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Terrorism in the Middle East Research Paper


Introduction

Terrorism has become rampant in many parts of the world. A number of countries are forced to put in place measures to tighten security in efforts to deal with acts of terror. The emergence of new terror groups in the world has worsened the situation. Many youths are joining the establishments. Terrorism involves the use of violence and intimidation in pursuit of political and other aims. Today, some places of are regarded as either targets of terrorism or source of the crime. A case in point is countries in the Middle East. Many people in this region have been affected negatively by acts of terror. Most of the countries in the Middle East are occupied by Arabs. The impacts of terrorism in this region vary.

Significance of the Study

The aim of this study is to provide an in-depth analysis of terrorism in the Middle East. Such information is significant given that people associated this crime with a certain religion. The findings made in this study will shed light on why governments and security analysts tie the acts to a group of people. The study on terrorism will also help in understanding the effects of this crime on countries in the Middle East. It will cover the social, political, and economic impacts of the act. Terrorism is regarded as one of the major threats to global security. Countries have invested heavily on strategies to fight this crime.

The findings of this study will provide information on the reasons why it is difficult to deal with terrorism in some countries (Dalacoura 966). The members of terror groups have tried to justify why they disrupt the peace of countries in the world. Consequently, this study will highlight the various aims of terrorism and how the criminals plan their activities. Some people believe that terrorists are mentally unstable. The reasoning is based on the impacts of the acts of these individuals. In light of this, the current research will provide information on the operations of the conventional terrorist and whether or not there are any mental problems associated with them.

Terrorist groups cannot support or carry out their operations without funding. They need a constant source of money to perpetrate their crime. The planning and execution of terrorist activities is a capital intensive venture. The reason is that terrorists have to be trained and weapons purchased to arm them. In addition, terrorism may be orchestrated at a place that is far from where the planning took place. All these logistical arrangements require money (Somer et al. 140).

Conducting this research will provide more information on how terrorist groups fund their activities. The study will also provide information on how they are trained and equipped with weapons to go to war. Most of the people who fund the groups are oil tycoons from the Middle East. The objectives of these stakeholders will be analyzed in the research. The study will also highlight details on the various ways that can be used to deal with issues of terrorism in the Middle East. The reason is that it is important to address this insecurity problem to avert its negative impacts on the social, political, and economic spheres.

Research Questions

The study will be guided by the following five research questions:

    1. What are the effects of terrorism in the Middle East?

To answer this question, the researcher will take into consideration the political, social, and economic impacts of this crime.

    1. What are the aims and objectives of terrorism in the Middle East?

Here, the goals and objectives of the various stakeholders will be analyzed.

    1. How can governments in the Middle East prevent terrorism?

Different strategies that can be used to prevent the occurrence of this crime will be reviewed. In addition, the weaknesses and limitations of these approaches will be highlighted.

    1. Who funds terrorism in the Middle East?

The major financiers will be discussed. The Middle East is known to be one of the major producers of oil in the world. To answer this question, the researcher will analyze whether or not the money from this trade is what is used to finance terrorism.

    1. How can terrorism be dealt with in the Middle East?

The question is closely related to number 3 above. However, the focus here is to analyze how the larger problem of terrorism can be dealt with. Answering this question will provide an in-depth understanding of terrorism in the Middle East.

Annotated Bibliography

Albrecht, Holger, and Oliver Schlumberger. ““Waiting for Godot”: Regime Change without Democratization in the Middle East.” International Political Science Review 25.4 (2004): 371-392. Print.

Albrecht and Schlumberger highlight the issue of democratization in the Middle East (388). They analyze political systems of different nations in the region. According to the article, building of regimes in the countries is the main cause of terrorism.

Controlled political liberalization is also cited as another cause of terrorism in the region. According to the authors, most political leaders in the Middle East fund terrorist groups. In addition, a number of countries lack democracy. The rule of law is nonexistent. It is the main reason why most of these countries are in turmoil. According to the authors, the issue of terrorism can be dealt with by introducing democracy. Having responsible leaders who will do away with the political regimes is another way of minimizing terrorism.

Dalacoura, Katerina. “US Democracy Promotion in the Arab Middle East since 11 September 2001: A Critique.” International Affairs 81.5 (2005): 963-979. Print.

Dalacoura examines the implementation of US democracy promotion programs in the Arab region (970). The article shows the reaction of the people towards the policies. According to the US government, promotion of democracy is the best tool that can be used to fight terror. The article critiques these assumptions.

According to Dalacoura, the programs have not been as successful as expected (971). Most of the countries in the Arab region have not embraced them. Majority of them regard it as a strategy by the U.S to take over the states. The rejection of the programs is a move by the Arab nations to protect their oil reserves. Consequently, the interventions by the U.S have not been effective.

Levitt, Matthew. “The Political Economy of Middle East Terrorism.” Middle East Review of International Affairs 6.4 (2002): 49-65. Print.

