Breaking terrorists’ will to fight
Barba, Paulo E. Santa
Gregg, Heather S.
Giordano, Frank R.
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis examines which variables give terrorists their will to fight in order to determine if such motivations can be eroded through a counterterrorist campaign. Drawing from the expansive literature on the causes of terrorism, and using Bertalanffy’s theory of open systems, the study posits that the will to fight is a function of the following variables: a belief in a cause, a desire for revenge, a search for satisfaction (reputation, joy, and money), and cultural attributes. The thesis tests these variables through the use of a longitudinal case study of the rise and fall of the Sendero Luminoso—Shining Path—and its will to fight. It finds that religious beliefs and desire for revenge were particularly important in this case. Building on these findings, this thesis recommends specific strategies that aim to undermine terrorists’ will to fight by identifying the key variables and their level of influence on terrorists’ will to fight: making all instruments of statecraft work in unison; adapting to the situation on an ongoing basis; being consistent; and not overreacting.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Quinn, Matthew D. (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2001-12);This thesis explores the will to win in asymmetric war. Asymmetric war, in which one side has an overwhelming advantage over its opponent, will likely be the war of the future for the United States in the post-Cold War ...
Ballow, Andrew R. (Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School, 2016-12);The U.S. military is first-rate, yet it struggles to fight and win irregular wars. Surprisingly, throughout the course of history great powers have had difficulty with small wars. One must ask then, why and how do irregulars ...
Kocher, Kathryn M.; Thomas, George W. (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2000); NPS-SM-00-005An Internet-based survey was developed to identify factors that influence marines in their retention decisions. Questionnaire areas include: demographics and military background; satisfaction with specific aspects of ...