Morality and History
Between War and Politics
excerpted from the book
The No-Nonsense guide to
by Jonathan Barker
New Internationalist / Verso,
The most common rationale for state terrorism's defense of the
moral community that is the nation. In killing Jews, Romas and
homosexuals the Nazis asserted they were defending the Aryan nation
against racial and moral pollution. Ethnic cleansing in Cambodia,
Rwanda, Bosnia and elsewhere has been justified along similar
lines. Stalin claimed both Mother Russia and the international
working class as communities whose opponents and betrayers ought
to be eliminated.
A sense of moral community also colors
the response to acts of terrorism. The metaphor of war in defense
of a 'good community' is often used to justify extraordinary and
arbitrary state powers. US commentators express outrage at the
way terrorists abuse democratic freedoms to launch their deadly
attacks and portray them as especially vile enemies of civic morality
who have lost all claim to the ordinary rights of community members.
The US Government has drawn practical conclusions from this moral
position. Under the US Patriot Act federal authorities can effectively
detain resident noncitizens indefinitely without charging them
with any crime. The underlying rationale is that they are not
part of the community of Americans protected by the Constitution.
Even citizens believed by federal authorities to have worked with
al-Qaeda or another enemy can be labeled 'enemy combatants' and
imprisoned until hostilities cease. In effect they lose the rights
conferred by community membership. By government fiat they are
stripped of constitutional protection.
Leaders who believe their state is engaged
in a war against terrorists may push their counter-terrorist actions
to the point of killing civilians linked to the enemy. Some argue
that Israel's attacks against Palestinians have crossed the line
that divides legitimate counter-terrorism from state terrorism.
The commitment of many Israelis to defend their state is deepened
by their belief that Israel was founded to end the vulnerability
of Jews that made the European Holocaust possible. Some supporters
of Israel's protective purpose reason that it justifies extraordinary
measures of defense.
Palestinians make a parallel argument
about their right as a people to a protective state in their ancestral
homeland. They see their struggle as a response to the theft of
their land to create Israel, in effect the cancellation of their
right to form their own national state. Families cling to the
papers that record their right to land and the keys to houses
long destroyed. The desire of the Palestinians living on the West
Bank to escape the humiliation and hardship of Israeli occupation
adds to the will to struggle. Given the overwhelming superiority
of the Israeli army and various security services, many Palestinians
reason that all Israelis are their enemies and targeting civilians
is fully justified.
Many active political movements today
claim that religious belief is the proper basis for a morallygrounded
political community. Every religion has the potential of inspiring
followers to back their beliefs with political authority. Religions
assert grand truths about good and evil and the rules that ought
to govern human interactions. The more urgently the claims are
felt and the more dangerous the battalions of evil appear to be
- the more attractive is the appeal to give their faith a political
form. This may include taking armed and deadly action to rout
the enemies and preserve the faith. Adherents of political religions
that differ profoundly over religious doctrine all agree that
the secular political ideal is morally bankrupt. Their descriptions
of the materialist, world-dominating enemy can be startlingly
similar. Terrorist groups inspired by their versions of Christianity
and Islam denounce look-alike conspiracies of Jews, communists,
capitalists and freemasons led by the US Government and the United
In situations of conflict, commitment
to moral community is often the main justification for going to
war. Such is the justification of the declaration by George W
Bush of the right of the US to strike first at rogue states, terrorist
states and terrorists. He believes that striking against enemies
of the US moral community is always defensive and always justified.
Once a government or a group sees itself as engaged in a war to
defend the community it represents, it is a small step to employ
weapons that will kill many civilians, torture prisoners to gain
essential intelligence or send a suicide bomber on a mission.
People who take their political values from Christianity and Islam,
religions that claim universal validity, may assert that their
rules of morality are valid for all people no matter what they
believe. Some fervent believers think that in forcing nonbelievers
to comply with the true morality, the are doing God's work. Colonial
autocrats forced their subjects to work without pay and expropriated
their best land in the name of a Christian civliizing mission
- the right of a more evolved community over a more primitive
one. The many layered term 'jihad' in Islamic thinking is best
translated as 'struggle'. It can refer to a personal spiritual
struggle to accept the full truth of Islam. For some Muslims it
can also refer to a defense of Islam by violence if necessary
against the aggression of nonbelievers and believers in false
forms of Islam. During the crusades and inquisitions Christians,
too, have defended a conception of their religious community with
arms and resorted to terrorism. To the many people standing outside
these circles of religious 'truth', the claims to universal validity
seem false and intrusive. The values they assert belong to large,
but still limited, moral communities.
