arrests and a
constant gain in territory. In 1998, they took over the city of Bamian, Afghanistan. In 1999, they
arrest and execute thousands of Shiites. Later that year the United Nations imposes an embargo
and freezes the Talibans assets. After 9/11, the United States invaded in search for Osama bin
Laden which began the fourteen-yearlong foreign intervention. Hamid Karzai was elected in 2004
but faced many challenges such as government corruption, drug-trafficking and the Taliban
insurgency. He was unable to defeat the Taliban during his time in power until he was defeated in
2014. In 2006, the military realized they could not defeat the Taliban through violence so they
signed a peace agreement with them to stop the Taliban from continuing to fight the North Atlantic
Hoffman 34

Treaty Organization (NATO). However, the government started to worry when a group of people
discussing implementing the Sharia Law formed in a mosque. They attacked the mosque, killing
around one hundred people and causing the Taliban to break the agreement by retaliating with a
series of violent attacks. Since 2014, the situation In Afghanistan with the Taliban has become
increasing worse; Nagieb Khaja, a journalist stated in an interview, The situation in Afghanistan
has gotten worse, the Afghan security forces are bleeding. They lose a lot of people, and it is really
difficult for the Afghan National Army at the moment (Khaja). The Taliban has been increasing
their attacks over the recent years and Afghanistan is struggling. In fact, more Afghans have been
killed in 2015 than any other year since 2001. This is because President Obama decided to expand
America's involvement with more airstrikes against insurgents, giving the U.S. military wider
latitude to support Afghan forces, both in the air and on the ground (ODonnell). As the Taliban
began a resurgence, the United States increased their military in June of 2016, even after they
began to decline their involvement in Afghanistan since 2014. The Taliban now holds more
ground in Afghanistan than any point since 2001 (ODonnell) (see III in appendix).

Leading up to the Talibans insurgency were many cultural influences that brought them
to be the group they are today. The state of the country was what caused them to emerge in the
first place. The civil war between the Afghan government and the mujahideen had destroyed the
country. The corrupted government led to a collapse and eventually chaos. In desperate need of
leadership, the Taliban emerged, claiming they could stop the crime and the war: In southern
Afghanistan, there was a law and order crisis. There was rampant warlordism, and the Taliban
came in as a cleansing force to establish law and order and wipe out the warlords and impose
Islam, which they did (Poolos). Most people followed because they preached exactly what the
country needed; however, it was not clear yet that their ideology of Islam was violent. The last
influence in the Taliban is the lack of education in Afghanistan. During the civil war from 1992 to
1996, there was very little schooling and most members of the Taliban are uneducated. This lack
of learning also affects the way they interpret the Quran. It is often seen that the Taliban does not
understand the true values of Islam. Laila Al-Marayati, a writer for the Muslim Womens League,
explains the views of many people in regards to the Talibans religious ideals: Indeed, the extreme
position taken by the Taliban hardly deserves to be considered an "interpretation" of Islam. That
implies the position has some degree of validity, when it is really an aberration in violation of the
Hoffman 35

most basic tenets of the faith (Al-Marayati). The Taliban began as a faction of a resistance group;
however, time in power and the culture they are immersed in led them to be the violent extremist
group they are today.

The main goals of the Taliban are to govern Afghanistan without war as a radical Islamic
state and force their view of Sharia Law. They use extremely violent methods to reach this goal
such as civilian massacres, suicide bombings and the torture and capture of anyone thought to have
ties to their enemy. In order to keep their supporters loyal and limit propaganda against them, the
Taliban forbids music, television, the internet and harmless activities such as flying kites. If men
are seen in public without a beard, they will be beaten. However, their most oppressive ideas
pertain to women specifically. Women are not allowed to work, must be covered from head to toe
at all times and must have a male accompanying them. According to the strictest form of Taliban
Law, if these women do not obey the laws, they will be beaten and sometimes killed. These
ideologies that the Taliban enforces have been a part of Afghanistan since their rise to power and
the use of violence to stop them has proven to be extremely ineffective. Since the United States
involvement with the war in Afghanistan, they have yet to be defeated. Christine Fair, a journalist
for the Herald stated, it [the United States] built an unwieldy and unsustainable state in
Afghanistan whose leadership continued to be corrupt and unresponsive to Afghan needs (Fair).
As a result, not only was the militaristic methods of fighting the Taliban unsuccessful, it left the
Afghan military incapable to fend for themselves. Once the United States military removed their
forces from Afghanistan, the Taliban began to gain more territory because the Afghan military was
left unequipped. Since 2003, NATO has been trying to provide training and aid to the soldiers in
Afghanistan but they help train them while they are in combat. They wanted to ensure that
Afghanistan would no longer be a harvesting ground for terrorists. In 2011, there were 140 000
NATO troops in Afghanistan. These countries included Georgia, Germany, Turkey, Romania and
many others. Over the years this decreased as countries handed over power to local security forces.

Similar to countering many other terrorist groups, the United States tried the commonly
used, kill-the-leader-tactic. Governments feel that it will create instability in the group as they
struggle to find a new leader though that is usually not what happens. Like many terrorist groups
before them, the Taliban responded by putting a new member in power and continuing to cause
Hoffman 36

terror in the country. In May of 2016, the United States government issued drone attacks to hit the
car that Mullah Mansour and another senior Taliban member was riding in. The attack temporarily
affected the group but it did not defeat the group in the long run. There was not a power struggle
because four days after Mansours death, the Taliban announced Mawlawi Haibatullah
Akhundzada, a former deputy to Mansour, as the new leader. Felbab-Brown, author of Aspiration
and Ambivalence: Strategies and Realities of Counterinsurgency and State Building in
Afghanistan, stated, By killing Mansour, the more vicious factions of the Taliban were
strengthened. They are even less likely to negotiate and they will have a greater proclivity toward
unrestrained violence (Brown). Mansour was more interested in peace and negotiations than
Akhundzada is. Akhundzada planned to avenge the death of Mansour. Taliban activity has
increased since the new leadership. For example, they have been carrying out attacks during
winter, which is new for them since they usually hide out until the spring when it is easier to
complete operations. Killing Mansour proves once again that taking out the leader of an extremist
group is asking for trouble. A journalist for the Herlad explained the impact and reasoning behind
killing a groups leader:

In the absence of a strategy, the United States opts to take out the Taliban leadership in
hopes of bringing the rest of them to the table. Yet there is no evidence that such leadership
decapitation degrades the organization or makes it more amenable to negotiation. In fact,
it likely encourages greater infighting and defections to the Islamic State. (Fair)

The goal was to force them to negotiate, yet they managed to kill the person that would benefit
them most being the Taliban leader. Killing the leader almost always results in the same situation,
which Fair highlights; it only encourages further violence.

