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Terrorist Country vs. Faction Within

Reader comment on item: [The Hamas Victory and] Prospects for Peace

Submitted by IK (United States), Jan 30, 2006 at 18:53

The recent advent of terror cells changed the topography of what war could be. In the 20th century, and earlier, when one nation-state attacked another, the presumption was that that entire country was behind the attack and, as ferocious a response as possible, was seen as justified.

With Al Queda, Hamas, and the many other other similar terror groups that did not officially represent the goverment of a country, dealing with the terror became tricky. Countries attacked could not in good conscience mount a massive attack on the country from which the terror attacks emanated. We would not want to kill innocents. Targeted attacks have been the best that could be done, but even with that model, 'collateral death and destruction' are sore points.

Now that a terrorist organization is the legitimate government of a country, any attacks from such a country ("Palestine") may be rightly construed as acts of war by that country, and put it at risk for justifiable massive strikes... or at least broader strikes aimed at destroying the goverment and all military assets, with much less, if any, concern for collateral damage.
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