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Understanding And Combating Terrorism
AUTHOR Major S. M. Grass, USMC
CSC 1989
SUBJECT AREA - Operations
                    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Thesis:     In  order  to  combat terrorism  we must be able to
understand   a  type of warfare that cannot be defined within a
set of rules or principles.
Issue:    Understanding  the  threat  that terrorism poses has
become  very  complex  and  developing  a means to effectively
counter  that  threat is even more perplexing.  Terrorism is a
type  of  warfare  that has no limits and knows no boundaries.
It  operates  within a spectrum of warfare that is not defined
by  a  set  of  rules  or principles.  Therefore, it cannot be
effectively   countered  by  a  conventional  warfare  thought
    Terrorism  is  not  new.    It has been plaguing societies
since  the  beginning  of  time.   The terrorism as we know it
today  had  its  early beginnings in Czarist Russia.  With the
advancement  of  technology  in  transportation and communica-
tion,  this  terrorism  has  been  able  to  spread its terror
worldwide.    With  this  advancement  in  technology came the
development  of modern weapons that the terrorist has employed
to elevate his violence to new levels.
    Democratic   regimes  have  the  most  difficult  task  in
countering  terrorism.    Democratic  principles  and  foreign
policy  has  made this an even more difficult challenge.  This
is  further  complicated  by the fact the public cannot under-
stand  the  psychological  makeup and objectives that motivate
the terrorist.
    The  United  States  has  a variety of military forces and
weapons  to  react  to  terrorism.    Many  of these means are
merely  employed  to  demonstrate our resolve to utilize these
forces  if  necessary.  These operations have been reactionary
vice   being   conducted   within  a  doctrine  based  on  the
understanding  of  the threat.  The Marine Corps is once again
on  the  forefront  of  developing  a  doctrine  and  a  force
concurrently  that  can be used to counter terrorism.  Until a
doctrine   and   strategy   can   be  developed  based  on  an
understanding  of  the  terrorist  threat,  future attempts to
combat terrorism will be futile.
Thesis  Statement:    In order to combat terrorism, we must be
able  to  understand  a type of warfare that cannot be defined
within a set of rules or principles.
  I.  Terrorism
      A.  Definition of the problem
      B.  Nature of the threat
      C.  Goals of terrorism
  II. Historical Beginnings
      A.  Russian origins
      B.  Propaganda by the deed
      C.  The spread of terror
III.  Profile of the Terrorist
      A.  Profile by categories
      B.  Characteristics of the terrorist
      C.  Psychology of the terrorist
IV.   Modern terrorist threat
      A.  Weapons of terror
      B.  Arsenals of tomorrow
      C.  Targets of the future
V.    Terrorism and Foreign Policy
      A.  State sponsored terrorism
      B.  Soviet supported terrorism
      C.  U.S. policy
VI.   Combatting the Threat
      A.  Democracy vs terrorism
      B.  Defensive measures
      C.  Military force considerations
    On  9  October  1983, 243 United States Marines lost their
lives  in  an  Iranian  sponsored  "suicide  bombing"  of  the
Marines  Barracks,  Beirut, Lebanon.  Today the same powers to
be  has  offered  a  5 million dollar bounty for the author of
the  book, "Satanic Verses."  These actions represent the type
of  threat  the  free  world  of  today  faces  in the form of
terrorism.    The  death  of the Marines in Beirut, during the
peace  keeping  mission,  not only embarrassed its leaders but
made  them  regretfully  aware  that  they  were  not ready to
defend  themselves  against  a  type  of warfare that operates
outside  the  rules  and  principles  of modern day war.  In a
somewhat  indirect  way,  the bounty offered for the author of
"Satanic  Verses"  is  a  threat to one of the cornerstones of
our  own  Constitution,  the freedom of speech.  To bring this
point  a  little  closer to home, the bombing of Pan Am Flight
103  in  December of 1988, over the skies of Great Britain, in
which  seven  University  of  Syracuse students and eight Army
personnel   were  killed,  demonstrates  that  Americans  have
become  one  of  the  prime  targets of the violence terrorism
poses.    It is certainly time for the U.S. to realize that we
must  be  prepared  to defeat a threat that has the ability to
change the way of life as we know it today.
    The  world  in  which  we  live  has  become a violent and
dangerous  place.    The  forms of violence has many faces and
ranges  in  intensity  from nuclear war to conventional means.
On  the most primitive level, these highly destructive actions
are  those of the terrorists.  Although terrorism is not a new
form  of  violence,  its  recent  changes  in  its tactics and
modern  weapons  have  made  it extremely difficult to combat.
What  made this cancer on our society so difficult to fight is
that  we  do not understand the motivation and thinking of the
people  that revert to such violent means to attract worldwide
attention  to  a  cause that we as Americans cannot relate to.