Since the Taliban does not respond well to violence, other methods must be used to combat
that. The Afghan government has been trying to negotiate with them. Since in 2006, they did
succumb to a compromise, it is possible that they would be willing to do that again. If the
government as well as NATO was to stop jeopardizing these negotiations by killing their leader or
breaking previous negotiations, maybe it would be easier to discuss negotiations with them. The
Taliban are not entirely a religious group. They want to govern the country, making their ideology
Hoffman 37

political too no separation of church and state. The group cannot be destroyed; however, they
could be changed into an opposition party rather than a violent radicalistic group. Completely
cutting off their way of expressing their beliefs would lead to more violence throughout the country
since oppression has never worked well. They must always be heard and given opportunities
without violence or it will never stop. Recently, at an attempt to limit the violence within the
country, NATO created the Resolute Support International Coalition. They sent 12 500 mostly
American soldiers to Afghanistan on January 1, 2015 to train, advise, and assist the Afghan
security forces. This method is to avoid the violence and hopefully help with peace operations. It
will take longer than simply bombing the Taliban territory but it is the long term that must be dealt
with to truly get rid of a terrorist group. The Resolute Support International Coalition is a good
start to ending the war in Afghanistan, though it will take a lot of effort and time from Afghanistan
as well as NATO to work, as long as they do not fallback to violence like they did when they
withdrew from the war.

The Taliban has, and always will be, a threat to Afghanistan. Recently, the ineffective war
methods of combating them have led to a resurgence in their group; however, some new methods
such as the coalition and negotiations have begun the long-desired quest to peace for Afghanistan.
The environment that helps develop terrorism must be demolished to remove terrorists from
power, and their beliefs must be heard. Violence has not worked and will never work in fighting
groups like the Taliban.
Hoffman 38

The Philippines

The Philippines is a country in the southeast of Asia, in the Pacific Ocean made up of 7107
islands. According to the 2016 Global Terrorism Index, the Philippines is ranked at number twelve.
This is because there are many active terrorist groups within the country. There are two major
terrorist groups: the Abu Sayyaf Group and The New Peoples Army. The New Peoples Army
was found to be the largest group behind terrorist activity in the Philippines in 2014 (see appendix,
II). This terrorist group, which was deemed one in 2002 by the United, is unlike the many others
discussed in this paper. Rather than an Islamic extremist group, they are left-wing extremists.
Following the ideology of Marxism-Leninism, this communist terrorist organizations goal is to
overthrow the Philippine government in order to implicate a state led by the working class. They
would also like to remove all United States and other Western influence in the country, give more
land to those who are poor or landless, and move most of the people to the rural areas of the
country. They are a very violent group, operating for almost half a century, making them the
longest-lasting communist rebel group in Philippine history.

The New Peoples Army was formed on March 29, 1969 by Jose Maria Sison who was a
student activist. He joined Bernab Buscayno, who once commanded a Communist group in the
1950s called the Huk Rebellion; together they set up the New Peoples Army. The rebel group was
most active during president Ferdinand Marcos time in power from 1966 to 1986 because of his
anti-communist sentiment. Marcos would preach this by saying, I am fighting communism because
it does not believe in God. It believes that everything that happens is brought about by man alone. It
believes in the theory of dialectic materialism. I believe in God (Marcos). In 1971, the New Peoples
Army released four grenades in Manilas Plaza Miranda which led to a rise of disdain for Marcos.
On September 21, 1972, he imposed martial law. It was a law under Proclamation 1081 that
suspended the civil rights and allowed much more military authority in the Philippines. He claimed
there was a rise of violence that he believed was caused by the communists; however, this law
caused a lot more violence from communist rebel groups in the country than before. Hundreds of
students joined the New Peoples Army as a result. This is because oppressing a group of people
only causes more hatred and resentment from the oppressed group to the oppressor. Creating an
unsafe environment for a group to properly express their beliefs will lead them to go to extreme
Hoffman 39

measures to get attention. The Historical Dictionary of the Philippines states, Despite his large
army, Marcos was unsuccessful in containing the NPA, and the task of dealing with the NPA was
left to Corazon Aquino (Guillermo 112). The book explains that even though Marcos built up a
big army and unleashed the military on the communists, he was unsuccessful. Using war methods
against a terrorist group can and only has ever done more harm than good.

The New Peoples Army is a very violent group, killing around forty thousand people since
1969 from all the wars with the Philippine government, though more recently the Philippines has
done well in keeping the group relatively under control. After Marcos stepped down as president,
Corazon Aquino, who was the first female president in Asia, became the new president. She
managed to take the Philippines that was ruled by a dictatorship and turn it into democracy. By
offering a program of land reform and amnesty, she was able to coax the major NPA leaders to
come to peace talks, which lead to ceasefire agreements (Guillermo 112). By creating land reform
programs, she gave more land to those who were landless and poor. By doing this, she
compromised with the New Peoples Army in order to show them that they are heard and being
considered. The amnesty program forgave the group for their political crimes, giving them a restart
with a new president and more incentive to negotiate. Aquino began ceasefire agreements and
negotiations which lessened the amount of terror the group caused. In August 2016, a ceasefire
agreement was accepted by both the Philippine government as well as the New Peoples Army.
However, in February 2017, Duterte ended the ceasefire as mentioned above. In April, new talks
about negotiations are going to take place, hopefully with a more stable ceasefire agreement.

