The 1980s: Resisting Terrorism

  • David Carlton


During the Reagan Presidency the United States claimed that it was attempting on a systematic basis to unmask all groups around the world considered to be involved in terrorist activity and to identify states that engaged in sponsorship of terrorism. The main responsibility fell to the State Department. The Secretary of State began to issue on an annual basis a List of states considered to be the principal sponsors of terrorism. Initially six such states (usually known as ‘rogue states’) were named: Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea and Syria. And no change occurred until 1992 when Sudan was added. In addition, the First Reagan Administration saw the appointment of an Ambassador-at-Large for Counterterrorism. He was required, among other duties, to produce an annual booklet entitled Patterns of Global Terrorism – a series that has continued to the present. It contains statistics on terrorist incidents; lists of terrorist groups; commentaries on the situation in various troubled regions; and a review of the conduct not only of the states on the Secretary of State’s List of principal ‘rogue states’ but also of other states such as Afghanistan, Nicaragua and South Yemen, which at various dates apparently came close to qualifying for the List.


Security Council Terrorist Group Central Intelligence Agency Diplomatic Relation Soviet Bloc 
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Copyright information

© David Carlton 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Carlton
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WarwickUK

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