Terrorism,  like  cancer,  is  a disease and therefore must be
removed  before it spreads and infects and eventually destroys
the  entire  organism.   Just as doctors look for new means to
defeat  cancer,  the  U.S. must develop a strategy to bring to
an  end  the  threat  terrorism poses to our way of life.  The
primary  focus  of  this  paper  is  centered  on developing a
better   understanding   of   terrorism   in   order  to  more
effectively combat it.
    This  paper will provide a clearer definition of terrorism
and  trace  its origin within the Czarist Russia of the l880s.
It  will  further explore the profile of the modern terrorist,
the  weapons  he  utilizes  and look at the terrorist arsenals
and  targets  of  the  future.    This  paper will explain the
relation  between  terrorism and foreign policy.  Through this
process  we  should  gain  a better understanding of terrorism
and  realize that  it is a type of warfare  that recognizes no
boundaries   and   knows  no  limits.    In  order  to  combat
terrorism,  we  must  be  able to understand a type of warfare
that  cannot  be  defined within a set of rules or principles.
Finally,  we  must  realize  that terrorism operates under the
philosophy  that  there  is  no distinction between combatants
and noncombatants; both are targets.
                        PART I
    Terrorism.    The  mere  word brings to the mind images of
hijacking,  kidnapping  and  violent  assassinations.    These
terms  in  no  way  cover  all  the  issues  within  the broad
spectrum  of  definitions  attributed  to  the word terrorism.
Terrorism  represents  a  multitude  of  definitions held by a
diverse  collection of people worldwide.  The concept that one
persons  "terrorist" is another's "freedom fighter" has led to
a  misconception  of the true definition of terrorism.  Herein
lies  the problem; identifying a clear definition of terrorism
and  recognizing  its  warriors.    The  late  Senator Jackson
provided  an  explanation  that  provides  a realistic view of
what the terrorist is:
    The  idea  that one person's "terrorist" is another's
    "freedom  fighter"  cannot  be   sanctioned.   Freedom
    fighters  or  revolutionaries   don't  blow  up school
    buses  containing  noncombatants; terrorist murderers
    do...it  is  a  disgrace that democracies would allow
    the   word "freedom" to be associated with the acts of
    terrorist. 1
    Despite  the different perceptions, there are indisputable
characteristics  of  terrorism, that are fact, not perception.
Among  these  are  that  terrorism  is  a  form  of  political
violence  with a goal of obtaining a political objective.  The
second  is  that  terrorism  is  clearly  a  form  of warfare.
Therefore,  operating under this definition, terrorism must be
dealt  with  as  a  form  of  warfare.    If  we  accept  this
definition  of  terrorism,  then  the  means  to  best  combat
terrorism is best described by Albert Parry:
    To  annihilate  modern terrorists with their superior
    methods   of  battle,  the  counterblows  must  be  a
    hundred   fold   smarter   and   stronger   than  the
    terrorists' own ways and weapons.
    In  order  to  further define terrorism it is important to
understand  the  nature  of  terrorism.   Terrorism is clearly
distinguished  from  other  forms  of  violence.  Its acts, by
nature,  are indiscriminate violent actions used to attack its
targets.    These  methods  include  assassinations, bombings,
death  threats  and  utilizing  innocent hostages as political
weapons.    The brutal actions of terrorism are not irrational
actions,  but  are  the  premeditated  use of force to achieve
certain  objectives.   Therefore, terrorism is a goal directed
form of violence.
    Terrorism  is  a  psychological  weapon and is directed to
create  a general climate of fear.  As one definition cogently
notes,  "terror is a natural phenomenon, terrorism is the con-
scious  exploitation  of  it."3    Terrorism utilizes violence
to  coerce  governments  and  their  people  by inducing fear.
Understanding  this,  authorities  who undertake the challenge
to combat terrorism must engage in its own campaign of fear.
    With  a  definition of terrorism and idea of the nature of
terrorism,  the  final  step in understanding the threat is to
examine  the  goals  of  terrorism.   Ernest Evans, a research
associate  at the Brookings Institute, suggests that there are
five specific goals of terrorism.4  These goals are:
    1.   The  terrorist  seeks  to  publicize  its  cause  on a
         regional and international level.
    2.   The  harassment  and  intimidation  of  authorities to
         force them to make concessions.
    3.   Polarization of society to bring down the regime.
    4.   To aggravate relations between states or nations.
    5.   The  terrorist  work  to  free political prisoners and
         secure monetary ransoms to finance their cause.
Terrorists  will  ultimately  utilize  any  means  from  death
threats   to   nuclear  proliferation  to  meet  their  goals.
Governments  must  be  prepared  to  deal with this threat and
recognize terrorism for what it is; a form of warfare.
1Terrorism  and  the  Modern  World,  US  Department of State,
Bureau  of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C. Current Policy No.