More recently, in 2017, the New Peoples Army was part of a ceasefire agreement with the
Philippine government. However, during the third round of negotiations between the group and
the government, the New Peoples Army began to get worried about the actions of the military.
The government deployed Philippine troops into the rural areas of the country, which were areas
the New Peoples Army occupied. Since they had been oppressed and tricked in the past, the lack
of fulfillment of the government promises during the ceasefire lead the New Peoples Army to
break it. By doing so, the group abducted six Philippine soldiers and four civilians, one being the
Barangay (a village) chairman. The purpose of these kidnappings was to gain ground in
negotiations, so the government would keep their promises. In retaliation, the Philippine military
Hoffman 40

overran two rebel camps, which lead the rebel group to use arson as a terror strategy. Terrorist
groups are violent and uneasy. These negotiations must be met with honesty rather than tricking
the groups or more violence will ensue. The current president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte,
has said that he is willing to enact an all-out-war. "An all-out war means the government will use
all available assets of the Armed Forces to accomplish its mission" (Arevalo). They are willing to
use similar methods that the Marcos government used in the late 1970s even though it did not
work then and it will not work now.

The Abu Sayyaf Group is another terrorist group that has been operating in the Philippines
since 1991. Abu Sayyaf means barrier of the sword and is one of the smallest Jihad groups in
the southern Philippines. It was founded by Abdurajak Abubakar Janjalani, a former Filipino
scholar who battled the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s. The group is fighting for an
independent Islamic nation in the south of the Philippines where a large Muslim population resides.
It often takes hostages for ransom, demanding money in return for the hostage. If the payments are
not made, the group kills the hostages. In 2016, the group killed two Canadians: Robert Hall and
John Ridsdel after the Canadian government did not meet the ransom demands. It formed as a split
off from the Moro National Liberation Front, which is a mainstream Islamic political organization.

The Abu Sayyaf Group carried out its first attack in 1991 when it killed two American
evangelists. Throughout the 1990s, the group became more violent as their death count rose in
Mindanao (an island in the Philippines). In 1994, Abu Sayyaf killed seventy-one citizens in the
city of Zamboanga with series of bombings. In 1995, it raided the town of Ipil, killing fifty-three.
Then in 1998, it attacked a department store and injured sixty people. That same year, Janjalani
was killed in a gun battle with the police and the militant group changed their method of terrorizing
by focusing on kidnapping rather than bombing. In 2000, the group kidnapped nineteen foreigners,
fifty students and teachers, and fifteen journalists. In 2002, Janjalanis brother took control of the
group and began bombing once again. In 2004, Abu Sayyaf conducted the deadliest terrorist attack
in the history of the Philippines. They bombed a ferry in Manila Bay, killing 116 people.

In 2006, Abu Sayyaf began to lose ground after the Philippine army launched an offensive
that damaged the structure of the group. Though the military methods damaged Abu Sayyaf, they
Hoffman 41

remain a prominent group in the Philippines as they resorted back to ransom kidnapping. The
group continues to terrorize the country through these ransom kidnappings. Just recently, in April
of 2017, Abu Sayyaf killed a Philippine soldier they had kidnapped after the government killed
three members of Abu Sayyaf. Though the crackdown in 2006 damaged the group, they have yet
to stop attacking the Philippines. These short-term methods of fighting them will continue to work
the way is has been. The group will be damaged, then retaliate like they in April. The Philippines
is beginning to attempt peace negotiations with the group as Duterte said, "we don't go to war with
our own people" (Duterte). The Philippines attempt at negotiations is likely to prove successful as
it has been with the New Peoples Army.

The Philippines, though experiencing quite a lot of terrorism, especially from the New
Peoples Army, is doing well in dealing with the situation without too much violence. Unlike
Afghanistan with the Taliban or Nigeria and Boko Haram, negotiations and talks with the terrorists
are being made priorities because they recognize how violence is not the best way of creating
peace. The Philippines has seen what has happened in the past when the group has been oppressed
and the guerrilla warfare that the group is capable of. Rather than using violence, they are taking
steps towards solving this issue of terrorism and ending the acts of political violence.
Hoffman 42

International Organizations

The war on terror has drawn the attention of countries all around the world. Many places
felt the need to do something to help in countering it, causing them to take it to international
organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union. Each organization has been
faced with the challenge of fighting terrorism and the many issues that arise with any solution.
Despite the many difficulties with such a broad task, each organization has had successes
accompanied by failures. Countering terror is an ever-developing challenge; as terrorism evolves,
the methods of combatting it must be changed and re-evaluated too. For that reason, having more
than one organization that are comprised of many countries, is a great way of coming up with
universal and proper resolutions.

The United Nations is an international organization that was founded in 1945, after the
Second World War. It is comprised of one hundred and ninety-three countries, each having a state
member representing their country in the General Assembly. The United Nations was formed as a
new League of Nations, which failed because they were unsuccessful in preventing the second
world war. The first meeting of the United Nations was before it was technically formed. During
the second world war, twenty-six nations gathered to create the declaration of the United Nations
where they pledged to continue in fighting the axis powers. On April 25, 1945, fifty countries met
in San Francisco at the United Nations Conference on International Organization to create the
United Nations Charter. It was later signed by the fifty countries (and Poland later) on June 26,
1945 and it officially came into existence on October 24, 1945 when the Charter had been approved
by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The Charter
dictates the values and purposes that the United Nations is based off. These purposes are explained
in article one, chapter one of the Charter and state:

To maintain international peace and security; to develop friendly relations among nations
based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take
other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace; to achieve international co-operation
in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character,
and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for
Hoffman 43

all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; to be a centre for harmonizing the
actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends. (United Nations Charter, article
one chapter one)

The United Nations looks to secure and provide peace to every country. With these goals shaping
the organization, it has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize eleven times since it came to be. Its
current leader, known as the Security-General who symbolizes the organizations ideals, is
Antnio Guterres of Portugal and he has held this position since January 1, 2017.

