Definition of Terrorism / Terrorist

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by 101_Disciple, Aug 13, 2008.

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  1. Does anyone know of a definition within the doctrine (or general defence literature) for terrorism or a terrorist? Looking to reference it in a paper I am thinking of writing. Specifically looking at UK doctrine.
  2. Try googling RUSI then searching their site, perhaps a phone call. I suspect though that per say there is no definition of terrorist or terrorism laid down, generically it is the use of terror against the civil population to co-erce their compliance with your will. The process was well described by Mao Tse Tung in his book on the Long March. The problem has always been that one man's terrorist is the next mans freedom fighter.

    Mind you not having a clear definition can be as good as having one, it means you can easily achieve 'meanung drift' to ensure that the assumed meaning suits your policy, notice how the present government functions.

    I would suggest that RUSI is your best bet and taking out a sub with them could well repay itself extensively, they have an excellent library
  3. Was meanung drift one of Mao Tse Tung's inscrutable Chinese maxims?
  4. I think dear old Mao relied a trifle more on the bullet in the back of the head than the subtleties of 'meaning drift'. His meanings never drifted, may be redefined but never drifted.
  5. the_matelot

    the_matelot War Hero Moderator

    You're right-there isn't any agreed definition. It means I can waffle more in my politics degree though :D
  6. HMG does have a definition of terrorism that is used throughout government. Probably the most accessible place is, IIRC, in the Security JSP (although it's a long while since I looked at it). Also look in Stabilisation Ops.

  7. Anyone that doesnt agree exactly with "my" illustrious El Presidente! (And the back up)
  8. A terrorist is anyone who seeks to overthrow the existing order, you know, people like Cromwell and the Parliamentarians. :lol:

    Those who overthrew the French ancien regime were, by definition, terrorists. Also anyone who protests in a public place where Jack Straw is speaking. ;)

    As they saying goes: One man's terrorist is his wife's freedom fighter. ;)
  9. Thingy, been trying to tell that to my "fellow" American friends for years
  10. I beg to differe, Cromwell and the parliamentarians conducted formal warfare, complying mostly with the rules of war as they were seen at the time, so they were revolutionary but not neccesaarly terrorists. Terrorism applies to the method, not the objective, by your definition, almost any opposition to any government could be described as terrorism
  11. In my blurry world a terrorist is someone who seeks to further his aims by the use of terror - he terrorises his perceived enemy. Physical warfare is not necessarily required, the mere threat of direct action is enough to initiate reciprocal actions of increased security measures, incurring vastly more cost and, possibly, more inconvenience than perhaps the act of direct action itself. Naturally such threats need to be carried out every now and then to ensure continued credibility but one real terrorist bomb can trigger twenty bomb scares and the resultant disorder can be exponentially worse.

    Terrorists prey on our fears. They mount surprise attacks against easy, non-combatant targets as well as armed forces. Their numbers are usually small but they can be extremely effective.

    Most of the civilised world realised after WWII that the killing of civilians is not the proper way to conduct warfare. Terrorists do not recognise this and this is what I think separates them from 'real' freedom fighters (obviously some freedom fighters will disagree with this and continue to act as terrorists whilst calling themselves freedom fighters but in my mind there is a clear distinction).

    Call me old fashioned but to me the deliberate death of a non-combatant is still murder.

    And nothing terrorises the man in the street more than seeing his neighbour snuffed out, in close proximity, by a terrorist act.

    In my mind it is the blatant refusal of terrorists to recognise the sanctity of life that causes abhorrence. What cause in the 21st century can justify the killing of women and children to advance its aims?

    Oops, rant off. Probably went on to long but I just don't like them. Anyway, good luck with the thesis whatever.
  12. It the government's de facto interpretation viz the protestor arrested under the anti-terrorism laws for having the temerity to protest in public when Jack Straw was speaking. Under the traditional difinition of terrorism, Cromwell was a freedom fighter, er, until he got into power. :roll:
  13. Even so each time they try and do that it results in more egg on the faces than if they had let the protest continue. AS a result these little chinks in the armour of our freedom are being repaired.
  14. Using violence or the threat of it to pursue political or financial causes? Seems to me that quite a few countries would be guilty of this, not least some who spout endlessly on the subject.

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