Sunday, October 24, 2010

New Robert Pape book

Robert Pape is one of relatively few people who studies terrorism -- like actually studies it, not just expounds about it on cable TV.

His 2005 book (see NYT op-ed) was about the "strategic logic" of suicide terrorism -- showing that attacks are almost always part of broader campaigns, largely aimed at getting concessions from democratic governments, and that they are relatively effective.

His new book, with James Feldman, goes through all of the suicide attacks of the last several decades and shows that they are overwhelmingly based on trying to combat foreign occupations. Religion sometimes plays a role, sometimes not, but it is not an overwhelming force.

I know, we already knew much of this, but this is where the numbers are actually put together to show it. See Pape's article in Foreign Policy.


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