Terrorism and its various forms
Terrorism has been defined differently by various scholars. Some have mentioned that it integrates the idea of political terrorism which comprises the use of violence by either a group or an individual with the sole intention of creating anxiety and fear towards a targeted group. The target group is normally much bigger than the immediate victims. Significantly, fear is the main and most important element of terrorism if at all it is meant to succeed.
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A case in a study in which fear has been the element used to rule is that of China’s Mao Ze Dong in the early 1950s. Many governments across the world have therefore responded fearfully by enhancing social and political change. Well, the constructivists look at terrorism as an outcome of social structures as well as it being a “consequence of discourse”. The sub-state terrorists such as Al Qaeda and the Tamil Tigers perceive themselves as freedom fighters and in other cases as people fighting for their territories. Hence, they go ahead and execute such acts as suicide bombings, assassinations, hijacking, and threats among other methods.
Alternatives to countering terrorism
Given that the so-called terrorist movements keep on evolving and rapidly adapting to the various environments across the globe, it is important that governments and other national and international organizations seek other alternatives that will help counter-terrorism. For instance through counter-terrorist diplomacy, manipulation of the media, intelligence, implementation of a good and competent government, and critical incident control among others.
This, therefore, implies that the use of the military in countering terrorism is not always successful. Therefore, it is not advisable for states to continue allocating huge sums of money towards the military but invest in other methods such as diplomacy as well. The International community should, however, cooperate in pushing into power the competent governments that will foresee the thorough implementation of policies and most of all installing competent police forces. This will in turn help counter-terrorism as the governments will be cooperating in promoting peace and security which constructivists acknowledge as vital for every nation.
The responsibility of the governments and intelligence agencies regarding terrorism
All in all, it is possible and however important that governments as well as other agencies change their perception of terrorism and try as much as they possibly can to be open-minded on this issue. However, some scholars propose that it is upon the governments and the intelligence agencies to change how terrorism is currently understood that it has to involve violence and wars. Terrorism can take place in soft forms such as the use of fear by leaders or rulers as mentioned earlier.
In other instances, it can involve unsuspected nations that seem to be allies to the nations that are up against terrorism. For instance, the 1988 Lockerbie bombing in which the media intelligence later on released information that Iran and Syria were the main perpetrators of the act.
All in all, the success of the U.S government through its military in killing Osama Bin Laden, does not guarantee that the movement will crash. Given that it is now more of an ideology that has penetrated most corners of the world; it will take more than the military to completely do away with this movement. The social structures that strengthen the communication and operation of this movement need an upgraded intelligence system amongst other means.