Terroristic Warfare and Strategies



When an insurgent strategy includes the attacking of civilian targets, it focuses attention on another aspect of how insurgents use organised violence — namely, what mode of operation is being used and, particularly, whether it is the terrorist mode. As was evident in Chapter 2’s discussion of mode, whether to categorise an attack on a civilian target as ‘terrorist’ is often a matter of interpretation or context. And a further complication is that there are obvious similarities between the terrorist mode of insurgency and the civilian-targeting that has occurred in warfare between states. Studies of modern total war, notably the two world wars, have highlighted the extent to which states have engaged in this ‘terroristic’ warfare, particularly when engaged in the strategic bombing of the enemy state’s homeland or ‘home front’. Therefore the first half of this chapter considers the obvious similarities — and crucial differences — between a) the terrorist mode of operation that insurgents sometimes adopt when pursuing a pressure strategy and b) the terroristic warfare that sometimes occurs when states are pursuing pressure strategies against other states.


Civilian Casualty Terror Bombing Economic Target Pressure Strategy Innocent Civilian 
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© Paul Brooker 2010

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