629 October 1985.
2Neil  C.  Livingstone,  The  War Against Terrorism, Lexington
Books  D.C. Heath and Company, Lexington, Massachusetts, 1982,
p. 155.
3Stephen   Sloan,   Beating   International   Terrorism,   Air
University  Press,  Maxwell  Air Force Base, Alabama, December
1986, p. 2.
4Lieutenant    Colonel  Gary   W.   Nelson,  Terrorism:    The
Military  Challenge,  US  Army War College, Carlisle Barracks,
Pennsylvania, March 1987, p. 9, 10.
                         PART II
    The  organized terror that is seen today had its origin in
Russia  in  the  1800s.  Pressures had been building in Russia
for  some  time  due  to  the  deplorable  conditions  of  the
peasants  and  the  reaction  of Peter the Greats' Westerniza-
tion.    The  only  way  that we as Americans could understand
this  type  of  oppression  is to read an excellent work about
this  era  in  W.  Bruce  Lincoln's  book titled "In Wars Dark
Shadow."    In  his  book  Lincoln vividly describes the harsh
economic  conditions  within  the  turn  of the century Russia
with   hundred  of  thousands  of  peasants  from  the  famine
stricken  villages  moving  into  what  was to become Russia's
urban  slums.    With this migration from the peasant villages
to  the  industrial  environment,  there  evolved  a  cadre of
revolutionary  terrorists, which would eventually create a new
order  within   the  twentieth century Russia.  Within this new
order  arose    the land and liberty party, of which evolved the
violent  sector  known  as the People's Will.  In the founding
conference  of   the   People's  Will, which was held from 19-21
July   1879,    the   decision  was  made  to  assassinate  Czar
Alexander  II.    The Czar was the representative of those who
sapped  the  people's  self government and therefore they felt
the  Czar  deserved the death sentence.  Yet, this was not the
sole  concern  of   the  People's  Will.   Their  aim  was the
people's  freedom,  the  people's  good.1  This in essence was
the foundation of terrorism as we recognize it today.
    From   these  ideological  beginnings  in  1877,  arose  a
concept   known   as  "propaganda  by  the  deed,"  which  led
revolutionaries  to create an even higher atmosphere of terror
and  violence.    This  became  a tool that the new terrorists
used  to awaken popular consciousness.  Propaganda by the deed
became  a  concept  in which ideas were no longer contained to
paper,   but   became  clothed  in  flesh  and  sinew.2    The
assassination  of Czar Alexander was the epitome of propaganda
by  the  deed.    This  act  was carried out by members of the
People's  Will  with  a  dynamite  bomb  which exploded in the
Czar's  coach.    This  planned and scientific use of dynamite
for  terrorist  activities  was  pioneered  in  Russia and was
favored  by  anarchist  throughout  Europe.    Its effects are
still felt today.
     The  events of terror did not contain themselves to Russia
and   by  1878 waves of assassination attempts erupted all over
Germany,   Spain and Italy.  By 1890 these had spread to France
and  the  United States.  The main difference between what was
happening  in  Europe  and  Russia  was  the  organization  of
terror.     Zeev   Ivianski,  who  developed  a concept known as
"blow  at   the   center," points out that with the exception of
the  events  in  Russia, the terror which broke out across the
European  continent  were unrelated.  They were carried out by
individuals  who  had  no  backing or support from established
organizations.   However, these individuals did share a common
belief   that   they  were  backed  against  a  wall  with  no
alternative   left   to   them   other  than  terror.    These
individuals,  despite  their  lack of backing were nonetheless
    The  Russian  terrorists  pioneered  the type of organiza-
tional  terrorism  we  see today.  They took an organized body
and  injected  it with new ideological belief developed by the
French  in  1789  which  allowed  them to commit any excess as
long  as  it  benefitted the revolution.  This thought process
combined  with  an  established  organization  and the techno-
logical  advances  in  destructive  weapons ushered in the new
age of terrorism.
1Ariel   Herari,   On   Terrorism  and  Combatting  Terrorism,
Maryland University Publications of America Inc., 1975 p. 54.
2Ibid, p. 54
                            PART III
                    PROFILE OF THE TERRORIST
    The  ability  to  recognize the modern day terrorist would
be  like  trying  to  identify  the child abuser or the rapist
within  a crowded sporting event within the United States.  It
could  easily  be any normal individual sitting next to you in
that  crowd.    The  question  comes to mind in regards to the
terrorist  as to whether the terrorist can be labeled a normal
person.    Albert  Parry alleges  that "most political terror-
ists  have  not  been  normal."    He goes on to say, "not all
political  terrorists  are  insane  or mentally disturbed, but
most  are."1    Although  most  people  would  tend to believe
terrorist   are  mentally  unstable,  there  seems  to  be  no
evidence  to  support this case.  The mentally unstable person
is  not able to function properly within a group and therefore
would  be  a  detriment  to  the organization.  The only means
therefore   to   adequately   identify  the  terrorist  is  to
categorize  him  into  some  type  of  profile.  The following
paragraphs will examine such profiles.
