Synopses & Reviews
American policy on terrorism and homeland security since the events of 9/11 reflect well-intentioned efforts to manage and eliminate major international threats. The government has deployed an impressive array of resistance strategies and reform initiatives but without achieving definitive, desired results. International terrorism today still poses a major problem for U.S. security. How do threats of terrorism subside?The United States as a superpower has experienced four major episodes of international terrorism: the Cuba skyjacking epidemic (January 1968-February 1973); the Iran hostage crisis (November 1979-January 1981); the Beirut kidnappings in Lebanon (1982-1991); and the Al Qaeda suicide bombings that commenced with attacks overseas in the late 1990s, graduated to the dramatic events of 2001, and continues with threats today. All these incidents reflect global ideological tension, high drama, and extreme frustration for policymakers who attempted to resolve these conflicts quickly and easily. In the first three cases, once defense and deterrence strategies were in place, terrorism was brought under control with mutual agreements between disputants: The U.S. decided to negotiate with terrorists in violation of stated policy. To reach that point, decision-makers shifted their view of the conflict and of their opponent. A new perspective motivated parties to seek resolution through interest-based bargaining. This study develops a framework of termination dynamics drawn from conflict resolution theory and research and applies it to the three concluded cases and the current Al Qaeda problem, offering a method for tracking progression of terrorist conflict.