Amid the fear following 9/11 and other recent terror attacks, it is easy to forget the most important fact about terrorist campaigns: they always come to an end--and often far more quickly than expected. Contrary to what many assume, when it comes to dealing with terrorism it may be more important to understand how it ends than how it begins. Only by understanding the common ways in which terrorist movements have died out or been eradicated in the past can we hope to figure out how to speed the decline of today's terrorist groups, while avoiding unnecessary fears and costly overreactions. In How Terrorism Ends, Audrey Kurth Cronin examines how terrorist campaigns have met their demise over the past two centuries, and applies these enduring lessons to outline a new strategy against al-Qaeda.
This book answers questions such as: How long do terrorist campaigns last? When does targeting the leadership finish a group? When do negotiations lead to the end? Under what conditions do groups transition to other forms of violence, such as insurgency or civil war? How and when do they succeed or fail, and then disappear? Examining a wide range of historical examples--including the anti-tsarist Narodnaya Volya, the Provisional IRA, Peru's Shining Path, Japan's Aum Shinrikyo, and various Palestinian groups--Cronin identifies the ways in which almost all terrorist groups die out, including decapitation (catching or killing the leader), negotiation, repression, and implosion.
How Terrorism Ends is the only comprehensive book on its subject and a rarity among all the books on terrorism--at once practical, optimistic, rigorous, and historical.
Audrey Kurth Cronin is professor of strategy at the U.S. National War College in Washington, DC, and senior associate in the Changing Character of War program at the University of Oxford. She is the author of Ending Terrorism: Lessons for Defeating al-Qaeda and the coauthor of Attacking Terrorism: Elements of a Grand Strategy.
"Cronin makes a significant contribution to the scholarly literature on terrorism and counterterrorism. While other scholars have written extensively on the motivations, methods, and means of terrorism, Cronin is the first to look seriously and historically at how terrorist campaigns come to an end."--Choice
"While the causes of terrorism have long been subject to avid research, Audrey Kurth Cronin's cogent and thoughtful text responds to the curious dearth of works attending to its ends. This is clearly a timely project, coming as policy-makers and academics are increasingly seeking alternative ways to think about and practice terrorism. . . . [The] case-studies are easily the most gripping and readable sections of the text. Cronin never flattens for the sake of parsimonious argumentation, rather allowing the specificity of each case to enlighten us for the continuities and differences at work. As a consequence, they are rich in fascinating detail and her derived conclusions are sophisticated. . . . Such insights should rightly guarantee the text a wide readership. . . . The timeliness, clarity and simplicity of the project contained in How Terrorism Ends should commend it to readers of all descriptions. Above all, Cronin's sensible and well-argued call for 'smarter'(pg. 193) strategies for dealing with terrorism today is one that deserves to be widely heard."--Nicholas Michelsen, International Affairs
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