The article by Levitt analyzes the political and economic effects of terrorism in the Middle East. Levitt discusses the financing of terrorist groups in the area (50). The economic state of many countries in the region is poor. The only thing sustaining them is money from oil. Politics is also said to promote terrorism. Many political leaders fund terrorists.

According to Levitt, terrorism in the Middle East can be dealt with by enhancing international cooperation (55). Security is another strategy according to the author. Another way of dealing with the problem is cutting off funding to terrorists.

Somer, Eli, Shira Miguen, Keren Or-Chen and Brett Litz. “Managing Terror: Differences between Jews and Arabs in Israel.” International Journal of Psychology 44.2 (2009): 138-146. Print.

Somer et al. discuss different ways of managing terror (140). The differences between Jews and Arabs are some of the causes of terrorism. To manage the situation in the region, leaders are called upon to unite and disregard their differences. However, most of them have failed to bring their people together. It is the main reason why the Jews and the Arabs are in constant fights.

According to Somer et al., the absence of peace in the region fosters the emergence of different terror groups (141). The first way to manage the problem involves uniting the people to avoid ethnic clashes. If the Jews and Arabs are at peace, terrorism would reduce. The authors conclude by stating that terrorism can be managed by studying the behaviors of the people.

Findings and Discussion

Aims of Terrorism

Terrorists carry out their work with a clear objective. Nationwide terrorism is aimed at coercing governments to make them change their perceptions and policies. In most cases, terrorists do not work alone. The entities are well organized. They are led by individuals who receive orders from prominent people in the society. The terror groups come up with requests that they need the government to meet (Dalacoura 965). For example, in Israel and Pakistan, terrorists have been trying to compel the governments to work on their demands. Some of the strategies used by these groups include taking people hostage, bombing civilian and government installations, and killing innocent persons. In most cases, the terrorists target areas with a large population of people. Many young persons are recruited into these movements to perpetuate the war. Most of them end up dead. A number of countries, including those in the Middle East, have made efforts to fight terrorism (Dalacoura 965).

Funding Terrorist Groups in the Middle East

Security analysts continue to question where terrorist groups get the money to fund their activities from. Sponsors of these groups include, among others, governments, individuals, and non-governmental organizations. An example is ISIS, a terrorist formation in the Middle East. The activities of the group are financed by private donors from Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The group is considered to be more radical than Al-Qaeda. It has over 10,000 fighters who need payment and arms (Levitt 60). The group also gets money to fund its activities from oil fields in Northern Syria.

It is also believed that the government of Iran has been funding the terrorists. The government is known to support the Hezbollah terrorist group with money and weapons. It is also accused of training the criminals. It is the main reason why terrorism is rampant in the Middle East. Politicians are also believed to fund terrorist activities against their rivals (Somer et al. 142). The aim of these enemies is to make the government look like a failure to the people. Causing fear and insecurity in the country shows that the authorities have failed in their mandate to safeguard the welfare of their citizens. Political rivals are satisfied when people lose confidence in their government.

Effects of Terrorism in the Middle East

Social effects

Acts of terrorism affect the social life of the people living in different countries in the Middle East. The activities instill fear in the minds of the people. When individuals are afraid of their safety, their movements are limited. It becomes difficult for them to go out and work. People fear getting attacked. Such concerns force them to remain indoors. It means that they cannot provide for their families as expected. Their health may be negatively affected due to poor diet. In addition, many of them die due to malnutrition.

The people’s social way of life is changed drastically. In many places in the Middle East, individuals are avoiding social places like theatres and religious gatherings for fear of being attacked. In some regions, schools and hospitals have been closed down indefinitely. No one is willing to work in these centers (Dalacoura 970). Children are forced to stay out of school. People have to do without medical services. The number of Christians in the Middle East is small. Most of them are targeted by terrorists due to their religious affiliations.

Due to changes in the people’s ways of life, many are forced to move away from their homeland. They become refugees in other countries that are relatively peaceful. Life as a refugee is challenging. It is recorded that almost 30% of the people living in Iraq and Pakistan have moved from their homes due to terrorism. It also becomes hard for individuals to socialize freely for fear of being attacked by terrorists (Somer et al. 140). Some of these social impacts of terrorism can only be controlled if acts of terror are done away with.

Economic effects

Most of the countries affected by terrorism have economies that are performing poorly. Examples of such nations are Pakistan and Syria. Most countries like the U.S and the U.K have issued travel advisories against the regions affected by terrorism in the Middle East. People are also afraid of travelling to areas where there are high security risks. Tourism in these nations is hindered. It is significant given that this economic activity is one of the major sources of revenue to many nations. The economies of these nations are impaired when tourism reduces (Albrecht and Schlumberger 380).

