Striking at the underbelly: influencing would-be terrorists
Freeman, Michael E.
Lober, George W.
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Modern states are approaching the issue of terrorism from both kinetic and non-kinetic perspectives; however, the focus of the international community has largely been on terrorist organizations, their leadership and their active and passive members, in whom the terrorist ideology is already deeply ingrained, and thus, they are difficult to turn toward a peaceful path. However, this thesis focuses on would-be terrorists, who may be relatively easier to influence. It identifies the possible causes that lead candidates toward the path of terrorism. According to Kahneman and Tverskys Prospect Theory, people in the losses frame are more risk acceptant and therefore more prone to join terrorists causes. To counter this risk-acceptant behavior, the answer lies not only in identifying possible causes for their placement in the losses frame, but in finding ways to transfer the would-be terrorists to a gains frame, thereby preventing them from joining the terrorist organizations. By adopting this strategy, there will be an indirect influence on the current wave of terrorism in the long-term, as well as a benefit in the short term by partially choking the inputs to the terrorists organizations.
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