The United Nations has dealt with many global issues since 1945, one of these being the
universal war on terror. Specifically, since the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001,
the United Nations has put more effort into counterterror resolutions. In 2006, they created the
Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy which follows a four-pillar system, mentioned previously in
this paper. To summarize it briefly, the first pillar states: address the conditions conductive to the
spread of terrorism (United Nations). The second pillar says: measures to prevent and combat
terrorism (United Nations). Next is the third pillar, Measures to build states capacity to prevent
and combat terrorism and to strengthen the role of the United Nations system in that regard
(United Nations). The last pillar states, measures to ensure respect for human rights for all and
the rule of law as the fundamental basis for the fight against terrorism (United Nations). The
Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy is revised every two years to keep up with the constantly
changing terrorist groups and terror strategies. They also send peacekeeping soldiers to countries
experiencing war rather than military soldiers. The United Nations recognizes the futility in
battling a violent group with violence and focuses more on promoting human rights and providing
humanitarian aid such as food and basic supplies. Since 9/11, the United Nations has created three
multilateral resolutions pertaining to combating terrorism; however, they also created nine before
then. The first resolution pertained to the Tokyo convention of 1963, which involved the
destruction of illegal seizure of aircrafts. After 9/11, the United Nations was not fully equipped
knowledge wise in dealing with countering terrorism. The United Nations encouraged states to
focus on refugee applicants as potential terrorists, which created an anti-immigration sentiment
which still lingers today. For example, currently, countries such as the United States and Poland
are reluctant to take in refugees. Another issue with the United Nations counter-terror plans is that
Hoffman 44

the state representatives cannot agree on one solid definition of terrorism, leading each nation to
create their own. Some of these definitions can cause more terrorism issues, especially pertaining
to human rights. For example, Syrias definition of terrorism is so broad that it stated that
expressing an opinion could be terrorism, yet freedom fighting was not if it was not directed toward
an Arab state. With such a large number of countries belonging to this organization, it is difficult
to achieve full cooperation with every anti-terror resolution. Often some states do not implement
the laws and ideas, which takes away the unity of the group and in the end, will not help with the
trial and error of new resolutions.

However, the United Nations has also done well in their attempts at countering terrorism.
They created Council Resolution 1373, which is a counter-terrorism measure put into place just
after 9/11 and they have a counter-terrorism committee. They also focus on preventing terrorism,
rather than letting it happen and battling it. Section II of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy
states, We resolve to undertake the following measures to prevent and combat terrorism, in
particular by denying terrorists access to the means to carry out their attacks, to their targets, and
to the desired impact of their attacks (United Nations). David Cortright, a professor of Peace
Studies and Nonviolent Social Change at the University of Notre Dame agreed, through
unilateral, bilateral, and multilateral law enforcement efforts in dozens of countries, more than
4,000 terrorist suspects, including many senior Al Qaeda operatives, have been taken into custody
(Cortright). The United Nations seeks to detain those who are involved with terrorism, rather than
kill the leaders like many countries do as mentioned before. The other way the United Nations
works to prevent terrorism is by challenging the source of the problem. They have been addressing
the world poverty issue because it is a leading factor that contributes the creation of terrorist
organizations. The United Nations looks towards the future of terrorism prevention by considering
the long-term resolutions and putting them into action.

The European Union has also contributed to the war on terror. The European Union was
created by the Maastricht Treaty on November 1, 1993. It was created with the goal of ending the
frequent and horrific war between the countries in Europe after the Second World War. The six
founding countries were Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands but
now consists of twenty-eight countries. Creating the European Union was a lengthy task; it was a
Hoffman 45

gradual integration that started in 1945. On April 18, 1951, the Treaty of Paris was signed to create
free trade for many important resources including coal, steel and iron. It led to the European Coal
and Steel community on July 23, 1952 which involved Germany, Belgium, France, Holland, Italy
and Luxembourg and ended on July 23, 2002. The European Coal and Steel Community had a
Supranational, which managed them. It is a level of governing that is above the nation state and
consisted of a Council of Ministers, a Common Assembly, a High Authority and a Court of Justice,
all to legislate, develop ideas and resolve disputes. The Supranational later became the European
Union, which today is a political and economic union between European countries that creates
policies concerning the members economies, societies, laws and security. Just recently, the first
member left the European Union. The Brexit in 2016 was Britain leaving the union with a fifty-
one-point nine percent to forty-eight-point one percent majority.

In dealing with the war on terror, they European Union has created the EU Counter-Terror
Strategy which is revised every presidency to keep up with the evolution of terrorism. They focus
on the human rights involved in countering terror and are not known for excessive uses of violence
to combat it. Stated many times in the Counter-Terror Strategy is the strategic commitment. It
states, to combat terrorism globally while respecting human rights, and make Europe safer,
allowing its citizens to live in an area of freedom, security and justice (European Union). They
would like to successfully fight terrorism; however, with the understanding of human rights and
the clear intention of not violating these rights. This counter-terror strategy, like the United Nations
one, has a basic four-pillar structure. These are the prevention of terror, the protection of citizens
and countries, the pursuit of terrorists and responding to attacks effectively. The first pillar,
prevention, states, to prevent people turning to terrorism by tackling the factors or root causes
which can lead to radicalism and recruitment (European Union). They focus on the causes of
terrorism, and try to eliminate it before it rises. The second pillar for protection states, to protect
citizens and infrastructure and reduce our vulnerability to attack, including through improved
security of borders, transport and critical infrastructure (European Union). If prevention is not
completely successful, they try to protect the countries and people by limiting the likelihood of an
attack and building a foundation that could stay together if attacked. The next pillar is pursuing
the terrorists, stating, to pursue and investigate terrorists across our borders and globally; to
impede planning, travel and communications; to disrupt support networks; to cut off funding and
Hoffman 46

