Revisiting the Political Motives of Terrorism
January 6, 2010
Given the recent Christmas Day terrorist plot, it is important to revisit the underlying political motives of terrorism. In the long-run, only by accounting for these root grievances can America effectively reduce the threat from violent extremists. This inescapable fact is as true today as it was on the morning of September 11, 2001. It is why the below two articles, one written shortly after 9/11 and the other written on its anniversary, are still relevant as the Obama administration seeks to redefine America’s “global war on terrorism”. Unfortunately, the failed leadership of the last eight years ignored or even exacerbated many of the issues addressed in these pieces, and disregarded the necessity of building a genuinely international partnership in counterterrorism efforts. Hopefully a new administration responding to similar terrorist designs will not make the same mistakes.