Die USA sollten sich von der Phrase "Krieg gegen den Terrorismus" verabschieden / The United States should abandon the use of the phrase "war on terrorism"
Brisante Erkenntnisse einer empirischen Studie der renommierten RAND-Corporation: Militär ist kein Mittel zur Terrorbekämpfung
Im Juli 2008 veröffentlichte die RAND-Corporation eine Studie, deren Ergebnisse all jenen Argumente in die Hand gibt, die den "Krieg gegen den Terror" immer schon als kontraproduktiv betrachtet haben. Da der think tank nicht verdächtigt ist, linke oder pazifistische Neigungen zu pflegen, kommt seinen Forschungsergebnissen eine hohe Bedeutung zu. Untersucht wurde der Werdegang von insgesamt 268 Terrorgruppen im Zeitraum von 1968 bis 2006. Das wichtigste Ergebnis: In den allermeisten Fällen wurde den Terrorgruppen ein Ende bereitet durch polizeiliche und geheimdienstliche Tätigkeiten sowie dadurch, dass die Gruppen mit ihren jeweiligen Regierungen Vereinbarungen getroffen haben hinsichtlich der Durchsetzung ihrer (politischen) Ziele. In manchen Fällen waren die Terrorgruppen siegreich, konnten sich also in dem jeweiligen Staat politisch durchsetzen. Am wenigsten erfolgreich waren dagegen militärische Aktionen.
In Zahlen: Terrorgruppen ...
... haben Abkommen mit der Regierung geschlossen: 43 %;
... wurden ausgeschaltet durch Polizei und Geheimdienste: 40 %;
... haben einen Sieg errungen: 10 %;
... wurden besiegt in Folge militärischer Aktionen: 7 %.
Der US-geführte Kampf gegen Al Qaida hat bis heute keinen Erfolg gehabt, weil er sich auf das Militär stützte, betonen die Wissenschaftler in ihrer Studie ("But military force has not undermined al Qa'ida").
Im Folgenden dokumentieren wir (in englischer Sprache):
die Presseerklärung anlässlich der Veröffentlichtung der Studie, und
die Kurzfassung der Studie (Research Brief).
U.S. Should Rethink "War On Terrorism" Strategy to Deal with Resurgent Al Qaida
News Release, July 29, 2008
Current U.S. strategy against the terrorist group al Qaida has not been successful in significantly undermining the group's capabilities, according to a new RAND Corporation study issued today.
Al Qaida has been involved in more terrorist attacks since Sept. 11, 2001, than it was during its prior history and the group's attacks since then have spanned an increasingly broader range of targets in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, according to researchers.
In looking at how other terrorist groups have ended, the RAND study found that most terrorist groups end either because they join the political process, or because local police and intelligence efforts arrest or kill key members. Police and intelligence agencies, rather than the military, should be the tip of the spear against al Qaida in most of the world, and the United States should abandon the use of the phrase "war on terrorism," researchers concluded.
"The United States cannot conduct an effective long-term counterterrorism campaign against al Qaida or other terrorist groups without understanding how terrorist groups end," said Seth Jones, the study's lead author and a political scientist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. "In most cases, military force isn't the best instrument."
The comprehensive study analyzes 648 terrorist groups that existed between 1968 and 2006, drawing from a terrorism database maintained by RAND and the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism. The most common way that terrorist groups end -- 43 percent -- was via a transition to the political process. However, the possibility of a political solution is more likely if the group has narrow goals, rather than a broad, sweeping agenda like al Qaida possesses.
The second most common way that terrorist groups end -- 40 percent -- was through police and intelligence services either apprehending or killing the key leaders of these groups. Policing is especially effective in dealing with terrorists because police have a permanent presence in cities that enables them to efficiently gather information, Jones said.
Military force was effective in only 7 percent of the cases examined; in most instances, military force is too blunt an instrument to be successful against terrorist groups, although it can be useful for quelling insurgencies in which the terrorist groups are large, well-armed and well-organized, according to researchers. In a number of cases, the groups end because they become splintered, with members joining other groups or forming new factions. Terrorist groups achieved victory in only 10 percent of the cases studied.
Jones says the study has crucial implications for U.S. strategy in dealing with al Qaida and other terrorist groups. Since al Qaida's goal is the establishment of a pan-Islamic caliphate, a political solution or negotiated settlement with governments in the Middle East is highly unlikely. The terrorist organization also has made numerous enemies and does not enjoy the kind of mass support received by other organizations such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, largely because al Qaida has not engaged in sponsoring any welfare services, medical clinics, or hospitals.
The study recommends the United States should adopt a two-front strategy: rely on policing and intelligence work to root out the terrorist leaders in Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East, and involve military force -- though not necessarily the U.S. military -- when insurgencies are involved.
The United States also should avoid the use of the term, "war on terror," and replace it with the term "counterterrorism." Nearly every U.S. ally, including the United Kingdom and Australia, has stopped using "war on terror," and Jones said it's more than a mere matter of semantics.
"The term we use to describe our strategy toward terrorists is important, because it affects what kinds of forces you use," Jones said. "Terrorists should be perceived and described as criminals, not holy warriors, and our analysis suggests that there is no battlefield solution to terrorism."
Among the other findings, the study notes:
Religious terrorist groups take longer to eliminate than other groups. Since 1968, approximately 62 percent of all terrorist groups have ended, while only 32 percent of religious terrorist groups have done so.
- No religious terrorist group has achieved victory since 1968.
- Size is an important predictor of a groups' fate. Large groups of more than 10,000 members have been victorious more than 25 percent of the time, while victory is rare when groups are smaller than 1,000 members.
- There is no statistical correlation between the duration of a terrorist group and ideological motivation, economic conditions, regime type or the breadth of terrorist goals.