access to attack materials, and bring terrorists to justice (European Union). This is how they attack
the terrorist groups without violence, but rather to limit the groups activities by cutting off their
resources. The final pillar is responding and it states, to prepare ourselves, in the spirit of
solidarity, to manage and minimize the consequences of a terrorist attack, by improving
capabilities to deal with: the aftermath; the co-ordination of the response; and the needs of the
victims (European Union). This pillar is to create an effective way of dealing with an attack in an
organized manner. These four pillars create a basis that the union can build off in order to deal
with terrorists globally and locally. However, to create a resolution, every state member must
unanimously agree on it, which is difficult when every country experiences a unique terrorist
threat. Rather than creating one umbrella solution, they should consider many different ones that
pertain to different places. If they only have one plan, some states will not carry out the solution if
they feel it will be unsuccessful. Though there have been times when the European Union has
enacted a working strategy.

On March 28, 2008, the European Union, under a mandate from the United Nations,
enacted the European Union Operation in Eastern Chad and North Eastern Central African
Republic (EUFOR Tchad/RCA). It was a military bridging operation to tackle the crisis in Darfur,
which was a series of rebel attacks by the Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudanese
Liberation Army against the government that began in 2003. They wanted to protect the citizens
with a focus on refugees and deliver humanitarian aid as well as humanitarian workers to help
improve security. While the EUFOR Tchad/RCA was in action, three hundred and fifty
unexploded bombs were deactivated, over three thousand medical consultations were conducted,
around sixty-five surgical operations were done and about ten thousand refugees returned to
twenty-two villages. It also prepared Chad and the Central African Republic for MINUCRAT,
which was a peacekeeping operation. On March 15, 2009, the EUFOR Tchad/RCA left and
MINUCRAT was implemented. Georgette Gagnon, the executive director of the Africa Division

The peacekeepers appear to have prevented a resumption of large-scale violence and mass
killings. Local authorities and displaced communities have reported to humanitarian
organizations that the UN forces have improved the security situation in recent months,
Hoffman 47

and many are concerned that without the peacekeepers, insecurity will increase again.

The help of the United Nations as well as the European Union were large contributors in creating
a safe environment for Chad and the Central African Republic. The European Union is successful
in managing terrorist activity and it is clear they respond well, without violence or violating human

The United Nations and the European Union are two major groups involved with
countering terrorism. They have a lot of power in the world which gives them the ability to make
some good and effective change in the way terrorism is dealt with. Both groups choose to avoid
using violence as a means of fighting terrorism. They focus on the causes of terrorism and
preventing it from happening and always make sure that human rights are the top priority when
dealing with extremists. Even though both groups have their flaws, such as umbrella resolutions
and uncooperative members of states, they learn from their past mistakes, revise and are creating
a humane and effective method of countering terrorism.
Hoffman 48

Canadian Connection

Canada is a country with very little terrorist activity as it ranked sixty-six on the 2016
Global Terrorism Index. Canadas main participation with the war on terror has been outside the
borders of its country, particularly in Afghanistan. They supported the United States after 9/11 in
their war on terror against Afghanistan and Iraq, participating in the war from early 2002 to 2014.
However, Canada has experienced some terrorism themselves, leading to the creation of bill C-51,
also known as the Anti-Terrorism Act. There have been some major concerns with both Canadas
involvement with the war in Afghanistan as well as the necessity of bill C-51. This section of the
paper will consider why Canadas role in Afghanistan was not as successful as it has been made
out to be. It will also consider the changes bill C-51 has brought to Canada and if it was a good
decision overall.

Canada joined NATO and the United States in battling the Taliban insurgency in
Afghanistan in 2002. They sent around two thousand troops over to fight the war, using violence
and military methods to combat the extremists. The goal was to rebuild the country while getting
rid of the Taliban; however, while their use of violence did temporarily minimize the Talibans
presence, they came back with more force than before. On top of that, the Afghan government and
military became increasingly fragile because foreign aid was fighting the Taliban rather than the
Afghan government. The war damaged the infrastructure as well as the economy of Afghanistan,
leaving them in a state of devastation and without the means to fix it. Afghanistan has advanced,
in part thanks to Canada. But those advances are so fragile and brittle that the latest assessment
from the U.S. military forecasts that any gains could be lost by 2017 (The Globe and Mail). Since
military methods were used, there were only short term achievements, leaving the country virtually
useless. There was a lot put into the war, and there were some successes. They did remove the
Taliban from power and they have yet to fully control the country again. There were some
advantages to Canadas use of military violence along with the United States, but they are
outweighed by the ultimate failure to stabilize and develop Afghanistan. Canada paid a heavy
price for its Afghan mission. One hundred and fifty-eight soldiers, two civilians, a diplomat and a
journalist were killed. More than 1,800 Canadians were wounded. The war cost Ottawa at least
$18-billion (Globe and Mail). With so much put into this war, it would be wrong to say it was a
Hoffman 49

complete failure because in the short term, there was success. The overall goals that Canada had
going into Afghanistan were not completed because of the unsuccessful counter-terror strategy
used. Some more small successes are: improvement in numbers of students attending schools,
more womens rights and better access to healthcare and reparations done to the Dahla Dam. The
Dahla Dam is the largest dam in Kandahar Province and is Canadas greatest contribution to
Afghanistan. It was built in the early 1950s but was crumbled over time. With the support of
Canadian troops, the dam is now repaired and it is hoped that it will double the amount of irrigated
land in the Arghandab River basin as well as improve the standard of living for Afghani people.
However, it is important to recognize these achievements were solely based on the foreign aid and
once Canada, the United States and Britain pull out, it is likely these achievements will crumble.
Another short-term success was operation Medusa. Operation Medusa was a Canadian-led
offensive during the second Battle of Panjwaii. Roland Paris, an Associate Professor of Public and
International Affairs from the University of Ottawa explains its effect:

Operation Medusa was undoubtedly a victory for the Canadian Forces, but the gains were
only tactical. What Lieutenant-Colonel Hope did not know at the time, however, was that
Operation Medusa was also a critical learning experience for the Taliban, which thereafter
shifted its strategy to small-group guerrilla-type attacks and subterfuge. The Taliban would
return to the same territory soon after the Canadians left. (Paris)

The operation caused the Taliban to retreat and lengthened the time of their next attack. In the end,
they learned from their mistakes and came back with a new and stronger strategy, once again,
proving violence does not work in countering terrorism.

