Terrorism

Policy Issues for the Bush Administration

by Brian Michael Jenkins

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Abstract

In many ways, the issue of terrorism transcends policy analysis; it also raises fundamental philosophical questions about the worth of individual human life when a person is held hostage, the existence and importance of American values as a constraint on operations even against those who are terrorists, the credibility of American diplomacy, the utility of military force, and the legitimacy of assassination. This Note touches upon these questions as it addresses the policy issues that are likely to confront the Bush Administration. Although rooted in analysis, it offers the author's personal view. In particular, he discusses the options available when terrorism is viewed as crime or as war; considers whether military force should be used; evaluates the use of covert operations against terrorists; outlines the problems associated with securing the release of hostages; and reviews the chances for sustaining international cooperation against terrorism. Finally, the author cautions about the domestic terrorism of gang violence associated with drug trafficking.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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