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Global Terrorism and State Security Measures Research Paper

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Updated: Sep 12th, 2021

Globalization and the state

Terrorism showed its malevolent face to the world after the 9/ 11 attacks in the US, which left thousands dead and millions more traumatized. While terrorism acts have been around for decades, the acts of terror in the past few years, where high-profile cities were targeted, have made the world realize the brutality of these acts. Almost all the developed and developing countries in Asia, Europe, North, and America have witnessed rising incidents of terror acts.

To combat these acts, governments and businesses across the globe have increased security to protect their citizens and assets. It has been estimated that states across the world spend more than 1900 billion USD directly on security and in the fight against terror and that this figure does not include the amount that the nations spend on their army, airplanes, and defense. The essay discusses the topic of global terror and attempts to answer the question “Has the escalation of global terrorism caused an increase in state security measures?” An extensive literature review and analysis have been performed to discuss the question. The term global terror is discussed briefly and statistics and various types are examined since their understanding is important in answering the research question.

Global Terrorism

Terrorism acts as defined as “Terrorism—violence directed against citizens and not combat soldiers, to influence public opinion and thus affect government policy. It is both political and personal and changes the perceptions of risk, trust, and allegiance in ways that have an impact on how people vote and how they interact with others in their daily lives. The results of terror acts in addition to the loss of lives and property are mass hysteria and paranoia where people of certain ethnic origins are viewed with suspicion, increased costs of counter-terrorism efforts and security, and increasing dissatisfaction among people.

Terrorists are not only targeting heads of state but also the general public who make soft targets. Frequently, public places such as crowded trains, busy market places, and others are targeted and the emphasis is on killing the maximum people, inflicting the maximum casualties and damage, and creating a fear psychosis among the public, prompting the government and the military to step in (USIP, October 2003).

Humanity borders on a sense of paranoia and people realize that they are not safe anymore, not even in a government establishment of a military base since a terrorist can attack anywhere. To bring about a sense of security states increase their spending on covert and overt measures to tracks terror and there is a general increase in spending on security and security infrastructure. Governments have also realized that they cannot keep a whole section of the population under watch as this is logistically not possible to achieve.

In Patterns of Global Terrorism, Sabasteanski, (2005) has pointed out that the full story of terrorism and political violence emerges only over time. As an attack occurs, details can be confusing and contradictory, or open to interpretation.

The perpetrators’ identity or intent may be unclear or unknown. Injuries may turn into fatalities, and actual casualties may never be fully determined. Given the absence of a common definition of terrorism, even determining the nature of an attack is as much an art as it is a science. The author has pointed that with different interpretations of terrorism, terrorism can be defined into six major categories and they include civil disorders, political terrorism, nonpolitical terrorism, quasi terrorism, limited political terrorism, and official or state terrorism.

Cronin (2005) has provided a detailed list of more than 500 foreign terrorist organizations that have been placed in the list of global terrorists. While some of them operate in specific areas and have specific interests, many of them are interlinked and act as fronts for large terror organizations such as Al-Qaeda. The security issues against global terror need to include defense against the activities of these organizations.

Chief among them are the Islamic groups such as the Abu Sayyaf, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza strip, Hizbul Mujahideen – operating in Pakistan and Kashmir, Taliban and Al-Al-Qaeda that operate globally through terror networks and strike against US and its allies ad many others.

Increased State Security and Rise In Global Terrorism

According to media reports, (Security management is a global industry and worth more than USD 100 billion. Since 9/11, the need for security managers in both the public and private sectors has continued to rise. Starting salaries in the field are good – $50,000 to $70,000. (PR Newswire Association. Oct 10, 2007).

Phillips (2001) has pointed out that not there was a substantial rise in security agencies and security infrastructure but that there was a cascading effect on the transportation industry as people feared for their safety and lesser people took up travel. The terrorist acts of September 11 imposed substantial short-term and long-term costs on the world economy. As a result of the attacks, there is a significant reallocation of private and public expenditures away from investments that would have increased transportation capacity and raised productivity, toward those that are deemed necessary to ensure safety and security.

As a result, manufacturers, transportation companies, and the economy face higher costs and fewer options. Air travelers experienced longer trip times and more inconveniences that, in turn, threaten to reduce demand for air travel. Other transportation industries faced lower capital and labor productivity, higher costs, and reduced demand for their services. The General Accounting Office estimated that U.S. airlines lost around 25 billion USD in 2002 alone as a result of the terrorist attacks.

Globalization and Increased Security Concerns

With an increase in globalization, terrorism has also moved to keep pace, and acts of terrorism are now carried out across the globe, thus making countries spread across Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia spend more on security apparatus. Shapiro (October 2007) has pointed out that the increased cost of security and the rise in spending on arms, ammunition by states have tragic consequences on hunger and famine.