When Canada exited Afghanistan in 2014, the situation there became increasingly worse
than before. This is because Canada had provided temporary help. They had time and time again
fought off the Taliban and every war damaged Afghanistan even more. When Canada left,
Afghanistan was unequipped in battling the Taliban which caused a rise of terrorism once again in
the country. Violence is a temporary solution. When Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
came into power, he had different ideas in helping Afghanistan. In a completely different approach
than the United States and former Canadian Prime Minister, Stephan Harper, he put efforts into
Hoffman 50

helping the development of the country. He decided to put one hundred and fifty million dollars a
year, until 2020 into aid projects and continues in helping build Afghanistans security forces. He
is putting more emphasis on the countries development and ability to stand by themselves rather
than into the military. This new approach is more likely to work in the long run and it is cheaper.
Afghanistan will need $4 billion annually to arm, supply and train its army and police as
compared to $3 billion for aid projects (Berthiaume) explains Lee Berthiaume, from the Canadian
Press. This new method of countering terrorism is focused on Afghanistans independent abilities,
is cheaper, and in long run, will do more than violence will do and has done.

Canada has not put all their efforts into Afghanistan. It currently has troops station in Iraq,
training the Kurds and helping battle ISIS by building up their military through training, advising,
assisting and equipping them. This has been considered successful thus far, even though the time
in Iraq has been lengthened by three months. They would like to get a better idea of the situation
and to assess the changes that need to be made as the war continues. Canadian Defense Minister
Harjit Sajjan stated, It is clear that coalition efforts are having a real impact on the ground
(Sajjan) The mission in Iraq focuses less on a short-term, militaristic method, but rather on
improving the state of the Iraqi military thereby allowing them to cope themselves against ISIS
and other future threats that may arise. Canadas involvement in Iraq is the better approach to the
war on terror, using soft measure and non-violent methods to combat ISIS.

Focusing more within the borders of Canadas war on terror is Bill C-51. Bill C-51 is an
Anti-Terrorism Act that is vague and broad in what it permits and does not permit. The Bill allows
many human rights violations under suspicion, that is undefined and many are not in favour of this
Bill. It was enacted by the Harper government in 2015 and opposed by the NDP and Green Party.
It adds a section to the criminal code that allows a warrant to be issued if a judge suspects terrorist
propaganda. However, the Bill does not specify what is considered terrorist propaganda. The
vagueness of this can lead to wrongful use of the law and can violate the right to freedom of speech.
It also allows police to arrest anyone without a warrant if they suspect they may carry out terrorist
attacks. This again, does not specify what is considered suspicion of possibly carrying out a
terrorist attack and leaves it up to interpretation. Private information of anyone can be shared
among departments and the RCMP can collect data from Health Canada without a warrant. This
Hoffman 51

violates a persons right to privacy, and many are concerned as to why access to private health
information needs to be publicized. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), which is
a spy agency created to collect information, now can interfere with travel and banking transactions
and can ask judges for approval in cases where their actions would violate rights or freedoms that
are protected by the law. The CSIS now has more power than they should or need and can
completely dismiss human rights and freedoms if they feel the need to. This Bill has criminalized
free expression, which is a direct violation of freedom of speech. Peaceful protesters can be
arrested for suspected terrorist activity if the police or CSIS believe they could be involved in
terrorist activities. From late 2015 to early 2016, the CSIS has made two dozen arrests under Bill
C-51. The RCMP also arrested Kevin Omar Mohamed for fear or terrorism. In the end, he was not
charged for terrorism, but for possession of a knife. He was denied bail and given a peace bond. A
peace bond is given to someone who is suspected to commit a terrorist offence and are put under
strict conditions. The new fear of terrorism law and easier access to peace bonds are both from Bill
C-51. The RCMP has made other arrests in the past as well under this Bill. The Trudeau
government declared their support for Bill C-51 at a NATO summit in Poland, though they want
to make changes that will limit the human rights violations and clear up some of the broad
definitions. He also said that the Bill will be reviewed every three years to make sure it is up to
date and working well. Trudeau stated, "We will repeal the problematic elements of Bill C-51, and
introduce new legislation that better balances our collective security with our rights and freedoms"
(Trudeau). Currently, no changes have been made. Bill C-51 is very controversial, though, it needs
more revising so it does not violate so many human rights and freedoms if it is to stay a law.

Canada has played a large role in the war on terror. It provided some help in Afghanistan
in the past and its new attempt at helping in the development is expected to create a positive impact
in the country. Bill C-51 in under advisement of the Trudeau government and is also expected to
make some positive changes. Canada is in the process of becoming a bigger help in the war on
terror and will change the way terrorism is dealt with.
Hoffman 52


Terrorism is an extremely multifaceted issue and there is yet to be a definition that fully
encompasses its complexity. It is constantly progressing and changing at a rapid rate as the war on
terror continues. With such a complicated topic at hand, a completely fool-proof method of
countering it has not been found. As this paper highlights, throughout the past as well as the
present, the use of military violence as a means of countering terrorism has proven to be an
ineffective method. This raises the question: how can you beat a group that only knows violence
without using it ourselves? Terrorists want to achieve a goal politically and in their opinion, what
they want is in the best interest for everyone. These ideas come from lack of education, societal
rejection, oppression and many other causes. Using force against them only makes them angrier
and more resentful, may lead them to become stronger and attack again. The cycle of violence has
been going on for years and the only way to put an end to it is to counter these extremists without
violence. Violence acts as a short-term solution. Short-term solutions should not be prioritized,
while the long term should be. That is not to say that violence can never be used in these situations,
as long as it is not in isolation. Next, ideally, terrorism needs to be stopped before it starts. Focusing
on the causes of terrorism and fixing these problems could eventually end the rise of new terrorist
groups globally. Finally, instead of fighting a battle, meanwhile destroying the country that is
already in havoc, countries experiencing terrorism should rebuild and work on development with
the help of stronger countries. Countering terrorism without violence is a much more difficult
challenge than using it as many have done in the past; however, in the end, it is the best way of
eradicating these extremist groups.

