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Global Master of Arts Program II, Third Term, 2005-2006 - page 8 / 15

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INTERNET MEDIATED SESSION 29 November 2005 to 17 January 2006

Module Week I (29 November 2005) (Third Term Week 1) Topic: Terrorism and Other Asymmetric Threats Required Readings

Audrey Kurth Cronin, "Behind the Curve: Globalization and International Terrorism," International Security, vol. 27, no. 3 (winter 2002/03), pp. 30-58.

Robert A. Pape, "The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism," American Political Science Review, vol. 97, no. 3 (August 2003), pp. 343-361.

Barry R. Posen, "Command of the Commons: The Military Foundations of U.S. Hegemony," International Security, vol. 28, no. 1 (summer 2003), pp. 5-47.

Recommended Readings

Mia M. Bloom, Dying to Kill: The Allure of Suicide Terror (New York: Columbia University Press, 2005).

Robert A. Pape, Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism (New York: Random House, 2005)

The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on the Terrorist Attacks upon the United States (New York: W. W. Norton, 2004), especially pp. 1-63 (Chaps. 1 and 2).

Jessica Stern, Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill (New York: Harper Collins, 2003). John L. Esposito, Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003). Discussion Questions

  • 1.

    Audrey Kurth Cronin argues that the emergence of sacred terrorism is an unintended consequence of globalization, primarily in the Arab world. What exactly is the linkage between globalization and international terrorism? Since the United States and other G-8 member states obviously cannot "reverse" globalization, what policy recommendations follow from Cronin's analysis?

  • 2.

    According to Robert Pape, suicide terrorism follows a strategic logic specifically designed to force liberal democracies (e.g., the United States, Spain, and Israel) to make significant territorial concessions. Suicide terrorism is an effective coercive strategy largely because it resulted it significant concessions in the 1980s and 1990s. If suicide terrorism is an asymmetric form of coercion, then what might be limitations in using military force against terrorist organizations as a counter strategy? Can states diminish the likelihood of suicide terrorism without first addressing the fundamental socio-economic and political factors that breed suicide terrorists?

  • 3.

    Barry Posen maintains that U.S. military's command of the commons—land, sea, air, and space—has enabled the Bush administration to pursue a strategy of primacy (or dominion). However, the United States will continue to face opposition in so-called contested zones, such as Somalia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. How could the U.S. military establish command in these contested zones in the near to medium term? Do you accept Posen's conclusion that Washington may have greater success in meeting foreign policy goals by adopting a strategy of selective engagement?

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