Cumulative Deterrence and the War on Terrorism

نویسندگان

  • DORON ALMOG
  • Doron Almog
چکیده

I n early 2003 an Israeli agent in the Gaza Strip telephoned Mustafa, a wealthy Palestinian merchant in Gaza, to inform him that over the previous three months his son Ahmad had been preparing for a suicide bombing mission in Israel. Mustafa was told that if his son followed through with his plans, he and his family would suffer severe consequences: their home would be demolished, and Israel would cut off all commercial ties with Mustafa’s company. Neither he nor the members of his family would ever be permitted to enter Israel again. Faced with this ultimatum, Mustafa confronted his son and convinced him that the cost to his family would far outweigh any possible benefits his sacrifice might have for the Palestinian people. Since the start of the second Palestinian intifada in September 2000, Israeli authorities have prevented more than 340 suicide bombings from advancing beyond the planning stages. In addition, they have intercepted 142 would-be bombers, most of whom were en route to destinations deep within Israel. The war against Palestinian terrorism, like the war on terrorism more broadly, aims to prevent terrorists, including suicide bombers, from achieving their objectives. Suicide bombers are the most sophisticated smart bombs ever devised. They are well integrated into their communities, they are mobile, and they often can choose the best moment in which to wreak the greatest havoc and produce the highest number of casualties. Yet as the case of Mustafa and his son illustrates, the right mix of threats in at least some instances challenges the conventional wisdom that suicide bombers are undeterrable. In the war on terrorism, in which suicide bombers have repeatedly demonstrated their deadly efficiency, the United States and its friends and allies confront challenges similar to those Israel has dealt with for years. To

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تاریخ انتشار 2004