This notion of moral community tends to
confirm a nonnegotiable starting point and to justify extreme
measures: If we = good, then any enemy = evil. Any conflict moves
into a stark bipolarism pushing for the exclusion of outsiders
and often into warfare. There can be no compromise with evil.
If you are not with us, you are against us. There is no difference
between leaders and followers, soldiers and civilians, instigators
and (possibly reluctant or ignorant) supporters. In such a simplified
and distorted world, terrorism against those who stand outside
the 'true moral community' is absurdly easy to justify. Immoral
actions thus are warranted as means for defending morality itself
Universal rights A larger moral framework
recognizes that many different and competing claims to a moral
community exist. It attaches political authority not to any particular
religious or cultural vision, but to the right of anyone to have
and to pursue such visions. Moral understanding need not stop
at the boundary of one community; it grounds itself in universal
A set of influential intellectuals in
the United States issued a statement about the evil of the September
11 terrorists and the justice of prosecuting a war against them
that put the argument in terms of universal moral principles.
The US had to defend such universals as civic freedom, freedom
of religion, and protection of the human person. War is morally
necessary when it is required to defend innocent people whose
rights are under attack and who are in no position to defend themselves.
A war so justified must be fought by a legitimate authority employing
violence proportionate to the danger. The statement made clear
that not all the cultural values, social tendencies and government
policies in the US are worthy of support. But it argued that the
core US values are valid and universal. A war fought to defend
these values against terrorists is a just war. Such a war must
never target non-combatants, although unintended killing of innocents
may be unavoidable.
In the abstract the argument appears strong:
a secular state committed to human rights may have to defend the
right to have such rights. In practice the argument comes down
to a political judgement. As the editor of the Wall Street Journal,
Robert Hartley, put it in the 17 June 2002 edition, the supporters
are saying that the US, whatever its faults, is 'a force for good
in the world'. The signers agree, it seems, with President Bush's
words on 1 June 2002 to cadets at West Point: 'America has no
empire to extend or utopia to build. We wish for others only what
we wish for ourselves - safety from violence, the rewards of liberty,
and the hope for a better life.'
Bush might, however, have lost the support
of some of the signers when he announced in the same speech that
his government reserved the right to strike first at any government
or group that the US believes is about to launch an attack on
the US or its allies. Here we see how crucial is the question
of who defines and enforces universal human rights. The US has
been most reluctant to recognize the authority of any international
body to do so.
Yet the very universal rights championed
by the US are also the starting point for some of the critics
of the war on terrorism, many of them US citizens. These critics
accept the same constitutional and moral precepts that support
democratic governance and civil and human rights but arrive at
different political judgements. They believe that on balance the
US is not a force for good in the world. Critics like Noam Chomsky
readily marshal the evidence - the overthrow of elected governments
in Iran, Guatemala, Indonesia and Chile; the training and financing
of the Contra terrorists in Nicaragua; the support for President
Suharto of Indonesia in his genocidal take-over of East Timor;
the material assistance to President Saddam Hussein in Iraq when
he was suppressing Kurdish nationalists with poison gas; and the
cooperation with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in training and arming
the Taliban to destabilize the government of Afghanistan. Chomsky
believes the world's most powerful government uses violence quite
routinely and quite effectively to defend its economic interests.
In doing so it stands against the 'hope for a better life' of
most of the world's people. This position concludes that the most
important step that the US can take to decrease terrorism is to
stop engaging in it.
The invective in the altercations between
these two 'universal rights' positions is especially acrimonious.
They agree on the moral premise that humans universally have a
right to freedom, security and democracy. They even agree that
the record of the US in supporting these rights is not pure. They
further agree that the people who brought down the World Trade
Center and damaged the Pentagon are a real menace and must be
stopped. The two groups disagree about whether the US Government
should be the sole arbiter of who is and who is not a threat to
universal human rights. The critics of the US want to strengthen
international courts and bodies to make such judgements and enforce
them. The supporters of the US record on balance trust the US
to make the | correct determination over the long run.