During the war on terror, governments all around the world have been looking at what to
do right away and how to make the problem go away immediately. While these are good intentions,
this is short-term thinking and is only temporary. Using violence will get rid of a terrorist group
for a little while, maybe even a few years, but they will resurface and will be more powerful. These
solutions provide momentary satisfaction and please the general population, but it does not last
forever. When the terrorist groups return, angrier than before, the government will have to face the
same issue they did previously. Again, short-term solutions are focused on because they worked
before; however, this will go on forever until terrorists learn how to not be affected by the short-
Hoffman 53

term. What must be considered is a successful long-term solution. These will take much longer
than military intervention and no one will be happy with it at first, but it will work eventually.
You can kill a person, but it will take ages to kill an Ideology (Dustin V). Killing the leader of
the group, or even every member of an organization will not get rid of the ideology behind it. There
will always be someone who supported the group that is willing to step up and continue the fight
and they will be furious that everyone before them was killed for trying to make a change. The
dangerous ideas these extremists have must be killed, not the people who believe in them. It will
take time and effort, but it will keep the ideology from resurfacing again.

Killing an ideology is a simple idea yet hard to carry out. There are many things that can
be done to get rid of an ideology. It is best to develop a country that is ruled by terror, instead of
focusing strictly on the military and weapons. Developing a country will help it stand on its own,
so it is capable of getting rid of terrorist groups themselves as well as preventing them from starting
in the first place. The development of a country can be done through promoting education, aid
projects and humanitarian aid, focusing on human rights, access to health care and ending
government corruption. Education is a major cause of terrorists because those without it do not
understand that violence is not the best way to get what they want. It teaches a country safety,
rights and how to contribute to a society in a healthy way. A country without education is a
harvesting ground for terrorist organizations because they are so vulnerable to attacks. For
example, in India, when NGOs (non-government organizations) provided education to the
children in terrorist-ruled countries, many terrorist groups surrendered because their families were
being supported by the government. Other countries should not be sending in military troops to
fight the terror battle for the countries, but rather peacekeepers to carry out aid projects and supply
them with food, drinking water and other basic needs. When other countries use their short-term
military methods, the terrorists will be defeated temporarily but when the countries leave, terrorists
will return to the country that is left incapable of dealing with them alone. A terror-struck country
needs to rebuild themselves so they can take care of themselves. The country needs to become one
that is not a land that terrorists can thrive in; their resources must be killed, not the terrorists.
Terrorists do not know human rights, and often the countries that harbor them do not understand
them either. If human rights were to become a larger priority in these countries prior to the growth
of a terrorist organization, there would be less resentment between the extremists and the
Hoffman 54

government in the first place, thereby preventing the possible rise. There must be good access to
health care in destroyed countries to limit the number of civilian deaths caused by both the
terrorists and the opposing military. Many terrorists choose to kill as a way of achieving attention.
Lastly, attempting to negotiate with terrorists can help limit their violent attacks. In some
situations, terrorists are not willing to negotiate, however this is not the same for every group.
Since they want to enact political change, giving them some of what they want in exchange for
stopping the violence can work. Considering Aquinos negotiations with the New Peoples Army,
terrorists want support in their issue and often giving them a little bit is better than complete
destruction to a society which will eventually lead to terrorists governing. These are all methods
of countering already existing terrorist groups but the best way to counter terrorism is to stop it
before it starts.

There are many reasons people become terrorists, as mentioned in previous sections of this
paper. Some include poverty, societal rejection, oppression and government corruption. Turning
attention to these other issues, which inevitably lead to terrorism will help limit the amount of
radical organizations in the future. If countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq were to focus more
on their economy, and the citizens living in poverty, it would help prevent people in poverty from
becoming terrorists. Rather than countries investing in foreign intervention, they could put those
resources towards building a vibrant economy in a developing country. There also needs to be
fewer people rejected from society. It must be easier for people who grow up in a troubled home
to tell someone about it and more must be done for it. Societal rejection leads to terrorism because
that group gives them the community they long for. If there were fewer people in need of a
community, there would be less terrorism. There are also many people being constantly oppressed,
which leads to anger. Different religions, different ideologies and different races are constantly
being oppressed by governments. For example, Trump oppresses Muslims which will build up
resentment and what was supposed to counter terror ends up making things worse. Oppression
leads to anger, and people are unable to express that when the government is constantly keeping
them quiet, so they turn to violence because it catches the attention of everyone. Finally, often in
countries experiencing terrorism, there is a corrupt government. They cause terrorist groups to
surge and only know of violence when countering them. If corrupt governments are dealt with
immediately and taken from power through economic sanctions and protests, there would be less
Hoffman 55

reason for terrorism to start in the first place. The issue of terrorism would not be such an issue if
it did not exist to the extent it does today. After all,

Terrorism is like a tree. You keep cutting its branches, but it will continue to grow, but if
you want to eradicate it completely, you have to see the roots of the tree. By enlightening
people with good beliefs, thoughts and education we can change their mind set. Power of
word is much greater than using weapons. (Dustin V)

Removing the use of violence will make the long-term solutions more difficult to enact.
Depending on the situation, since all terrorist groups respond differently, short-term solutions
followed immediately by long-term ones will result in effective change. Governments tend to use
militaristic violence as the only solution and once a terrorist organization is eradicated, they leave
it at that. However, the group will return as shown with the Boko Haram. After the government
used violence they disappeared for a year, only to come back stronger. Once a group has been
weakened through strategic uses of violence, then the long-term solutions that build up the country
can be put into place. Schools and hospitals can be built and the economy can be strengthened.
These long-term methods will prevent the resurgence of a terrorist as well as improve the condition
of the country. The use of violence specifically in isolation is not a productive method of
countering terror. A combination of the short and long-term is most likely to result in the
eradication of a terrorist organization.