    In  order to provide a profile of the terrorist, we cannot
simply  place  them all into one general category.  We must be
able  to  divide  them into several distinct groups based upon
either   their  beliefs  or  their  objectives.    The  modern
terrorists  are  not  ordinary  people.  They possess distinct
and  unique characteristics and qualities.  The terrorist must
have  a  political  belief  or  cause--otherwise,  if  he uses
terrorism   for   personal   gain,   he  is  simply  a  common
    The   modern   terrorist  can  best  be  placed  within  a
political  cause  framework.    The first category being those
who  fight  for  world revolution in order to impose a certain
political  philosophy on everyone and destroy those who oppose
them.    Secondly,  there  are  those  who  fight  to impose a
political  philosophy   on  those  within  their  own  country.
Finally,   the  third  group are those who represent themselves
as  a  liberation  movement.    The  common  thread  being the
devotion   to   some  type  of  political  cause.   Categorizing
terrorist   in  this manner is by no means the only method, but
provides   a    framework  in  which  to  operate.    The  modern
terrorist  we    see  today  is usually dedicated to a political
cause  or  belief.    This  dedication  also  implies absolute
obedience  to  the  leader  of  the  movement.    This  common
denominator  then  assists  us  in  both  being able to better
recognize  the  terrorist and eventually aids in directing our
opposition to their origin.
    Terrorists  have  many  recognizable  characteristics that
set  them apart from the average individual.  Because he faces
the  dangers  of  personal  injury  and death, he must possess
personal  bravery or have no apparent fear of death.  Further,
in  order  to  carry out the type of atrocities that send many
completely  innocent  victims  to  their  death, the terrorist
must  be  completely void of any emotions or remorse.  Accord-
ing  to  the type of sophisticated explosive devices that were
used to down Pan Am Flight 103 over Great Britain, the terror-
ist  must  be  a  highly trained and well educated individual.
We  should  realize  though,  that  not all terrorists possess
such  qualifications.  But it is also very important to under-
stand  to  be  a  successful terrorist, a University degree is
almost mandatory.3
    One  fact  that  almost  in every case makes the terrorist
stands  out from the crowd is that he in one way or another is
a  fanatic.  For example, the universal hatred of Israel moti-
vates  the   Palestinian  terrorists  in their daily attacks on
the  government  and  people  of that country.  Terrorists are
definitely   drawn  to  their  profession,  much  as the thrill
seeker  is   drawn  to  excitement  or  danger,  over  the safe
routines  of  regular  hard  work  and  slow advancement.4   It
appears  that terrorists seem to be withdrawn from reality and
use  the  mystique  of  terrorism  as  an outlet.  Within this
world,  they  become  both the hunter and the haunted and live
within  a  base  existence  with few if any personal relation-
ships.    Although  all   terrorists  do  not  fall within this
psychological  grouping,  the very nature of their profession,
allows  them  to  accept  the  use  of  violence to gain their
ultimate  objective.    In reality, the terrorist may actually
live  an  outwardly  normal life, but he does so only to cover
for his terrorist activities.
1Neil  C.  Livingstone,  The  War Against Terrorism, Lexington
Books,  D.  C.  Heath  and  Company, Lexington, Massachusetts,
1982, p. 31.
2Edgar  O'Ballance,  Language  of  Violence,  Presidio  Press,
San Rafael, California, 1979, p. 299.
3Stephen   Sloan,   Beating   International   Terrorism,   Air
University Press, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, 1986.
4Neil  C.  Livingstone,  The  War Against Terrorism, Lexington
Books,  D.  C.  Heath  and  Company, Lexington, Massachusetts,
1982, p. 33.
                              PART IV
                     MODERN TERRORIST THREAT
    The  use of terror and fear are the primary weapons of the
terrorist.     Violence  becomes  the  medium through which the
terrorist  spreads  his   fear.  To the terrorist the threat of
violent   acts   and   atrocities   become   their   means  of
communicating  with  the  rest  of  the  world.  The spread of
terrorism  and  the  technological revolution in communication
and  transportation  have  ran hand in hand.  The introduction
of  jet  aircraft  in  the  1950s  and  early  1960s  gave the
terrorist  a  degree  of  mobility  and  a field of operations
undreamed   of   by   their   most   dedicated   and  skillful
predecessors.1    The  use of modern aircraft has provided the
terrorist  a  means  to spread his violence worldwide within a
matter  of  hours.    In  conjunction  with the advancement in
transportation,   the   development   of  modern  weapons  has
provided  the  terrorist  the  means  to conduct a new type of
armed  conflict.    This presents a magnitude of problems when
governments decide to counter this modern threat.