The author estimated that states across the world spend more than 1900 billion USD directly on security and in the fight against terror and that this figure does not include the amount that the nations spend on their army, airplanes, and defense. The author has argued that it would only take 12 percent of global military spending to eliminate severe malnutrition, halve moderate malnutrition, and provide safe drinking water and primary healthcare for all. The United States now spends $450 billion a year on the military, or 43 percent of global military expenditure, but only $15 billion on development assistance.

King (11 July 2005) has reported that states across the world have drastically increased security measures to protect heads of state, politicians, leaders of importance, and other public figures, often at the cost of taxpayers. These measures run into more than a trillion dollars and include expenses for security personnel, maintaining a security corridor, investing in security devices, building secure areas and barricades that are safe from suicide bombers who may drive explosion-laden trucks, and so on. The author contends that International terrorism can be seen as an attack on the more positive aspects of globalization.

As transport costs have come down, and as people’s knowledge of opportunities in other parts of the world has increased, so both people and capital have upped sticks and gone elsewhere. As they have done, patterns of life have changed. For example, the London restaurant scene has been transformed, in part, because of the ‘internationalization’ of the cuisine.

The same is true of capital flows: whatever one thinks about multinationals, there can be no doubt that capital flows into countries such as China and India over the past decade have provided at least part of the impetus behind their now phenomenal growth rates. Terrorism threatens these benefits, notably the particular brand of international terrorism spread by Osama bin Laden and al-Qa’ida. Terrorism increases the costs of doing business, through heightened security costs and possible disruption. It also reduces the willingness of capital to move to areas of the world that might bring the most economic and human benefits and changes.

Carmody (2005) has pointed out that countries such as the US have installed enhanced security measures in many countries of Africa since some of these countries are large producers of crude oil and other mineral resources. Africa has traditionally had a marginal and decreasing role in international affairs. Since the attacks of 11 September 2001, however, the continent has taken center stage in the emerging security discourse, and access to African oil is now a strategic priority for the United States, which now trades more with Africa than Central Europe and the former Soviet Union combined. This fact, and the potential threat from global terrorism, is reflected in emerging security regimes on the continent, bolstered by increased U.S. military assistance.

Thus, global forces have penetrated not only African economic policymaking but also security; however, increased military assistance and the suppression of human rights are further distancing society from the African state, worsening long-term instability and jeopardizing U.S. access to African oil. The creation of genuine security in Africa and the United States will depend on the re-conceptualization of security as human security, and the addition of a substantive social-welfare dimension to globalization.

Highlighting the role of the US, the author contends that if the US wants to make the world a safer place, it will eventually have to offer, or force other governments to provide, the population of the entire world with the means to participate in a global society and that September 2001 has proved to be the date at which Neoliberalism and globalization parted company.

Shapiro (October 2007) points out that the increased costs of security also involves the supply of arms and weapons to certain countries such as Pakistan, Kenya, Nigeria, Chad, and other countries where the rulers use the funds that are meant for development to buy arms, all in the name of increasing security. The increased emphasis on “hard” military security may result in further “arms pollution” in Africa, although remilitarization was already in progress in “many regions in the ‘periphery’.

Arguing further the author points out that there was a sharp growth in military expenditure in Africa in the late 1990s, with the United Kingdom quadrupling its arms sales to Africa after 1999, despite a declaration of an ethical dimension to its foreign policy. Rwanda had 1298 percent more people in the armed forces in 2001 than in 1985; the figures for Djibouti and Cameroon are 328 percent and 316 percent respectively.

Previous U.S. training of the Rwandan armed forces, after the 1994 genocide, facilitated their later involvement in the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has claimed the lives of several million people, directly and indirectly. Investment in oil production can fuel conflict, as there is a political competition to control access to oil rents, and governments can afford to buy new arms. In Chad, despite agreements with the World Bank to invest the proceeds in the social sector, the government used $4 million out of the first payment of $25 million of oil revenue to buy arms. Often only negligible proportions of oil revenue are reinvested in source areas, which have to bear the negative environmental consequences of oil flaring and spills.

For example, despite producing massive oil wealth, Ogoniland, in Nigeria, has no water or electricity infrastructure. These conditions may generate local resistance movements, such as the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP). The suppression of MOSOP and the execution of its leaders in the early 1990s led to the development of violent movements, such as the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, which have recently succeeded in reducing Nigeria’s oil output by half, pushing global oil prices higher.

