Ending Terrorism: Lessons for defeating al-Qaeda, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Ending Terrorism

Lessons for defeating al-Qaeda, 1st Edition

By Audrey Kurth Cronin


88 pages

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Like all other terrorist movements, al-Qaeda will end. While it has traits that exploit and reflect the current international context, it is not utterly without precedent: some aspects of al-Qaeda are unusual, but many are not. Terrorist groups end according to recognisable patterns that have persisted for centuries, and they reflect, among other factors, the counter-terrorist policies taken against them. It makes sense to formulate those policies with a specific image of an end in mind.

Understanding how terrorism ends is the best way to avoid being manipulated by the tactic. There is vast historical experience with the decline and ending of terrorist campaigns, yet few policymakers are familiar with it. This paper first explains five typical strategies of terrorism and why Western thinkers fail to grasp them. It then describes historical patterns in ending terrorism to suggest how insights from that history can lay a foundation for more effective counter-strategies. Finally, it extracts policy prescriptions specifically relevant to ending the campaign of al-Qaeda and its associates, moving towards a post-al-Qaeda world.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1 The Strategies of Terrorism 2 Historical Patterns in Ending Terrorism 3 Ending Al-Qaeda Conclusion Notes

About the Series

Adelphi series

The Adelphi series is The International Institute for Strategic Studies' flagship contribution to policy-relevant, original academic research.

Six books are published each year. They provide rigorous analysis of contemporary strategic and defence topics that is useful to politicians and diplomats, as well as academic researchers, foreign-affairs analysts, defence commentators and journalists.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General