    The  terrorist  has  a wide range of modern weapons at his
command  to  employ  against  a  variety of lucrative targets.
These  weapons  range from the use of death threats as we have
seen  used  against the author of "The Satanic Verses," Salmon
Rushdie,  to the latest generation of deadly explosive devices
known  as  the  Ibrahim-type  bombs."2   With their high rates
of  fire  and  penetration  power,  firearms  have  become the
weapon  of  choice  of the terrorist.  These weapons allow the
terrorist   to   maintain  a  high  degree  of  mobility,  are
inexpensive  and  easy to conceal.  Small caliber rifles, such
as  the M-16 with high velocity rounds are very popular due to
the  weapons  ability  to  use explosive and toxic ammunition.
Today   perhaps   the  most  popular  weapon  among   individual
terrorists  is   the   9-millimeter  submachine gun.  Because of
the   current  availability, low cost and the penetration power
of  its ammunition, the 9-millimeter submachine gun has become
the universal weapon of the terrorist.
    Explosives,  with  more destructive power, are effectively
employed  by  the  terrorist.    These  weapons  were  used by
terrorist  in England as early as 1605.  These weapons tend to
have  a  great deal of shock power and draws more attention to
the   deed.  Nearly 70 percent of all terrorist attacks involve
explosives  in   some  form  or another.3   The reason for their
extensive  use   is  that  they  magnify   the  destruction  and
slaughter   that  one  individual  can  inflict.    Explosives
provide  the indirect means of killing and poses less a threat
to  the  attacker.    Explosives and the means to set them off
are  only limited to the imagination of those using them.  New
plastic    explosives  have  added  a  new    dimension  to  the
terrorist  arsenals  of explosive weapons.    Plastic explosives
have   commonly   been  referred  to  as--God's  gift  to  the
terrorist.4      These  explosives  can  be  used  to   destroy a
variety  of  targets.     These  targets  range   in  size  from
automobiles to aircraft and buildings.
    The  1970s  became the beginning of the future of the most
destructive  weapons utilized against human targets.  From the
use  of shoulder mounted, wire guided missiles to the possible
use  of chemical and biological weapons, the terrorist now has
the  means to hold the entire world as hostage.  The terrorist
has  elevated  death  and  destruction  to  a  fine  art.  The
present  advances  in weapons such as lasers and microwaves as
weapons  have  the  future  possibility  of  bringing about an
amount of destruction that would be mind-boggling.
    If  I  may,  I  would  like to add a personal note to this
paper.    Since I began my studies in the area of terrorism, I
have  realized  that the terrorist threat is very real.  We as
Americans  have  been  lulled into a false sense of reality in
that  we  take  the  security that our modern airports provide
too   lightly.  The   terrorist,  with his training and modern
weapons,  has the ability to easily spread his violence within
the  United  States.    It is my hope that it doesn't take the
fire  bombing of a local elementary school to make us aware of
the   possibility   of   our  hometowns  becoming  targets  of
terrorism.     With  our reliance on telecommunications centers
and   electrical   power   plants   which  all  lie  virtually
unprotected,   attacks  to  these  type  facilities  are  very
probable  and  make  our  larger cities very vulnerable.  With
the  possibility of the use of biological and nuclear weapons,
the  terrorist could bring about destruction within the United
States  as  we've  never  witnessed.    The  very  thought  of
terrorist  utilizing  such weapons should emphasize the urgent
necessity  to  find  an effective means to identify and combat
this threat now and prevent its spread in the future.
1Neil  C.  Livingstone,  The  War Against Terrorism, Lexington
Books,  D.C.  Heath  and  Company,  Lexington,  Massachusetts,
1982, p. 97.
2William  J.  Cook,  The  Technology of Terror, March 6, 1988,
p. 24.
3Neil  C.  Livingstone,  The  War Against Terrorism, Lexington
Books, D. C. Heath and Company, 1982, p. 100.
4Ibid, p. 105.
