Terror And Terrorism

Date: Dec 11, 2017
Category: Terrorism

The studied statement: "A terrorist is a military operative of a political movement that does not, at the moment of the operation, control any territory. Once a movement controls territory, it becomes the de facto sovereign of that land, and its acts, though indistinguishable in kind from those of a terrorist, must now be considered as the acts of armed forces, not terrorists." (The required question to study from the class).

First of all, in order to provide a proper answer to the question, it is important to give a definition to the term "terrorism". Although the studied term has no particular definition that is accepted around the world, there are explanations of the terrorism as a process. The most general and up-to-date definition is given in Encyclopaedia Britannica and states that: "Terrorism is a systematic use of violence to create a general climate of fear in population and thereby to bring about a particular political objective." (Jenkins). The more specific explanation for the studied term is provided in The Dictionary of Terrorism refers to terrorism as to the "organized social activity" that follows some particular goals, defined by the leaders of the movement (Thackrah).

According to the studied definitions, the relativity of words "terrorism" and "territory" is very unobvious. However, the statement, whether terrorist movements must be comprehended as armed force after gaining control of some particular territory is still not resolved. As it was obvious from the provided definitions, the main goal of terrorism is to instill fear (or terror) into some particular group of the society to achieve some advantages in the sphere of politics. What is more, such specific branch of terrorism as self-suicide activity by exploding bombs in public places is very popular nowadays. It is obvious that the described type of activity is created with no other purpose than implementing fear into peoples' hearts (Hoffman). Referring to the studied sources and to the simple logic, it can be stated that the main goal of terrorists does not contain such part as capturing territory. What is more, in the history of the world terrorism, there were no occasions of capturing territory or proclaiming the terroristic force an army with intentions more than the described above. Consequently, when defining the process of terrorism in general, there is no visible correlation with the studied statement. So, the statement can be comprehended as false. On the other hand, if the situation with capturing some particular territory is studied deeper, the studied statement can be researched from an absolutely different angle.

If the terroristic force captures some strategically important object, especially a vast piece of territory, it proclaims that its intentions expand further than satisfying some political or financial requirements. Consequently, if the terroristic organization proclaims itself an owner of the territory, it announces the possible intentions to continue the hostile activity against its neighbors or the country that the captured territory belonged to. In such occasion, it would be improper to ignore danger. If the terroristic organization can be satisfied after interrogations, the armed force, probably, will not have any interrogations at all. As a result, if the hostile terroristic force has captured a particular territory or a strategic object, the studied statement can be proclaimed to be true.

However, there is also the third option for defining, whether the studied is true or false. If we go inside the logic of terrorism and have a deeper view on its history, there can be an absolutely different result. First of all, it is interesting to mention that terrorism has different forms. For example, when some political party tries to gain the leading positions in any country that has a one-party dictator system (such as an absolute monarchy or totalitarian regime), the opposing party is always acknowledged as a terroristic force (Hoffman). When the party that fights for power in such situation achieves its goals, the ex-leading party is acknowledged as a terroristic force. The simplest and the most obvious example of the described process is the October Revolution in Russia. The other example is the partisan forces that appear during any type of military activity in any country. They are acknowledged as terroristic organizations, disregarding any intentions and goals that they try to implement. According to the provided information, the studied statement can be defined as correct, because the party, or partisan organization is acknowledged as an armed force, not as terrorists.

To conclude the information above, it is proper to state that terrorism is a force that will always change its forms but will never change the main goal. Since the ages when rich people used different religion organizations to frighten the population of the country in order to implement their own political power, nothing has changed. Nowadays, the terroristic organizations are the weapons in the hands of their leaders that try to achieve their own goals (usually financial) and do not have anything related to the noble proclamations of freedom and liberty for their people. What is more, those organizations frighten their own nation, and rob their cities to provide supplies for the military camps. It is my opinion that any discussions on the topic of the attitude to the terrorism as the free military power or an armed force that defends its own land are not worth to be raised. In the present days, the terrorists are instilling terror into people all over the world and have to be eliminated as a power that has no right to exist. In addition to this, terrorism undermines the very idea of freedom and democracy, because the leaders of terroristic organizations have no other intentions than to satisfy selfish needs. Consequently there is no such thing as good terroristic force.


  1. Jenkins, John Philip. "Terrorism". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Web. 30 November.

  2. Hoffman, Bruce. (2003, June 1). "A Logic of Suicide Terrorism". The Atlantic Magazine. Web. 29 November.

  3. Hoffman, Bruce. (1998). "Inside Terrorism". The New York Times. Web. 1December.

  4. Thackrah, Richard John. (2004). "Terrorism and Terror". Dictionary of Terrorism, 2-nd edition. London, Routledge. Web. 1 December.