Terrorism has become a bone of contention in many country over the recent years. Different governments have channelled a reasonable amount of their fiscal budgets to combat any incidences of Terrorism within their territories. Over the years scholars and law makers have come to define terrorism as any action that is persuaded by an individual with the aim of causing damage or hurting another country. Clearly, terrorism is a breach to peace, commerce and most of all human lives. This is the reason as to why governments have heightened both their domestic and international security so as to protect their populations, resources, and their economies from destruction by a few malicious individuals. This paper intends to explore the causes of terrorism, the conditions that have led to the rise of terrorism in recent years, and the precautionary measures that governments are undertaking to stop and prevent terrorism within their territories. This paper also intends to looks at the influence of terrorism on both domestic and international security within different countries and regions. In addition, this paper also aims at explaining the consequences of terrorism on the individual freedoms of populations within the affected areas as well as how these freedoms, human rights of civilians, are abused by both terrorists and countries that undertake revenge missions. Finally, this paper intends to look at how terrorism has affected international relations globally.
Focusing on the causes of terrorism, it is important to note that the world does not have a central government or force that regulates the activities of different nations and states that constitute the international arena. Therefore countries operate on their own which out the direction of any central authority. This has led to unregulated competition among states in that all states within the international system engage in competition such that each state wants to outshine the other in terms of economy, militarism, governance and living standards of their societies. This competition among nations has led to a growth of suspicion among states in that some states might undertake selfish actions that might hurt other states while the states that perform these actions benefit from lose endured by the states that they hurt(Wilson, 2005).Terrorism is one of those actions that is intended to hurt other states. Terrorism can be used to destroy property as well as make sure that economies of certain status are affected so that they do not outshine their counterparts. Secondly, terrorism is caused by the fact that some states would like to instil fear in some states so that they can have an influence on the decisions that specific states make. For example, countries that have enjoyed a prolonged time of peace are more likely to continue prospering economically but once an act of terrorism is undertaken on their terrorism that country is forced to change its focus and interest from economic growth to tightening security. This means that funds will begin to channel towards security which means that the growth rate of their economies will reduce. In addition, countries are likely to lose foreign investors in that people who invest in any given country are concerned about the peace in the country that they are operating in. Therefore, investors will tend to close their businesses in case incidences of terrorism become a problem within their territories of operations. This would mean that a reasonable proportion of the domestic population would lose their jobs when these businesses are closed. An increase in unemployment opportunities would mean an increased amount of poverty in the countries that are affected (Weimann, 2006) .Another cause of terrorism is when countries begin to make policies that are against the interests of given individuals or groups within other countries. For example, the opposition of Muslim extremists in the United States may trigger bad intentions in parts of the world like the Middle East. Terrorist groups within those areas might respond to the policies within the United States by executing actions of terrorism within the United States to send a signal to the concerned government that they are not pleased with the decision that has been reached by the country in terms of their faith and beliefs. This means that differences in ideology among governments and populations of different territories might elicit actions of terrorism. Another important thing that causes terrorism is when states support the enemies of other states. Over the years the ideology that the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” (Martin (2004, pp. 24-32), has been employed by many nations. Actions of states have been driven by the fact that in case a given country supports your enemy then that country should be treated as your enemy. Therefore terrorism has been used over the recent years to send messages to states that any actions of supporting the enemies of a g given country are not welcome and therefore nations have to be very careful about the alliances that they align to as well as the characters of the countries that the cooperate with in terms of economic ties and military support.