                              PART V
    In  today's  world  the cost of doing business, especially
on  the  international  market,  is extremely expensive.  This
statement  is  very  relevant  when  one considers the cost of
training   and supplying weapons to the terrorist.  The weapons
and  training  areas  needed for the scale of terrorist opera-
tions  we  see today are far too expensive and even harder  to
attain  without  formal  support.  Presently this type of sup-
port  comes  from nations--states who see terrorism as a means
of  achieving  their  political objectives.  These states pro-
vide  weapons,  training  camps  and  technical  expertise  to
terrorists  in  order  to improve the overall effectiveness of
their  deeds.  US Attorney General Edwin Meese, while speaking
before  the  American  Chamber  of  Commerce  and  the Austro-
American  society  on  international  terrorism,  accused five
countries  of  providing  sanctuaries  and  training areas for
terrorist  groups.    He  continues  to  say that Libya, Cuba,
North  Korea,  Iran  and  Nicaragua make no pretense of hiding
their  sponsorship  of  terrorism.1    It  appears  that armed
with  this  type  of  information that the task of putting and
end  to  terrorism  would  be  a  simple  operation.   This is
definitely  not  the  case.  The terrorist ability to disguise
his  backers and means of support are one of the tricks of his
trade.    Therefore  any attempts to identify the guilty party
and  render  the  appropriate retaliatory punishment is a very
sensitive foreign policy issue.
    There   is   a  growing  number  of  states  that  support
terrorism.    Most  of  these  states  are found in the Middle
East,  such  as  Syria,  Iran  and  Libya.  The leaders of the
countries  have  become  more vocal in their support of inter-
national  tyranny  and  have  directed  many  of  their verbal
attacks  to  the  United  States  and former President Reagan.
During  the Reagan presidency the incidents of state supported
violence  became  more  and  more common and forced the United
States  to  take  serious  moves to protect her interest.  The
evidence  that  these countries also provide training camps is
unrefutable  and   can  be   considered  proof of that countries
involvement  in   terrorist  actions.  Military operations such
as  those  conducted  against  Libya by the United States have
been  the  only  effective  means of deterring the threat that
terrorism  poses.    Without  this type of policy backed up by
the  popular  support  of a country's populace, terrorism will
continue to be a dangerous threat to the free world.
    The   purpose  for  state  supported  terrorism  has  many
reasons.       The  primary  reason  is  political,  but  other
countries,  such  as  Iran  hide  their  support  of terrorism
behind   the  cloak  of  religious  beliefs.    This  type  of
religious  beliefs  for these countries fall into the category
of  the  fanatic and extremist.  Iran and its leader Ayatollah
Khomeini   is  probably  the most well known of these religious
fanatics.      His  fanatical  hold  on  his country has led his
people  to  believe  that the rest of the world and especially
the  United  States  are  its  worst  enemy.    Examining  the
philosophy  behind  the  beliefs  of  countries like Iran will
assist   us   in  understanding  the  motivation  that  drives
terrorist  to  their destructive violence.  The Shiites of the
Muslim  faith,  of which there are 42 million in Iran, believe
that   death   in  a holy war guarantees them a place in heaven.
This   belief  provides  a foundation for an extremely activist
and  volatile  state.   William Quant, a Middle East expert at
Washington's  Brookings  Institute  says "committing terrorism
is  like  achieving  manhood  for  a  Shiite."2  With a belief
system  based  on  violence  and  death  for  the guarantee of
eternal  life  it is very easy to see why a means to defeat it
are so elusive.
    The  Soviet  Union and its role in international terrorism
is  the  topic  of  sharp debate.  This debate is not over the
question  of  Soviet  support  but  the  type  of  support and
exactly  how  much  is  given.   The economics of conventional
warfare  for  the  Soviets  have  placed quite a strain on the
Soviet  government.   Therefore, the Soviet Union exploits low
intensity  conflicts  around  the world to continue the spread
of  Communism.    The entire foundation of the Soviet doctrine
is  based  on  Marxist  beliefs  that  the  use  of  force  is
legitimate  for  the state to use and is the quickest means to
bring  another  society  to  its death.3  The Soviet's support
of  terrorism  is  deeply rooted in this belief and ultimately
has a lot to gain in its use.  This support however cannot be
overt.    The  Soviet  Union  is  a  superpower and must avoid
disturbing relations with other major powers.
    During  the  March  1989 Erskine lecture, conducted at the
FBI  Academy,  Ambassador  Max  Kamplem, former head of the US
delegation  to  the  negotiations on nuclear and space arms in
Geneva,  discussed  arms  control  and  Soviet relations.  The
Ambassador  stated that he felt that the United States govern-
ment  treaded too softly in dealings with terrorism and outlaw
countries,  such  as Libya.  He further stated that the United
States  must  deal  firmly with these countries, but then must
be  careful  when  our  actions  affect our relations with the
Soviet  Union.  The Soviet Union clearly abuses this relation-
ship  that we share and will continue to support international
terrorism  when  it  is  in their best interest.  To this end,
the  United  States  should  reassess its foreign policy as it
relates  to terrorism.  It should evaluate its vulnerabilities
in  key  elements of defense and security.  To reinforce these
actions,   the  government  should  develop  a hard line policy
dealing  with  terrorism, emphasizing a rapid and if necessary
brutal  response  to  terrorism.4    But  presently it appears
that  foreign  policy  and  politics  will  continue  to be an
obstacle   to   the   United  States'  attempt  to  deal  with
1Austria,   Meese   Accuses  5  Countries  of  Terrorism,  USA
Today, 11 December 1985.
