Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Dying to Win

The July 18 issue of The American Conservative has an interview with Robert Pape, author of Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism. The Post-it version of his argument is that foreign occupation drives suicide bombers. A key quote:

Suicide terrorism is mainly a response to foreign occupation and not Islamic fundamentalism . . . Since 1990, the United States has stationed tens of thousands of ground troops on the Arabian Peninsula, and that is the main mobilization appeal of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. People who make the argument that it is a good thing to have them attacking us over there are missing that suicide terrorism is not a supply-limited phenomenon where there are just a few hundred around the world willing to do it because they are religious fanatics. It is a demand-driven phenomenon. That is, it is driven by the presence of foreign forces on the territory that the terrorists view as their homeland. The operation in Iraq has stimulted suicide terrorism and has given suicide terrorism a new lease on life.

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