Many who think about the moral meaning of terrorism are less interested
in the abstract rightness or wrongness of particular terrorist
acts or counter-terrorist measures than in what they accomplish
and for what interests. They judge actions in terms of their consequences.
Consider the case of terrorist acts by a committed group in the
name of a worthy goal such as overthrowing a rapacious dictator.
Or consider state terrorist measures employed to defeat a monstrous
and clever political sect. Might not the end be worth the means?
Would not a few deaths and a time of fear among certain people
result in a much safer and freer outcome for the majority? Is
that not a good moral bargain?
Obviously we cannot know the future, so
consequentialist moral reasoning works better in hindsight than
in prospect. The sociologist Barrington Moore argues that the
death and suffering of the French Revolution, including the Terror,
had the beneficent consequence of destroying social institutions
of inequality and exploitation that were day after day grinding
millions of lives into pain, despair and death. He judged this
a good bargain from a long-term historical point of view. Yet
such judgements are hard to make, even historically. Judging events
and actions before their consequences are known is much trickier
still. The value of a judgement based on highly uncertain predictions
is obviously compromised. Yet political leaders have to make such
judgements all the time.
Political leaders are powerfully drawn
to consequentialist moral reasoning on many policy issues. Damming
a river harms some people and even destroys ways of life, but
it helps others. The politicians in charge evaluate the balance
of benefits and costs - no doubt giving special weight to influential
powerholders and to the impact on their own careers. The same
kind of reasoning can be applied to the distribution of violence.
War planners try to deliver damage and death to enemy forces in
the most efficient and effective pattern. They can and do also
consider the benefits and costs of doing violence to civilians.
Bombing Dresden will cause fire storms and kill tens of thousands
of civilians. But perhaps it will demoralize the German high command,
shorten the war and save the lives of allies and Germans alike.
A suicide bomb in Tel Aviv will kill dozens of ordinary Israelis
and trigger an Israeli attack on a West Bank refugee settlement
that will kill Palestinians. But it will also recruit more suicide
bombers and strengthen the radical Palestinian faction against
the moderates and further the cause of restoring what is now Israel
to the Palestinians. This is the way reasoning about the consequences
of killing civilians justifies terrorist actions.
Consequentialist reasoning is used effectively
against terrorism as well. Even in the case of terror or state
terror that seems to promote benefits such as enhancing the power
of a democratic state or weakening an evil government, opponents
can argue that the consequences will be the creation of more enemies
and the use of valuable resources needed elsewhere. This argument
has been used by the Palestinian critics of suicide bombing and
by opponents of the war on terrorism.
The consequentialist version of the terrorism
debate often turns on the moral importance placed on enhancing
state power. Machiavelli argues that the end of enhancing state
power justifies the means of state violence against enemies and
opponents who might otherwise weaken the state. For him state
power is more than an end in itself; it alone makes civic order
and social morality practically possible. Those who support the
power of a given state often follow Machiavelli's reasoning. They
back the use of state terror as a regrettable necessity for achieving
the benefits the state brings over the long run. Those who oppose
the extension of state power are often less critical of the terror
of groups that attack the state because the damage people suffer
looks small compared to the suffering the state inflicts.
Three big ideas
Debates about terrorism are colored by
historical ideas as well as by moral standpoints. The ideas used
to explain terrorism often turn out to be connected to a vision
of one of the big themes in our current history. There are three
major themes here. Some familiarity with them helps in finding
a way through the commentaries and debates that swirl around the
war on terrorism. Each is in its own way too general and too weakly
linked to any actual terrorist act to provide a full explanation
of terrorism. At best each can give a partial insight into the
context out of which terrorism emerges, But these ideas have another
kind of importance - despite their weaknesses they guide the thought
of planners of terrorist acts and of shapers of counter-terrorism
Failed modernization The most frequently-encountered
big idea is failed modernization. The core idea here is that some
societies have been unable to achieve the promise of growth in
material wealth in a secular, science-based and democratic society.
Two variants of the theme give it quite different interpretations.
The neo-conservative variant argues that the opportunity to modernize
is there for any society to seize. Countries like Taiwan, South
Korea and Singapore provide examples of transformation into productive,
relatively high-income market societies in a couple of generations.
