Subversion as a Facet of Terrorism and Insurgency

The Case for a Twenty-First Century Approach

Published in: Strategic Insights, vol. 8, iss. 3, Aug. 2009, 7 p

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2008

by Lindsay Clutterbuck, William Rosenau

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The authors examine the threat of subversion after the end of the Cold War. This article argues that present-day subversion shares key features with its earlier manifestations. The authors draw comparisons between the situation in 2009, analyzing recent subversive acts by Islamist extremists in the UK's Islamic communities, to Irish Republican subversion in Northern Ireland in the 1960s. As was the case during the Cold War, subversion needs to be conceptualized as one facet of a broader campaign that employs in a non-linear fashion a range of violent, less-violent, and non-violent instruments that serve to reinforce each other.

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