The only thing that sustains these countries is the presence of oil reserves. Investment in these regions is also hindered. Investors boost the economy of a given country. However, in a place like Iraq and Iran, there are no foreign investors. Business owners are only willing to invest in a safe place where they are sure of making profits. It is hard for them to agree to waste their capital in areas where there are security risks. The fact that businesses cannot thrive in these regions affects their economies (Somer et al. 142).

The activities of existing businesses in countries faced by the problem of terrorism are also disrupted. Sustaining business activities for a long time is hard because of the attacks. Consequently, demand for goods and services is higher than supply. As a result, there is shortage of products, which leads to high inflation rates in these countries. The value of these nations’ currency is negatively affected. It is low compared to that of others in the world. Such incidences lead to the deterioration of the economy.

Political effects

Terrorist activities have political impacts on target nations. Countries that are affected by terrorism or those that are known to fund these groups are cut off from the rest of the world. International relations with these nations are hindered. In such cases, the political ambitions of such countries fail because little funding and international assistance is forthcoming. Political rivalry is witnessed where the governments are in constant fights with the terrorists groups (Albrecht and Schlumberger 381). The political ambitions of the country may be curtailed by increased spending on efforts to fight terrorism. Most of the countries in the Middle East have invested a lot in security. Terrorists are known to strike when least expected. That is why the governments are always on the lookout.

How to Deal with Terrorism in the Middle East

Terrorism can be controlled in different ways. Dealing with this problem in the Middle East and other places in the world will enhance security. The first way to curb terrorism is to undermine the support of dictators and people who fund the activities. Saudi Arabia is believed to be the major sponsor of Islamic terrorists. The country is criticized for its close relations with ISIS and other terrorist entities. On its part, the U.S has been supporting the Saudi military and madrasas in the region. Madrasas are known to promote Islamic radicalism. By withdrawing its support to Saudi’s Military and other Arab tyrannies, western governments can help reduce incidences of terrorism in the Middle East (Levitt 60).

Apart from restraining from funding terrorists, it is important to stop arming them. The training and firearms that these individuals get are used to carry out terrorist activities. If they do not have these facilities, it will be difficult for them to engage in terrorism.

Terrorism in the Middle East is mostly about control of Arab oil. In many instances, America and Britain have referred to the war on terror in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iraq as fight for natural gas. Security experts say that terrorism activities can be reduced if efforts for imperial conquest of Arab oil are stopped. Countries that aim at taking away oil fields in the Middle East should check their greed and focus on building their nations. The oil mines should be left under the control of the Arab nations. Giving them full control will reduce instances of violence between nations (Albrecht and Schlumberger 375).

Security analysts also argue that elimination of mass surveillance can help reduce terrorism. The U.S government is known for its harsh punishment against terrorists. However, the torture that the criminals go through in prisons does not in any way help in preventing the crime. Instead, it fuels the violence. An example of this is the case of Cherif Kouchi, the Paris terrorist. In 2005, he told a court that he became a radical after learning of how the U.S was torturing terrorist suspects in Abu Ghraib prison located in Iraq. Even though terrorists are brutal, their actions should not be paid back with more brutality. Stopping the torture can help reduce their activities. Governments that are covering up for the criminals should also stop.

To avoid terror attacks, it is also important to invest heavily in security. The move will discourage these criminals from engaging in the activities. Consequently, governments in the Middle East will be able to reduce incidences of this crime. However, it is important to note that averting terrorism is not the sole responsibility of governments (Albrecht and Schlumberger 380). Citizens have a role to play in ending this crime.

For example, most of the terrorists who join the organizations are not mentally unstable as many people believe. They are normal human beings. If people refuse to join the groups, then it will be hard for them to carry out their activities. Citizens offer a cost effective method of dealing with terrorism. In most cases, it is them who harbor the terrorists when they are planning to attack and when evading from law enforcement agencies. In light of this, people should be responsible enough to enhance the safety of their fellow human beings. As such, they should be encouraged to report suspicious activities to authorities. It is the most appropriate way of dealing with terrorism.

Works Cited

Albrecht, Holger and Oliver Schlumberger. ““Waiting for Godot”: Regime Change without Democratization in the Middle East.” International Political Science Review 25.4 (2004): 371-392. Print.

Dalacoura, Katerina. “US Democracy Promotion in the Arab Middle East since 11 September 2001: A Critique.” International Affairs 81.5 (2005): 963-979. Print.

Levitt, Matthew. “The Political Economy of Middle East Terrorism.” Middle East Review of International Affairs 6.4 (2002): 49-65. Print.

Somer, Eli, Shira Maguen, Keren Or-Chen and Brett Litz. “Managing Terror: Differences between Jews and Arabs in Israel.” International Journal of Psychology 44.2 (2009): 138-146. Print.

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IvyPanda. "Terrorism in the Middle East." June 11, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/terrorism-in-the-middle-east/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Terrorism in the Middle East." June 11, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/terrorism-in-the-middle-east/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Terrorism in the Middle East'. 11 June.

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