Part One Choose “one" discussion question from either the chapter 10 or 11 discussion boxes in which to respond. After reading the chapter and the discussion box, you are to “repeat” and comprehensively answer your selected discussion question.
Chapter 10, pg. 350
“Is terrorism “poor man’s warfare” and therefore a legitimate option for waging war?” (Martin, 2013) First and formost, terrorism is not a legitimate option for waging war. While there are legitimate goals and objectives that are often used in times of legitimate warfare, it is the tactics that set terrorism apart form legitimate types of warfare. The act of terrorism is actually cendemend by most governments within the world whereas acts of freedom fighting or revolutioanry war do not receive the same outcry from the world governments (Martin, 2013).
While terrorist groups like to use such ideas as religious percecution and government oppression as reasons for their causes, it is their actions that often garner them the title of terrorists verse freedom fighter or revoutionary. The tactics used by terrorist groups are indiscriminate and many groups actually want to target innocnet civilians verse government personnel to gain more media attention to their cause.
Terrorism is far from being a “poor man’s warfare”. “Poor man’s warfare” fits more of the Vietnam style of fighting verse modern day terroristic acts. In Vietnam, many of their traps and devices were made of simple materials that were easily made or stolen. For example, holes were dug and filled with pongee stick covered in human feces for enemy troops to fall into. In many of the Vietnam bombings of facilities housing Americans downtown were simple explosives using a timer and typically only took out the place of business and a small area outside and around the business. It did not take out city blocks. The explosives were tactically placed to do more damage to American troops and American sympathizers than just the average Vietnam citizen.
Many leaders are highly educated individuals that were educated within the U.S. and other countries. Many of the leaders graduated from such schools as Harvard, Yale, Oxford, and Princeton. These leaders are able to use their advanced education to plan and strategize events that cause mass casualties for their cause. They operate at the same level as many of our Generals in the Armed Services. They plan and execute the overall big picture of the terror organization.
Terrorism today is a multi-million dollar business. Terrorist groups filter billions of dollars through its various channels of operation. Because of the mass financial backing, some of which can buy a country, the terrorist groups are able to obtain tools that the poor man would never be able to use. For example, they have access to top of the line military hardware, bio-warfare material, and international media communication companies. In recent reports coming from the Mexican cartels intelligence gathering, the Mexican cartels are getting into business with various terrorist agencies to smuggle their operatives and equipment into the U.S. and other countries. Current day cartels are using full size submarines to bypass border security. Terrorist groups are using these assets to further their cause.
Because terrorist are willing to use any method to get their cause across, many of their tactics are looked down upon because of their indiscriminatory results. Terrorist go for the big kill and damage. The more women and children they kill, the better. The problem is that they kill indiscriminately whereas in legitimate warfare there are targets and those targets are given a value of success and failure due to the result of action taken against the target. For example, a religious target may not be targeted even if military hardware is next to the building. Although this is now a legitimate target, the target is avoided due to the damage caused by hitting the target would actually hurt the cause due to the high number of civilian causalities that could occur.
Terrorist on the other hand would go for the site to kill as many religious members as it could all in the name of the cause. They would also not care which tools they used to accomplish the mission. Explosives or nerve gas, to terrorist groups, they are both tools that help them accomplish the goal and mission of the group without care for non-combatants.