Terrorism is an international problem in today’s global community. Many nations are affected, whether directly or indirectly. Most nations oppose terrorism, while others condone or even support active, brutal terrorism and terrorist groups.
Terrorism is defined by the US State Department to contain four elements. The first is a threat of violence or an act of violence. Next is a political objective. Third is that violence and threat of violence is a direct attack on civilians making civilians a primary target. Lastly, it is perpetrated by a supporting a nation or nations of terrorism.
Two examples of terrorism and non terrorism are: the bombing of the US Embassy in Dar-Es-Salaam and the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In the Dar-Es-Salaam bombing, it is believed that there is one sub national actor involved: Osama bin Laden. With Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the US State Department agreed to drop the bomb. This was a general agreement of the American government, a national actor. Though both fit three criteria for a terrorist attack, the US government’s general decision to drop the bomb automatically makes it an act of war, not terrorism.
One of the goals of terrorism is to make the terrorist’s views heard. This can be caused by a total media blitz that usually occurs after a terrorist attack. The media is an excellent window for the terrorists to shout their demands and views immediately after an attack. The US has a very strict policy concerning terrorism. Our country refuses to negotiate with terrorists or give in to any of their demands. We do all we can to bring terrorists to justice after they commit crimes. We aim to isolate terrorist sponsoring nations, such as Iraq, from the rest of the world and attempt to perform counter-terrorism.
Although this policy is written down on paper down at the State Department, it is not always followed.