An example of short and long-term solutions combined to eradicate a terrorist group

without the use of violence is Canada in the 1970s as they dealt with the Front de Libration du
Qubec (FLQ). The FLQ was a parliamentary group who were very left wing. They believed in
socialism, nationalism and wanted to be separated from Canada and considered an independent
nation. They were responsible for 160 violent attacks on civilians with its most destructive attack
being the October Crisis that led to the eradication of the group. The October Crisis occurred after
a chain reactions that led to the kidnapping of two politicians: James Cross and Pierre Laporte.
The short-term usage was the war measures act, which Pierre Trudeau, former Prime Minister of
Canada, enacted. Though the act increased the abilities of police forces, they were not abused and
many FLQ members were arrested and later released due to lack of charges. There was no torturing
Hoffman 56

or killing during the process and the FLQ was dismantled. Today, forty-seven years later, the Parti
Quebecois exists with similar values as the FLQ. The result of a non-violent method of dealing
with this terrorist organization was successful and ended in a political party that voices the opinions
of those who supported the FLQ. Though the party previously existed before the October Crisis,
they hold the support of those who believed in the FLQ in a non-violent way, prevented further
terrorist activity. It is important to recognize the benefits of short-term solutions if they are not
extreme, such as a lawful use of the war measures act followed by a peaceful political party as the
long-term solution.

These non-violent methods of countering-terrorism will not only lessen the amount of
terror globally, but it will help developing countries grow in the process. It is important to
understand that all these solutions must be used to counter terror because such a complicated issue
cannot be solved in one attempt. All groups are different and every country is different, so changes
should be made to best suit how each group operates. In general, it is best not to overreact to
terrorist attacks and make rash decisions on combatting them because that is feeding the fire. By
thinking about the long-term, working towards developing countries and looking at the root
terrorism, it is very possible to eventually eradicate extremist groups around the world.
Hoffman 57


The war on terror is far from simple. The mere fact that a definition of terrorism has yet be
perfected explains how complex of an issue it truly is. The effect both Islamic fundamentalists and
left-wing extremists have in a society that is not in favour of their goals and ideologies is significant
as they should not be put under the control of such groups. The long lead up between countries
fighting over oil and the festering hatred between different countries evidently led to the spark of
terrorism globally. The violent take on fighting terrorism has continued since the September 11
attacks and caused a surge in Islamophobia around the world. Though this report focuses mainly
on Islamic terrorist organizations, it is important to recognize it is not the only type of terrorism
and should not be seen as such.

As Robert Imre explains, terrorism is caused by the society it harvests in. The behind-the-
scenes life of a terrorist must be considered when countering it to find the best ways in which is
can be fought. The religion and social situation of a terrorist is a direct contributor to terrorism
which must be recognized. As governments fight terrorism, need to take into consideration new
methods to address the underlying issues rather than focus on the short-term solutions and ways to
quickly fix the issue while remaining in power. As the government, terrorists and media all play
such a strong role in terrorism, each must be examined in detail before any decisions are made to
avoid mistakes and the ripple effect that could lead to more violence.

The three countries that experience terrorism Nigeria, Afghanistan and the Philippines
have each used methods of violence in countering terrorism that proved to be unsuccessful.
Nigerias strong military crackdown led to a surge in terrorist activity from Boko Haram the
following year. However, a change in government is likely to show an improvement in the fight
as the new president is considering new ways of combatting the militant group. Afghanistans fight
against the Taliban has been long and ongoing. The foreign intervention has shown to be both
beneficial and detrimental as their presence in the country is a temporary fix the problem. Finally,
the Philippines attempts at negotiating with both the New Peoples Army and the Abu Sayyaf
group is a non-violent and effective way of countering terrorism. Their efforts are proving to be
more successful than Nigeria and Boko Haram and Afghanistan with the Taliban as they are places
Hoffman 58

lower on the terrorism index and experience fewer and less deadly attacks from both terrorist

International organizations role and Canadas role in the war on terror both have seen
useful and some ineffective ways of countering terrorism. As both the United Nations and the
European Union use less violent strategies in combatting terrorism, both have issues such as
umbrella resolutions and lack of full participation from every country involved. Similarly,
Canadas involvement has helped in some ways such as the dam and operation Medusa; however,
they struggle to rebuild communities in Afghanistan and Iraq allowing them to stand on their own.

Finding one perfect solution to such a complicated issue is impossible. The best method of
combatting these extreme groups is the combination of short and long-term solutions. Using
violence, or a temporary change in the civil rights of a country to weaken a terrorist organization
provides the time for a government to rebuild the country. It is important to understand these short-
term solutions must be used cautiously and only in preparation for long-term solutions. The short-
term solutions must also be adjusted to the terrorist group as to not cause a surge of aggression
from the terrorists. Once the short-term solutions have successfully damaged a group, long-term
solutions must be quickly implemented to prevent further terrorist activity. The country that holds
the terrorists must be rebuilt, with or without the help of other countries, so it is no longer an easy
territory for terrorists to grow. These long-term solutions are most important because they shape
the future of the country and hold control over whether terror will continue in the country.
Countering terrorism is a challenging process; it must be well thought-out and specific to each
terrorist organization.
Hoffman 59



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