2The Roots of Fanaticism, Time, 24 June 1985, p. 25.
3Merari   Arid,   On   Terrorism   and  Combatting  Terrorism,
University Publication of America, Inc., 1985, p. 105.
4Neil  C.  Livingstone,  The  War Against Terrorism, Lexington
Books,  D.C.  Heath  and  Company,  Lexington,  Massachusetts,
1982, p. 259.
                             PART VI
                      COMBATING TERRORISM
    Democratic  forms  of government undoubtedly face the most
difficult   task  in  confronting  the  problem  of  combating
terrorism.   Authoritarian regimes have fewer limitations upon
the  means of force, particularly military, they may employ to
meet  the  terrorist threat.  Democratic governments, however,
face  a  much  more complex dilemma in that they must not only
protect  the  populace  and  defeat  the terrorist threat, but
must  preserve their democratic institution and way of life as
well.1    In  democratic  governments  it is necessary to gain
the  support  of the people in order for any type of mobiliza-
tion  of  forces  to be conducted effectively.  The government
and  its  people  must  have  the means and resolve to use the
necessary  force  to  defeat  any  threat.  This is especially
true  when  attempting  to  formulate  a  means  to  deal with
terrorism as opposed to that of a major conflict.
    The  most  important  thing  a  government  must  do  when
confronted  with  state sponsored terrorism is to realize that
it  is  facing  a  military  threat  operating  as  a  form of
war.2     Democratic  governments  normally  have  to resort to
using    diplomacy,  economic  sanctions,  social  reforms  and
political  pressures  in  resolving the problems of terrorism.
As  proven in the past, the use of force has been an effective
arbitrator.    But  just  as  in  any  armed  conflict,  it is
critical  to  know  the  enemies  capabilities, weaknesses and
objectives.   This will enable the government to adopt its own
political  and  military  objectives and methods to defeat the
threat.    The  democratic government, with the consent of the
governed  necessary,  faces  major problems in gaining support
for military actions in opposition to a perceived threat.
    The  secure  world  as  we have known it within the United
States  will  soon  become  as  the  dinosaur;  extinct!    An
indication  of this was the attack on the wife of Navy Captain
Will  Rogers  Jr.  on  10 March 1989 in San Diego, California,
when  the  car  she  was  driving  was  destroyed by a typical
terrorist  weapon, the pipe bomb.  This attack was in probable
retaliation  by individuals sympathetic to Iran as a result of
the  downing  of  an  Iranian  commercial  aircraft by the USS
Vincennes.    Captain  Rogers was the skipper of the Vincennes
at that time.
    An  axiom  that  is popular in American sports is that the
best  offense  is  a good defense.  This holds especially true
in  defending  against  the  threat of terrorism.  In order to
defend  against  the  terrorist  and  refuse  him the means to
carry  out  his  violent  acts,  the  security programs of the
nation  and  its  private  sector  must  be  well coordinated.
These  countermeasures  will  deny  the  terrorist  targets of
opportunity.3    Security  has become a common word within the
military,  but  is  widely  misunderstood  within  the private
sector.    Security  measures to defend against terrorism must
be understood by both parties and integrated as a system.
    The  protection  of American citizens in the past has been
the  responsibility  of  the  government.    This is no longer
true.    This responsibility must be shared by state and local
governments  and  the  private  sector.    This responsibility
should  entail  an information process which stresses a public
awareness  program.  The purpose of these programs would be to
make  the  public  aware  of  the future threat that terrorism
poses  to  our  local  communities.  It has come the time that
the  American  public  be  made  aware of the real threat that
will  in  the future become a danger to our way of life.  This
would  be  the   first  step in improving our means to success-
fully  defend   our nation from this type of threat.  Secondly,
information  programs  within  corporations,  especially those
with  military   contracts,  and  our  educational institutions
could  provide   the necessary information to help our citizens
better  recognize  the  potential  situations that provide the
terrorists  the  opportunity  to utilize his skills to inflict
terror  through  violent  actions.   These measures tend to be
radical   and  extremist,  but  so  are  the  actions  of  the
    The  United  States  possesses a multifaceted inventory of
lethal  weapons  capable  of  defeating terrorism.  The use of
military  force  utilizing  sophisticated  weapons such as the
F-111,  F-18,  the  EA6B  and electronic warfare equipment, in
the  attack  against  Libya  is a prime example of this lethal
inventory.       But   as   operational  sound  and  tactically
proficient   as  this  attack  was, it was not conducted from a
basis  of a doctrine or strategy, but was merely a reactionary
measure  to  prove  that  the  United States had the means and
resolve  to  use  such a force.  I submit that future counter-
measures   to combat terrorism must be designed on the basis of
a strategy, based on an understanding of the threat.