Bush (March 2006), the President of the US has emphasized the need for an increase in security to combat terrorism across the globe. There have been suggestions and accusations of the role of the US in Iraq and the increase in terrorism acts that are directed against its allies and the US. He has denied the suggestion that the war in Iraq has accelerated terrorism and insists that it is only by increasing security across the globe can the world be made safer.

The president has framed the role of security cover that would be extended across different states in the world. The United States will stand with and support advocates of freedom in every land. The report comments that where each government is on the path from tyranny to democracy US will take vocal and visible steps on behalf of immediate change. In other cases, the US will lend more quiet support to lay the foundation for future reforms.

BBC (10 March 2008) has reported about the possibility of terror organizations acquiring weapons of mass destruction and the increase in threat perceptions and security around the world. Quoting military sources, the report says, “Even though terrorists are using light weapons and hand-made explosives that are easily acquired in their attacks, terrorist organizations continue their efforts to acquire weapons of masspercenttion. Today only 40 percent of light weapons in the world – the total number of which we predict as 700 million – is in the hands of the security forces while the rest are in the hands of terrorists”. The above report highlights the need for extra security in different countries, especially in Europe, America, and India where there have been increased acts of terror.

Perl (2006) reports that the need for security has assumed a new dimension as terrorists employ new methods and techniques to inflict terror. The author has pointed out some trends and they are: increasing homegrown terrorism; decentralization and implantation of international jihad, radicalization, and the emergence of local networks, incitement of jihad through the internet — to include self-radicalization, lone operating terrorists, increased focus on soft civilian-focused targets, ongoing emphasis on economic attacks, continued reliance on suicide attacks, a desire to attack with WMD but little ability to execute attacks

According to the author, security measures in many countries also involve monitoring of the Internet, infiltration of terror networks, keeping track of radical priests of Islam, monitoring the activities in various madrassas or religious schools of Islam, and many more. The author has also reported that many qualified Moslem professionals such as doctors, IT engineers, and others are playing an increasing role in planning and carrying out terror acts. Considering the very vast size of these networks and the profile of these people, the concept of security has assumed an entirely new perspective and urgency.

Perl (2006) also speaks of the increasing nexus between organized crime and terror attacks and the role that security agencies have to play. The author argues that some terror organizations are active in the illicit drug trade and use the drug money to fund terror attacks. Of growing concern is the trend by terrorists to launch near simultaneous multiple attacks aimed at causing economic damage — such as attacks on transportation, tourism, and oil-related targets and infrastructures. The terror attacks in India where a series of bombings have been carried out, synchronized by remote planners have increased the security activities in different states.


The paper has discussed the term global terrorism and presented different arguments to show that there has been an increase in terror acts across different countries across the world. The paper has framed a thesis question “as the escalation of global terrorism caused an increase in state security measures?”. Different statistics have been presented to show that there is a substantial escalation in terror.

The paper has next proposed to identify key points to show that with the increase in globalization, there is an increase in terror and a consequent increase in state security as different countries increase their spending on nondefense expenditure to counter-terrorism. Analysis has been done to prove the thesis question. Different countries have spent more than 1900 billion USD to increase security and fight terror. The paper has also discussed certain new trends in terror acts and the use of the Internet and professional doctors and engineers who carry out series of synchronized attacks.


Carmody Pádraig. 2005. “Transforming Globalization and Security: Africa and America Post-9/11”. Journal of Africa Today. Bloomington. pp: 96-122.

Cronin Audrey Kurth. 2005. “The “FTO List” and Congress: Sanctioning Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations” (Eds: Patterns of Global Terrorism 1985-2005. Berkshire Publishing Group LLC.).

BBC. 2008. “Turkish general says terrorists try to acquire weapons of mass destruction”. BBC Monitoring European from Anatolia news agency, Ankara.

Bush George. 2006. The National Security Strategy March 2006: Office of the White House Publications. Web.

King Stephen. 2005. Terror’s long-term cost to the economy. The Independent, London. p: 52.

PR Newswire Association. 2007. $100 Billion Security Industry a Booming Market for Job Seekers. PR Newswire. New York.

Perl Raphael. 2006. Trends in Terrorism: 2006: CRS Report for Congress. Web.

Phillips Laurence T. 2001. A crisis of security and economics. Journal of Regulation. Washington. Volume 24. Issue 4. pp: 4-10.

Sabasteanski Anna. 2005. Patterns of Global Terrorism 1985-2005. Berkshire Publishing Group LLC. USA, Massachusetts.

Shapiro Jacob. 2007. “The Terrorists Challenge: Security, Efficiency, Control. Doctoral” Dissertation. Stanford University, USA

USIP. 2003. Global Terrorism after the Iraq War: Special Report No. 111. Web.

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