Failures are the responsibility of rulers and populations who
did not take advantage of the opportunity to emulate the West
by leapfrogging to the latest technologies. Persistent corruption,
the wrong ideology, ancient conflicts or other misadventures have
kept societies off the globalization train. Some fall into the
abyss of failed or collapsed states unable to discharge even minimal
government functions. The poverty and political instability that
ensue breed frustration, calls for change, violence and even terrorism.
They create conditions of urban anarchy and rural warlordism in
which terrorists can gather, hide and prepare.
These neo-conservatives believe that even
the richest of the developed economies and the most powerful political
and military establishments cannot reverse or resolve all the
failures of modernization. The best response is an agenda of self-protection
- keeping the dangerous places under close scrutiny and going
after terrorists when they appear. The governments of all countries,
including those where terrorists gather, have a duty to crack
down hard on these dangerous people.
The left-wing variant of failed modernization
locates the weakness in the modernization model itself which benefits
rich countries at the expense of the poor. It simply does not
fit the real possibilities of many countries, including large
parts of Africa and the Middle East. The worst of the inequality,
instability and poverty that breed and hide terrorists is remediable.
The rich and powerful should reform the model of modernization
and invest the money and effort needed to bring substantial benefits
to the countries and regions most in need. This step will reduce
the anger and frustration that breed terrorism, but action may
still be necessary to deal with existing terrorist organizations.
Failed modernization, unfortunately for
its proponents, itself fails to find the particular causes behind
many episodes of terrorism. What about terrorism in paragons of
modernization like Japan (Aum Shinrikyo) and Germany (Red Army
Faction). Why has Sri Lanka in recent years suffered from separatist
terrorism and not Malaysia? Why are the crisis-ridden economies
of the Caribbean less troubled by terrorism (state and group)
than those of Central America? Modernization is in serious trouble,
no question. But as a theory of terrorism it is too broad and
vague. It stands in the way of understanding.
Clash of civilizations
A second way of seeing the big picture from which terrorism arises
is the Clash of Civilizations, a phrase made famous from the titles
of an article (1993) and a book (1996) by Samuel Huntington. The
collapse of communism, according to this perspective, shifted
the major lines of conflict in the world to the cultural. Supporters
of this perspective find verification in Europe's Middle Ages
when Muslim rule expanded into Spain and attempted to push into
France, or when Christian crusades attempted to wrest control
of Jerusalem from its Muslim rulers. But their main interest is
the future: 'The dangerous clashes of the future are likely to
arise from the interaction of Western arrogance, Islamic intolerance,
and Sinic [Chinese] assertiveness', says Huntington. The theory
is elaborated from a frankly pro-Western perspective and designed
to shape policy. The implication is that Westerners should expect
recurring conflict with Islamic and Asian political powers. No
amount of modernization will make 'them' more like 'us' and our
observance of values we regard as universal will not end the major
Unfortunately, accepting the clash of
civilizations as an organizing idea obscures insight into the
actual variety of bases of terrorism. Cultural differences are
without doubt an important source of conflict; but, so too are
competition for resources like petroleum, water and land. Moreover,
citizens, whatever their culture, are still stirred to vigorous
opposition by experience with self-serving and corrupt concentrations
of power that torture citizens and deny them basic rights. Differences
of identity within the global cultures Huntington names, especially
those stirred by nationalist claims, remain potent. The growing
disparity of incomes within and between countries keeps ideologies
of right and left alive in social movement. Among recent terrorist
episodes, many have nothing to do with a clash of civilizations:
the leftist claims of the red groups in Europe; nationalist claims
within a cultural zone of Basques in Spain, Kurds in Turkey and
Tamils in Sri Lanka; the obscure rural revolutionary goals of
Sendero Luminoso in Peru; and the defense of the unborn by anti-abortion
militants in the US. Cultural differences feed into political
conflict, but to see terrorism through the lens of a clash of
civilizations is a dangerous and blinding simplification.
Primary and secondary terrorism
A third perspective, put forward most coherently by Edward Herman
and Gerry O'Sullivan in The 'Terrorism' Industry focuses on state
terrorism and downplays the importance and danger of group terrorism.