- Terrorist groups that become involved in an insurgency do not end easily. Nearly 50 percent of the time they end with a negotiated settlement with the government, 25 percent of the time they achieved victory and 19 percent of the time, military groups defeated them.
- Terrorist groups from upper-income countries are much more likely to be left-wing or nationalistic, and much less likely to be motivated by religion.
"The United States has the necessary instruments to defeat al Qaida, it just needs to shift its strategy and keep in mind that terrorist groups are not eradicated overnight," Jones said.
How Terrorist Groups End
Implications for Countering al Qa'ida
How do terrorist groups end? The evidence since 1968 indicates that terrorist groups rarely cease to exist as a result of winning or losing a military campaign. Rather, most groups end because of operations carried out by local police or intelligence agencies or because they join the political process. This suggests that the United States should pursue a counterterrorism strategy against al Qa'ida that emphasizes policing and intelligence gathering rather than a “war on terrorism” approach that relies heavily on military force.
The United States cannot conduct an effective counterterrorism campaign against al Qa'ida or other terrorist groups without understanding how such groups end. While it is clear that U.S. policymakers will need to turn to a range of policy instruments to conduct such campaigns — including careful police and intelligence work, military force, political negotiations, and economic sanctions — what is less clear is how they should prioritize U.S. efforts.
A recent RAND research effort sheds light on this issue by investigating how terrorist groups have ended in the past. By analyzing a comprehensive roster of terrorist groups that existed worldwide between 1968 and 2006, the authors found that most groups ended because of operations carried out by local police or intelligence agencies or because they negotiated a settlement with their governments. Military force was rarely the primary reason a terrorist group ended, and few groups within this time frame achieved victory.
These findings suggest that the U.S. approach to countering al Qa'ida has focused far too much on the use of military force. Instead, policing and intelligence should be the backbone of U.S. efforts.
First Systematic Examination of the End of Terrorist Groups
This was the first systematic look at how terrorist groups end. The authors compiled and analyzed a data set of all terrorist groups between 1968 and 2006, drawn from a terrorism-incident database that RAND and the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism jointly oversee. The authors used that data to identify the primary reason for the end of groups and to statistically analyze how economic conditions, regime type, size, ideology, and group goals affected their survival. They then conducted comparative case studies of specific terrorist groups to understand how they ended.
Of the 648 groups that were active at some point between 1968 and 2006, a total of 268 ended during that period. Another 136 groups splintered, and 244 remained active. As depicted in the figure, the authors found that most ended for one of two reasons: They were penetrated and eliminated by local police and intelligence agencies (40 percent), or they reached a peaceful political accommodation with their government (43 percent). Most terrorist groups that ended because of politics sought narrow policy goals. The narrower the goals, the more likely the group was to achieve them through political accommodation — and thus the more likely the government and terrorists were to reach a negotiated settlement.
In 10 percent of cases, terrorist groups ended because they achieved victory. Military force led to the end of terrorist groups in 7 percent of cases. The authors found that militaries tended to be most effective when used against terrorist groups engaged in insurgencies in which the groups were large, well armed, and well organized. But against most terrorist groups, military force was usually too blunt an instrument.
The analysis also found that
Police-Oriented Counterterrorism Rather Than a “War on Terrorism”
religiously motivated terrorist groups took longer to eliminate than other groups but rarely achieved their objectives; no religiously motivated group achieved victory during the period studied.
- size significantly determined a group's fate. Groups exceeding 10,000 members were victorious more than 25 percent of the time, while victory was rare for groups below 1,000 members.
- terrorist groups from upper-income countries are much more likely to be left-wing or nationalist and much less likely to be motivated by religion.
What does this mean for counterterrorism efforts against al Qa'ida? After September 11, 2001, U.S. strategy against al Qa'ida concentrated on the use of military force. Although the United States has employed nonmilitary instruments — cutting off terrorist financing or providing foreign assistance, for example — U.S. policymakers continue to refer to the strategy as a “war on terrorism.”
But military force has not undermined al Qa'ida. As of 2008, al Qa'ida has remained a strong and competent organization. Its goal is intact: to establish a pan-Islamic caliphate in the Middle East by uniting Muslims to fight infidels and overthrow West-friendly regimes. It continues to employ terrorism and has been involved in more terrorist attacks around the world in the years since September 11, 2001, than in prior years, though engaging in no successful attacks of a comparable magnitude to the attacks on New York and Washington.
Al Qa'ida's resilience should trigger a fundamental rethinking of U.S. strategy. Its goal of a pan-Islamic caliphate leaves little room for a negotiated political settlement with governments in the Middle East. A more effective U.S. approach would involve a two-front strategy:
Make policing and intelligence the backbone of U.S. efforts. Al Qa'ida consists of a network of individuals who need to be tracked and arrested. This requires careful involvement of the Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as their cooperation with foreign police and intelligence agencies.
- Minimize the use of U.S. military force. In most operations against al Qa'ida, local military forces frequently have more legitimacy to operate and a better understanding of the operating environment than U.S. forces have. This means a light U.S. military footprint or none at all.
Key to this strategy is replacing the war-on-terrorism orientation with the kind of counterterrorism approach that is employed by most governments facing significant terrorist threats today. Calling the efforts a war on terrorism raises public expectations — both in the United States and elsewhere — that there is a battlefield solution. It also tends to legitimize the terrorists' view that they are conducting a jihad (holy war) against the United States and elevates them to the status of holy warriors. Terrorists should be perceived as criminals, not holy warriors.
Source: RAND Corporation; http://www.rand.org
Free, downloadable PDF file(s) are available below.
Download PDF Full Document
(File size 3.1 MB, 13 minutes modem, 2 minutes broadband)
Zurück zur "Terrorismus"-Seite
Zurück zur Homepage