Looking at the conditions that have increased incidences of terrorism, it is clear that techno has grown tremendously over the recent years; this has resulted to the creation of advanced weapons that have a capacity of causing huge damages on territories as well as operate in long distances like missiles. This advancement has caused nations to begin to compete in terms of military capability. As the competition increases, suspicion has begun to build among nations and the result of this suspicion has been actions of terrorism. For example, the United States felt threatened by the fact that they had overheard that Iraq was engaging in the construction of nuclear weapons in 2003(Seidi, 2007).No matter the opposition of the majority of the members of the United Nations over the attack of Iraq by the United States, the United States went ahead and attacked Iraq. This is because the suspicion between the two countries had grown to levels that the United States would not be able to bear any more. They were afraid that they would be attacked soon which meant that their populations as well as their economy would be in danger. Their attacks of Iraq were therefore meant to prevent any attacks of Iraq on their territory. Unfortunately, the United States did not find any nuclear weapons in Iraq even after using much of the energy and capital to finance military operations in Iraq. Another way that technology has increased the levels of terrorism is through increased connection between people through the internet and broadband connections. People executing actions of terrorism can be able to communicate over long distances without difficulties in that the internet makes their communication easier. In addition, the internet provides satellite pictures that can be used to deduce the conditions within areas that terrorists would like attack. This allows them to conduct terrorist attacks in a timely and efficient manner making sure that they inflict as much pain and damage as possible to the parties that they are attacking(Rosen, 2005).The other important condition that has led to an increase in terrorism is the increased willingness of people to commit suicide attacks. There are quite a reasonable proportion of people that do not have a value of their lives. They are ready to die under any circumstances. This bravery has been very helpful to terrorist groups in that they are now able to extend their attacks to the heart of building or areas that they would like to attack using suicide bombers.
Shifting gears to the precautionary measures that have been undertaken by various governments to combat terrorism. Many nations have increased their security in entry points to their nations. This accounts for the reason s to why searching and frisking in many international airports have increased in that countries would like to be sure that people who are gaining access in their countries do not carry harmful material or weapons that would be used to harm their populations, through actions of terrorism. Countries have also increased their supervision of their borders so as to reduce the amount of illegal immigrants into the country in that some illegal immigrants might be used by terrorist groups to execute acts of terrorism in the countries that these illegal immigrants gain access to (Zwitter 2010). Another way that governments have increased precautionary measures against terrorism is the adoption of adequate response measures so that the government can be in a position to save as many people as possible in case of an attack. The United States for example has adopted what is termed to as the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). This strategy is aimed at involving both the federal government and states in responding to attacks. This ensures that people do not continue suffering at the scene of attacks because the states cannot help due to the fact that it is a federal affair. Co-aping the states in responding to terrorist attacks creates a phenomenon whereby acts of terrorism become a common concern both at the state and Federal level (Rai, 2002)). This means that as the Federal government increases it security to make sure that the nation is safe, the states undertakes the same process of making sure that security strategies are in place so that populations are safe from a state and local level. The other important way that nations have prepared themselves against terrorist attacks is by making sure that they have enough military men in the country at all times. Even when a country is at war with another country, the country should make sure that there are enough troops in the country that can work closely with police officers and fire fighters to save lives in case of attacks. This accounts for the reason as to why the United States has amended clauses that initially forbade the use of military forces in domestic affairs so as to make sure that there is enough power and expertise to handle terrorist attacks in the country if terrorist attacks are executed in the country. Another precautionary method that nations have adopted is by stationing detective officers within territories that are most likely to attack them. This increases the likelihood of nations to gain some information about any purported attacks therefore making the nations to prepare themselves adequately in case any terrorist attack becomes a reality.
Looking at the consequences of terrorist attacks on the freedom of populations in affected areas. It is clear that populations in areas that have had terrorist attacks possess a lot of fear in that they are not sure of when other attacks might be made on them. This causes the movement of these populations to be limited in that they would not like to become terrorist victims during their movements. Terrorist attacks also act as a threat the commerce. People can hardly interact with each other in that security is a key factor in enhancing economic interaction between populations. The freedom to free trade is limited by acts of terrorism. Terrorism also affects freedom of speech especially within domestic populations. This is because it is sometimes difficult to tell whether immediate members within a given society are supportive of terrorist groups. Many people would hence choose not to talk or give information about terrorist information in that some people within the societies might deliver the same information to terrorist groups so as to aid them in their terrorist activities. Civilian freedom is also limited by terrorism in that when a terrorist group linked to given country makes attack on a given nation, the nation might respond by declaring war on a given territory. However, the territory that they intend to attack is not only composed of terrorist groups (Chomsky, 1998).The territories are also composed of innocent civilians. For example, in the course of military operations in Iraq, the U.S. Troops ended up causing the death of innocent civilians. This means that the freedom of civilians to live freely within Iraq was highly curtailed and abused by U.S. Soldiers in their quest for nuclear weapons in Iraq. Various military groups are also known to conduct moral evils like rape on civilians in the cause of operations which means that terrorism exposes domestic populations to many problems as well as the abuse of their rights and freedoms.