It locates the problem of terrorism in a large historical dynamic:
the 'primary terrorism' of Western colonial expansion and continued
economic and political domination provokes a 'secondary terrorism'
of desperate response to the suffering and injustice inflicted
by this primary terrorism. This analysis does not excuse or condone
secondary terrorism, but it places historical responsibility for
terrorist problems squarely in the hands of the Western perpetrators
of primary terrorism. The historical causal force stimulating
terrorist activity is Western expansionism and Western efforts
to retain worldwide economic and political dominance. This perspective
credits the claims often put forward by popular movements in the
global South that the political settlements ending colonial rule
were unjust and that post-colonial government is often the tool
of Western economic and political interests. Its core equation
is that the elimination of the injustices and relations of domination
perpetrated by Western industrial powers will remove the raison
d'etre of terrorism.
This perspective captures one of the great
waves of modern history that is too often neglected by writers
looking at terrorism: the fundamental and often extreme violence
of Western colonial expansion and the continuing resort to violence
to retain post-colonial domination. It tends to ground itself
on a few cases where evidence of US involvement in terrorism is
strong, such as the mining of Nicaragua's harbor in support of
Contra terrorism. But it makes no survey of a cross-section of
terrorist acts and groups since the Second World War to see how
well they fit the theory. It ignores the terrorism inside Europe
from ETA in Spain to the Red Army Faction in Germany, but is markedly
Euro- and US-centric when it comes to weighing the causes of terrorism
in Latin America, Asia and Africa. It sees state terrorism in
Brazil, Chile and Argentina and the Indonesian army slaughter
in East Timor as the responsibility of the US. Is there no responsibility
of those governments for their own actions?
Where the US failed to oppose state terrorism
- even where it supported a security apparatus that engaged in
such terrorism with money and training - there remains room for
some moral and political autonomy on the part of 'client' governments.
Governments that are in no way simple clients, like Myanmar (Burma)
or Zimbabwe, are quite able to engage in state terrorism. Most
former colonies and dependencies inherited an autocratic government
and severe economic and political difficulties from their colonial
experience, but terrorist regimes are prominent in only a few
places. Nor can group terrorism automatically be traced to colonial
violence and injustice. The idea of primary and secondary terrorism
falls short as a general explanation of terrorism. Holding it
too tightly stands in the way of understanding the many cases
it fails to illuminate.
A less comprehensive theory of Western
action and terrorist response is much more convincing with respect
to specific cases and gives insight into the origins of state
terrorism, a topic carefully ignored by many terrorism experts.
It takes the name 'blowback', as noted in chapter three) from
the term used inside the CIA for the unintended consequences of
initial interventions. The US gave Saddam Hussein's regime in
Iraq support to make it a stronger counterweight to Iran, but
then President Hussein turned that power both against Iraq's Kurdish
population and toward the invasion of Kuwait. The US gave assistance
to the Taliban via Pakistan's intelligence agency (and perhaps
more directly) in order to strengthen a promising opponent of
the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. The Taliban succeeded admirably
and turned its success to support of al-Qaeda and other Islamist
terrorist organizations. In these cases the 'blowback' resulted
in an increase of terrorism turned against US interests.
Beliefs about identity and ideology can move government leaders
just as they do group terrorist leaders. Their moral compass may
justify attacks against both internal opponents and external enemies.
Doctrines of national security, Nazism and communism can be shaped
to persuade the rank and file of the need for terror tactics.
One of the most common justifications for perpetrators of state
terrorism is that they act in the name of counter-terrorism to
defend the dignity and power of the state. Beneath the rhetoric,
simply hanging onto power is often a major motive. The revered
leader is often invoked as the 'great explainer' who assumes responsibility
for the 'necessary' politics of terror.
The art of shaping cadres of young people,
usually men, into willing torturers and killers is well honed
and well known to military establishments. The key is to unite
a sense of larger mission (defending the nation) with a sense
of group loyalty and interdependence (fighting for one's comrades).
Armies have long been adept at such training, isolating the trainees
from family and society and using boot-camp techniques to reinforce
obedience to the chain of command and loyalty to a team of soldiers.
The military and civilian managers of military operations are
imbued with a belief in the strategic value of aggression and
violence in the pursuit of certain national or regime interests.
