An Outline and Definition of the Strategies for Conducting a Terrorist Campaign or Act.
A deduction of the empirical studies stipulates that a greater percentage of the terroristic acts are a scheme of highly coordinated campaign. According to Hall (2003), the strategies for undertaking a terroristic act would widely be categorized into campaigns of intimidation, spoiling, outbidding, provocation and attrition.
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Terrorist use intimidation in trying to convince the population that terrorists are very strong enough towards punishing disobedience and that the government is weak in attempts of stopping them, in order for the people to behave as the terrorists wish. The spoilers unleash their attack in an effort to convince the enemy which moderates on terrorists’ side are untrustworthy and weak, thus derailing the efforts to reach a peace settlement. The terrorist groups engaging in outbidding use violence in persuading the public that the terrorists have a higher resolve in fighting the enemy than the rival groups, and hence of worthy of being supported in their course (Forest, 2007). A terroristic strategy considered to be provocative is one which attempts to induce the enemy to respond to terrorism with indiscriminate violence, which radicalizes the population and makes them to be in support of terrorism. The use of attrition strategy encompasses the terrorists seeking to persuade the enemy the terrorists are very strong enough in imposing considerable costs in case the enemy continues a particular policy.
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Planning Process for Executing a Terrorist Attack
Terrorist operations are basically prepared with motive to achieve the highest probability of success with minimal risk. Those individuals planning to execute a terroristic attack avoid an adversary’s strengths and put their concentration on an adversary’s weaknesses. A detailed planning process becomes an essential aspect.
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Information gathering and collection against potential target points is carried for a couple of years before an operation is executed (Roy, 2004). Then tactical missions combine in complementing the strategic goals and the operational objectives. This is primarily because terrorist planning and operations’ overarching objective is to achieve a greater psychological impact on the target population. There is a further intelligence gathering and surveillance by the terrorist upon their target point. The terrorist receive additional information on a target’s patterns over a period of time and targets indicating vulnerabilities receive extra attention and priority of effort. After a proper evaluation of facts like target attracting high profile media attention, attack affecting larger audience, costs versus benefits among others, the terrorists then undertake specific target selection. A pre-attack surveillance and planning then follows. Rehearsals then is conducted to ensure equipment and weapons training and performance (Forest, 2007). The action is then undertaken at a designated place, time and conditions of attack. Lastly the terrorist ensure an escape and exploitation plan with exception of a suicide operation in which the impact is hastened with the willingness to die.
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The terrorist planning processes is depicted to be similar in a number of ways with other types of planning process across the human day-to-day undertakings. For instance, the organizational management planning process is of similar phases and stages. That is, the organization outlines its purpose and vision as the first strategy in the planning process. The stakeholders table the organizational strategic goals and objectives as the second process. A third phase is the “current state” analysis. Then the last two stages involve the implementation planning and the evaluation stage of the entire organizational management planning process (Hall, 2003).
Challenges faced by Terrorists in Planning Terroristic Attack
There is a greater organizational challenge faced by the terrorist in the planning process. The ideological and political leaders, the principals, have to delegate certain duties ranging from, planning attacks, recruiting, soliciting funds among others to low-level operatives, middlemen and their agents (Purpura, 2007). Such delegation process experiences difficulty as the operational elements usually see the world differently compared to their leaders and thus tend to disagree on the best way to serve the cause.
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There is lots of security costs in strategizing to control the resulting agency problem. Therefore the terrorists face a significant tradeoff between control and security (Roy, 2004). This tradeoff is modelled as an agency challenge in which the principals are better informed than the agents on the mapping from policies to outcomes, but ensuring dissemination of such information to assist the agents attain better outcomes is expensive.
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