Cover: Fixing the blame: international terrorism and attacks on Americans

Fixing the blame: international terrorism and attacks on Americans

Published 1986

by Bruce Hoffman

Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback4 pages $20.00

This paper, which originally appeared as an op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, reviews recent terrorist attacks against American targets, and considers both the causes and pitfalls of fixing blame on such visible figures as Libya's Muammar Qaddafi. The author points out that it is tempting to link a state to a specific terrorist act in order to overcome the basic element of terrorism--confrontation by an enigmatic adversary. The risk in fixing our attention on flamboyant figures like Qaddafi, however, is that we will delude ourselves, hit the wrong target, and aggravate an already-tense situation, while doing little, if anything, to prevent terrorist attacks on Americans.

This report is part of the RAND paper series. The paper was a product of RAND from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.