Reaction on Chapters 5 and 6 from the Book “Terrorism & Homeland Security” By Jonathan White 6th Edition
The chapter focuses on the force multipliers, genders roles, and tactics in terrorism. Jonathan White uses the chapter to showcase the role of women in terrorism. He continues to expand on the nuclear weapons and terrorism with empirical studies in relation to suicide bombings. The most critical engagement in the chapter is the RAND critique and U.S counterterrorism. Different terrorist groups tend to use females in different manners. However, women emerge as leaders and warriors in revolutionary organizations. Women are part of terrorist groups though people tend to ignore their roles. The general public and some researchers find it hard to believe that women become terrorists. Terrorists know of this notion, and, therefore, more inclusive study of gender roles in terrorist activities is important in understanding terrorism.
From a tactical point of view, terrorism has basic forms that include arson, bombing, assault hijacking, taking hostages, and kidnapping. Terrorists use some force multipliers to intensify their attacking power. The force multipliers include religious fanaticism, technology, media coverage, and transnational support. Technology enhances the striking power of terrorism when being used as a weapon. Common forms of technological attacks include biological agents, cyber terrorism, radiological and chemical weapons. The United States approaches the Al Qaeda group as a military issue that needs a military solution. Al Qaeda has shown resilience to the strategy, therefore, the group needs to be neutralized or eliminated. According to RAND analysts, redirecting the American counterterrorism tactics towards intelligence and law enforcement is the solution to the issue of terrorism.
Chapter six is critical for the reader as it enhances the knowledge on the roots of terrorism. Jonathan White uses historic resources to provide utility on the study of terrorism. From the chapter, radical democrats are seen to try and bring democracy to the entire community. They sought the distribution of wealth to all economic classes believing that the class inequities and concentrated wealth prevents the society from becoming truly democratic. Radicals become terrorists while demanding immediate and drastic changes in the distribution of wealth. The reader can explain the enlightenment and its impact on radical social change.
Enlightenment of the 1700s is an intellectual catalyst that sets the stage for the Western democracy. The irony of this democracy is that revolutionary terrorists are likely to increase under the democracy’s freedom. From the American and French revolution, one can now summarize the reign of terror in France explaining the meaning of terrorism. The American Revolution led to the transfer of political power to Philadelphia from London. One can say it was a conservative revolution as the power moved from British upper class males to the American upper class males. The French revolution is, however, a radical revolt because the lower and middle classes fought the upper classes in power.
Terrorism also comes from the actions of French revolutionary government. The governments were executing opponents resulting to the name the “Reign of Terror.” The meaning of terrorism then shifted when governments began to explain revolutionaries as terrorists. Major European capitals in 1848 were experiencing some forms of revolution, though, they were unsuccessful. Western governments started to fear communists, socialists, and anarchists. Politicians, industrial leaders, journalists, and the middle class believed that socialism was symptomatic to violent revolution. Many socialists and anarchists abhorred violence; thus, their call for revolution was rhetorical. Scholars believe there are differences in the methods of modern terrorists and the nineteen century terrorism.
The chapter concludes by demonstrating that ideological terrorists in the nineteenth century influence and inspire national terrorists. Particularly, the Russian Revolution inspires terrorists and revolutionaries in the twentieth century and would probably continue to do so today.