A new typology for state-sponsored international terrorism
Reeves, Jeremy R.
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State sponsorship of terrorism, though not as prevalent as in previous decades, is still a complex phenomenon our government has yet to adequately address, despite the threat it continues to pose to our national security. Current U.S. policy toward state sponsors of terrorism is constrained by a number of laws, which mandate a host of economic and diplomatic sanctions be put in place when a state is designated as a sponsor of terrorism. As such, policymakers must careful consider all of the complex ramifications before labeling an offending state for fear of alienating necessary allies and harming the international economy. This paper argues a more effective response to state-sponsored terrorism can be found through a deeper understanding of the phenomenon. To this end, a new typology for state-sponsored terrorism is presented, offering policymakers a nuanced approach to dealing with offending states. The primary benefit of such an approach is the inherent flexibility to tailor U.S. response to the precise relationship between the terrorist organization and its state sponsor. States currently on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism and states that should be are examined, detailing the shortcomings of current U.S. policy and the advantages of the proposed typology.
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