    The  United  States Marine Corps has historically operated
within  the  low  intensity  conflict  arena.    It utilized a
strategy  and  tactics  developed  with  the use of the "Small
Wars  Manual."   This reference provided the guidance by which
the  tactics  and  forces  were  formulated  to employ against
hostilities  encountered  in Haiti and Nicaragua.  These early
efforts in a low intensity environment influenced the develop-
ment  of  a  doctrine  and  force  that  could  eventually  be
utilized  as  a  means  to deter terrorism.  This doctrine and
force  is  known  as the MEU(SOC) program.  The MEU(SOC) is an
amphibious  force  that  has the capability to conduct special
operations  in  a  maritime  environment.4  The MEU(SOC) has a
diverse   inventory  of  capabilities  and  is  equipped  with
special  weapons  and  highly  trained personnel that have the
ability  to  conduct  a  wide  variety  of  missions.    These
missions  range from, but are not limited to, amphibious raids
and  clandestine  recoveries  to tactical recovery of aircraft
and  extremist  hostage  rescues.   It must be emphasized that
these  operations  fall within the maritime purview and do not
duplicate those of other special operation forces, but comple-
ment  them.5    The  MEU(SOC),  being  forward deployed aboard
Navy  amphibious  shipping, provides a rapid means to react to
problem  areas  and  would  prevent  a situation from reaching
extreme  proportions.    Utilized  in  conjunction  with other
services'  special  forces, this joint force would provide the
most  effective,  as  well as most economically feasible force
to counter the threat of terrorism.
    In  conclusion,  it is fully understood that these special
operation  forces  are  not  the  ultimate  answer  to counter
terrorism,  but is a step in the right direction in developing
a  doctrine  and  force  concurrently.  Well knowing, that the
type  of sophisticated and costly military operation conducted
against  Libya,  may  again be necessary under certain circum-
stances,   it  is futile to use these type of operations in the
future  unless they are conducted within a strategy based on a
clear understanding of the threat.
1Donald  J.  Hanle,  On  Terrorism:   An Analysis of Terrorism
as  a  Form  of  Warfare, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey,
California, September 1987, p. 196.
2Ibid, p. 197.
3Neil    C.    Livingstone,   The   War   Against   Terrorism,
Livingstone   Books,   D.C.   Heath  and  Company,  Lexington,
Massachusetts, 1982, p.
4GySgt   P.  L.  Cabal,  Jr.,  MAU(SOC)   Corps'  Capabilities
Enhanced, Marine Corps Gazette, July 1987, p. 8, 9.
5Ibid, p. 8.
1.  Cabol, P. L., Jr., GySgt, MAU(SOC) Corps' Capabilities
      Enhanced, Marine Corps Gazette, July 1987.
2.  Cook, William J., The Technology of Terror, U.S. News and
      World Report, 6 March 1988.
3.  Earl, Robert L., LtCol, Combating Terrorism, Marine Corps
      Gazette, June 1986.
4.  Helle, Ronald B., Major, Defeating Terrorism, Proceed-
      ings, U.S. Naval Institute, July 1986.
5.  Livingstone, Neil C., The War Against Terrorism.
      Lexington Books, D.C. Heath and Company, Lexington,
      Massachusetts, 1982.
6.  Hanle, Ronald J., On Terrorism:  An Analysis of Terrorism
      as a Form of Warfare, Naval Postgraduate School,
      Monterey, California, 1987.
7.  Lincoln, Bruce W., In Wars Dark Shadow.
8.  Nelson, Gary W., LtCol, Terrorism:  The Military
      Response, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks,
      Pennsylvania, 1987.
9.  O'Ballance, Edgar, Language of Violence, Presidio
      Press, San Rafael, California, 1979.
10. Simon, Jeffrey D., Misperceiving the Terrorist Threat,
      Rand Corporation, Santa Monica, California, 1987.
11. Sloan, Stephen, Beating International Terrorism, Air
      University Press, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama,
12. "Americans Are No. 1 Targets," U.S. News and World
      Report, 21 October 1986.
13. "An Interview with William Casey," Time, 28 October 1985.
14. "Austria:  Meese Accuses 5 Countries of Terrorism," USA
      Today, 11 December 1985.
15. Combating International Terrorism.  5 March 1985, Current
      Policy #676, US Dept. of State, Bureau of Public
      Affairs, Washington, DC.
16. "Roots of Fanaticism," Time, June 1985.
17. Terrorism and the Modern World, October 25, 1984.
      Current Policy #629, US Dept. of State, Bureau of
      Public Affairs, Washington, DC.
18. Peet, Christopher H., Understanding Terrorism, History
      Honors Thesis, Virginia Military Institute, 1986.

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