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Response to Professor Abrahms Study

Reader comment on item: The Limits of Terrorism
in response to reader comment: Limits of Terrorism

Submitted by Chet Limbright (United States), Apr 23, 2009 at 10:23

In response to Professor Abrahms study…

Max Abrahms lists only three effective terrorist attacks completely excluding 9/11; undoubtedly the most successful terrorist attack. I would consider his study conclusions are much less than insightful. He argues that terrorist attacks do not reach their policy objectives when he compares them to guerrilla group attacks.

Would Mr. Abrahms define his position more clearly by naming the guerrilla group that has caused more carnage, economic loss, and terror than the Islamist Jihadist terrorist movement?

He lists the terrorist goals as being political not religious which shows me he is ill-informed about Islam and its objectives. He talks about terrorist policy objectives whatever that means, further this academic mental giant states 'that terrorist groups use terrorism as a communication strategy to convey to target countries the costs of noncompliance because these groups seek political change".

Anyone knowledgeable about the Islamist terrorists knows their demands are not in any way political. Is Mr. Abrahms implying that the United States has not paid huge costs for its noncompliance status with the terrorist's demands?

Anyone that knows anything about Islam and Muslims knows that they are not interested in political change.

This professor never concludes that well over 90 percent of the terrorist attacks are committed by Muslims, to date I have not heard of a Muslim terrorist with a political agenda, a conclusion that anyone can come to without a Harvard education.

He states, the objectives of the terrorist campaigns based on their policy goals is problematic, the objectives of terrorist groups are sometimes difficult to code. This statement shows that he has never read the Koran the inspiration and blueprint for Islamic terrorism.

However the professor is politically correct as his study never links Islam with terrorism. The professor's use of the nomenclature limited, Maximalist and Idiosyncratic showed just how disconnected he is from the real world when formulating his Ivy League epistemology.

He defined Islamic terrorist groups as "civilian-centric terrorist groups (CCTGs) again he is unwilling or unable to make the connection between terrorism and Islam. To define Islamic terrorist groups as civilian-centric terrorist groups, shows his total disconnect from the real world.

Note Professor Abrahms never concludes and fails to identify that Islamic terrorism is an international movement with common goals and objectives that are not in any way connected to political objectives.

His statement,"The basic contention is that civilian-centric terrorist groups (CCTGs) fail to coerce because they miscommunicate their policy objectives". One would think that the Islamic terrorists should hire professor Abrahms to communicate their policy objectives in a more concise manner.

Mr. Abrahms makes the point that the Islamist fundamentalist attacks have been unsuccessful in attaining their goals while refusing to acknowledge the fact that Islamic terrorism has caused enormous financial and economic pain to the US economy let alone the huge toll in life both civilian, and military. Anyone can make a formidable argument that the Islamic terrorists have succeeded to the point that they are partially responsible for bringing the U.S. economy down on its knees.

To say the terrorists have been ineffective in attaining their goals and that Guerrilla groups are more effective in attaining their goals. The argument of Max Abrahms fails to recognize that the war on terrorism is hardly over and may continue for many more years into the future. Maybe Mr. Abrahms is privy to information that non-academics do not have access to.

Again I would like for Mr. Abrahms to identify the guerrilla group that has caused more havoc mayhem and financial cost to civilized societies than the Islamist jihadists. To state that the Islamic terrorists have somehow failed to me their objectives is as lame as it is irresponsible.

Costs Directly Attributed to 9/11

Source Center for contemporary Conflict

Economic Costs to the United States Stemming directly the 9/11 Attack

Strategic Insights, Volume I, Issue 6 (August 2002)

PDF study copy available at http://www.ccc.nps.navy.mil/si/aug02/homeland.pdf

by Robert Looney

Destruction of physical private business assets at 14 Billion

Loss to N.Y. State and Local governments at 1.5 Billion

Federal enterprises loss at 0.7 Billion

Rescue, cleanup and related costs at 11 Billion

Total cost 27.2 Billion Dollars

The consensus forecast for U.S. real GDP growth was instantly downgraded by 0.5 percentage points for 2001 and 1.2 percentage points for 2002. The implied projected cumulative loss in national income through the end of 2003 amounted to 5 percentage points of annual GDP, or half a trillion dollars.

With every military assessment stating that our military involvement in both Iraq and Afghanistan will continue for several more years driving the cost of terrorism into the Trillions of dollars to defend the country against Islamic terrorism. Mr. Abrahms statement that the terrorists have failed to meet their objectives seems somewhat premature and naive if not outright stupid.

Our general staff recent appraisal of the Taliban controlling eighty percent of Afghanistan and foreseeing Pakistan's potential collapse indicates to me that Mr. Abrahms assessment of the failure of terrorist groups to meet their objectives is total hogwash. Maybe the Islamic Terrorists are waiting on something that will equalize their position with the Western military powers.

No one would deny that the Islamists would use nuclear weapons, nuclear dirty bombs, biological warfare and any other means of mass destruction available to them. Could it be that their efforts are centers on the collapse of Pakistan and gaining control over its nuclear arsenal?

I would like to suggest to professor Abrahms that he get in contact with Professor Juan Cole at the University of Michigan as they both have astoundingly similar thought processes.

Chet Limbright

Submitting....

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