Looking at how terrorism has affected international relations from a globally, it is important to note that the world is slowly moving from national sovereignties and become intertwined as a result of globalization. Countries have began to interact in trade by reducing the trade barriers that discourage trade such that most states have embraced a global free market. In the course of globalization some states have continued to benefit but others have continued to deteriorate in that realist ideals are employed into global financial markets. Though scholars explain that globalization creates both losers and winners, the overall outcome of globalization is that countries gain from an open international system. When terrorism begins to feature into the international realm it is a threat to globalization. Countries would not like to cooperate or entangle themselves with countries that are linked to terrorism. This means that terrorism is a threat to international relations in that it causes some countries to be left out of globalization. Currently, there is no single state as a unitary actor can be able to survive on its own. Therefore, when terrorism causes some countries to be left out of the globalization transformation that is quickly spreading around the world, these countries are likely to suffer. In most cases, the poor populations within these countries are the once that suffer in that if their governments cannot be able to sustain them then they will remain suffering in that other countries will not be willing to offer any assistance. Secondly, the wave of globalization has led to the formation of international organization that make sure that member states respect the integrity and sovereignty of other nations. This means that the world is slowly leading to the formation of global governance. Terrorism means that individuals or groups are trying to interfere with the sovereignty of other nations. Among the key aims of these international organization is to combat acts of terrorism. Therefore, countries that are supportive of terrorist groups are not popular with these international organizations. For example, any nation that would be supporting Al-Qaeda cannot be in terms with the United Nations. This is reason as to why some countries have withdrawn their membership from the United Nations in that they feel that they cannot stop supporting terrorist groups. In response, the United Nations, which is made up of almost the countries in the world goes against these countries. In a nutshell, nations that are supportive of terrorist groups become unpopular among other nations. This means that many countries tend to break their connections with these countries which results in decreased international relation. Another way in which terrorism has influenced international relations in the recent years is that the global focus today is slowly shifting from developmental goals and moving towards ways of realizing global peace. This is because terrorism has been a breach to global peace thereby eliciting global concerns among various nations in the world. Instead of nations embarking on making constructive decisions that would help improve the living standards of their people, many countries are concerned with making sure that their borders are secure from terrorist attacks. Bearing in mind, that terrorist attacks are also executed on developing countries, it is clear that countries with struggling economies are less likely to recover in terms of their economies in case they invest most of their funds and budgets in protecting their nations and improving their militarism. Terrorism has also caused a strained relationship between religious groups. This is because some of the terrorist groups are linked to some religion thereby instilling a notion within different countries that some religions are perpetuators of terrorism. For example, the Al-Qaeda is most believed to be dominant within the Middle East. This region of the world is pre-dominantly Muslim. This means that other countries in the West, for example the United States might tend to link terrorist attacks to the Islamic community. However, this is not ideal because there are humble, law abiding American citizens who are Muslim. Linking their religion to terrorism makes them uncomfortable within their own country yet they should be free and proud of their religious identities. In addition, terrorism causes a split within the international arena between different countries in terms of their religion. This is because countries that are pre-dominantly Muslim would not be comfortable with moves by other countries to attack other countries that are pre-dominantly Muslim. This is because these countries feel that their own brothers and sisters are being attacked. This accounts for the reason as to why the United States did not gain support from countries that have a reasonable proportion of Muslims in their populations, in 2003 when the United States invaded Iraq. A perfect example of a country that did not back up the United States in its mission in Iraq was Russia in that about 10 to 15 percent of the Russian population is Muslim.
In conclusion, terrorism has increased over the recent past. Among the causes of these increased incidences of terrorism are competition between nations, different ideologies and policies among nations and the support of enemy states by give states. Some of the conditions that have led to increased incidences of terrorism include the advancement of weapons such that they can cause paramount damage as well as operate over long distance. The growth of the internet has also increased communication between terrorism perpetuators as well as exposed territories to attacks through satellite pictures. Governments have responded to terrorism by increasing security in entry points to their countries like airports. Government are also keeping watch of illegal immigrants gaining access into their countries. In addition governments have invented response mechanism that involves both the federal and local government so that there is enough power to respond to terrorist attacks in the country as well as save lives. Terrorism has also caused the abuse of individual freedoms in that populations in affected areas cannot exercise free movement as well as conduct commerce in a relaxed manner.
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