State Terrorism Is Often a Neglected Phenomenon in Terrorism Studies. Discuss How Terrorism Has Been Used as a Weapon by States over the Past 50 Years
Within this essay I will discuss how states have used terrorism as a weapon over the past 50 to achieve strategic goals. I will then go on to discuss whether it is fundamentally different from non-state terrorism.
To start with we must understand what is meant by a weapon. Encyclopaedia Britannica defines a weapon as “An instrument used in combat for the purpose of killing, injuring, or defeating an enemy.” (Britannica 2013). The Oxford English dictionary defines weapon as “An instrument of any …show more content…
Defining Terrorism has been an on-going mission for many academics. The topic is deadlocked. Laqueur states that “More than a hundred definitions have been offered (including a few of my own) for the phenomenon” (Laqueur 1999). It is valid to argue that a definition for state terrorism is also problematic. As the main thrust of this essay is to examine how states have used terrorism as a weapon over the past 50 years, I will further define state terrorism when I examine if it is fundamentally different from non-state terrorism towards the conclusion of this essay. Though for now we must settle upon a definition of state terrorism to apply to cases that I will examine. I have chosen the definition provided by David Claridge, because it provides a good base to explore state actions and aggressions under a broad definition of state terrorism.
Claridge (1996) defines terrorism as:
“Terrorism is the systematic threat or use of violence, whether for, or in opposition to, established authority, with the intention of communicating a political message to a group larger than the victim group by generating fear and so altering the behaviour of the larger group. Either the victim or the perpetrator, or both, will be operating outside a military context; both will never be operating within a military context”
Within Claridge’s definition he argues