Restoring peace or provoking terrorism : exploring the links between multilateral military interventions and international terrorism
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This study is an empirical investigation of the connection between multilateral military interventions and international terrorism. Of particular concern is the question of the extent to which increased international interventionism and increasingly forceful interventions cause changes in the level and type of international terrorism. The study will first present a number of hypotheses on possible links between these phenomena. It then introduces three detailed case studies: the deployment of MNF I and II in Lebanon (1982-84); Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm in Kuwait (1990-91); and the NATO campaign and KFOR missions in Kosovo (1998-2000). The study also includes two shorter case studies describing the terrorist response to the recent military interventions in Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003). It proceeds to compare the data from these case studies: while all the interventions provoked terrorist attacks outside the conflict theatre, the number and scale of the attacks vary greatly, as each of the interventions had its own set of circumstances that determined the nature and level of the terrorist response. Nevertheless, certain general trends can be found. Most surprisingly, the great majority of the terrorist attacks have been perpetrated by ideological groups with no apparent stake in the conflict, rather than by actors who were directly involved. Furthermore, the question of UN support for an intervention does not seem to influence the terrorist response, although the general perception of political legitimacy does seem to matter. There are also some indications that the use of extensive force by intervening armies is likely to result in more lethal terrorist responses, but the evidence substantiating this finding needs to be further examined. Business interests have been the most common targets, followed by diplomatic and military targets. Finally, it should be noted that this study does not account for in-theatre violence nor does it provide a detailed study of possible long-term effects.