If you look at long-term trends in terrorism, either domestically or internationally, you don’t see a a clear sign that things are getting worse. A lot depends on what you look at — the number of incidents (which declined after the 1980s) or the casualties (which have gone up by some counts). It’s hard to even agree on what to measure: the official promoting the “war on terror” are counting deaths in Iraq as casualties of terrorism, but Dr. Mueller argues that’s misleading because previously these would have been classified as casualties of a civil war.
There’s been many mistakes in the war on terror, the Iraq war being the biggest, but we have very determined enemies and unlike the communists that were a rational thinking group, the Islamic Terrorists are fanatical and irrational. It would be great if we could ignore them and hope they go away but they won’t. The media hasn’t been focused on the terror threat as other domestic issues have come to the fore, but we must remain vigilant.
The president has been trying to isolate Iran, with more rhetoric which is unhelpful. Diplomatic negotiation with Iran,much like what was done with North Korea, might prove more beneficial.
Unfortunately the administration has pulled the terrorism card so often, their credibility has been weakened to the point that any real threat might not be taken seriously.
Unlike other recent studies on the causes of terrorism, Abadie's work explores not only transnational instances of terrorism but also domestic ones. This difference is telling: In 2003, the MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base reported only 240 cases of transnational terrorism compared to 1,536 instances of domestic terrorism. Furthermore, Abadie suggests that the determinants of transnational and domestic terrorism may differ. "Much of modern-day transnational terrorism seems to generate from grievances against rich countries," he writes. "In addition, in some cases terrorist groups may decide to attack property or nationals of rich countries in order to gain international publicity. As a result, transnational terrorism may predominantly affect rich countries. The same is not necessarily true for domestic terrorism."
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