The very same combination of strategic aggression and group dependence
has often been turned to purposes of state terrorism. The commander
of a special unit need only declare that certain people are enemies
of state security and the soldiers' license-to-kill can be directed
against that group. Philip Zimbardo's famous psychology experiment
at Stanford University in 1971 that placed students in the roles
of prisoners and guards in a simulated prison showed how rapidly
ordinary young men could be turned toward torture. The experiments
had to be ended abruptly after only 6 days because the 'guards'
subjected the 'prisoners' to sadistic treatment.
Intelligence sources familiar with information about al-Qaeda
often compare it to a transnational corporation with active branches
in many countries, some of them independent franchises. Moreover,
just as McDonald's inspired Burger King, al-Qaeda's example, they
believe, is prompting the formation of look-alike organizations.
Local cells and regional centers are loosely linked through interpersonal
and ideological networks. The network is reinforced by meetings
and training camps and by channels for collecting and transferring
The US as the leader of the war on terrorism
tries to globalize counter-terrorism by drawing governments into
a common policy of military and police action against terrorists
of all stripes. Governments are pressed to enact tough security
legislation and to crack down on groups suspected of international
connections. Often, as in the case of Indonesia, they are offered
military assistance and military training.
Sometimes, as in the Philippines, the
US supports cooperative governments with troops as well as economic
The war on terrorism gives al-Qaeda, and
terrorism in general, a strong global image. States facing any
kind of insurgency claim they are fighting the global terrorist
enemy. Russia puts Chechen separatists in this category, in order
to garner international support and legitimacy, especially from
the US. Some Chechen insurgents find it useful to adopt the garb
of radical Islam and deliver videotaped messages to al-Jazeera
television. Like other local movements they are drawn to represent
themselves as part of a global endeavor in order to gain publicity
and international support for their cause.
What the war on terrorism does
For governments the war on terrorism fills
a void that appeared with the end of the Cold War and the spread
of neo-conservative views that governments should shrink and scale
back their programs. It gives governments something important
to do and supplies a ready reason to strengthen instruments of
internal security and to monitor or restrict potentially troublesome
The fight against communism or imperialism
was reason enough in Cold War days for governments to expand their
power. With the demise of state communism the US reduced support
for repressive anti-communist regimes. Democracy movements and
competitive politics spread widely in the unipolar world. Democratic
movements are often disrespectful of sitting governments and they
can generate conflict that brings political order itself into
question. Many governments discovered reasons to fear democracy.
The war on terrorism gives them the opportunity to play on the
widely-felt sense of vulnerably to reinforce their power. Governments
the world over are beefing up police and intelligence agencies
and implementing legislation that curtails political liberties
and reduces protection against arbitrary arrest.
The war on terrorism draws attention away
from issues of global inequality and degradation of living conditions
that are important in their own right and remain important causes
of conflict. Instead international bodies are swamped by issues
of security. The global movement for economic reform finds its
scope for action more limited. In the industrial North it finds
governments are less open to discussion about economic justice.
The public is encouraged to see the South more as a source of
danger than a region in need of international economic and social
reform. Activists have to commit energy and resources to defending
human and civil rights and opposing the worst of the new security
legislation. A coalition that might come together on many aspects
of global economic reform and environmental defense is more divided
when forced into dealing with issues of security and terrorism.
Debate about globalization is being choked
off at a time when a new generation of activists is responding
to the changing constellation of power and wealth in the world
and participating in vital cultural changes and conflicts. Lively
debates are under way on fundamental issues such as the political
role of Islam, Christianity and Judaism; appropriate political
structures for multicultural states and alternatives to orthodox
market solutions to issues of stalled development and income maldistribution.
These debates need wide publicity and broad participation. Liberal
secularists need to debate why modernization is failing so many
of the world's people. Instead they are caught up in arguing about
the morality of putting huge amounts of money into weapons. Religious
believers need to discuss how they can adapt their beliefs to
a pluralism of faiths but instead are forced to defend their religion's
basic morality. The politics of fear and power replaces a politics
of intellectual challenge and practical give and take.
The war on terrorism includes a well-funded
and skillfully-directed information component that raises the
fear level and keeps attention on security. It sucks energy from
other discussions and forces basic issues to the margins of public
dialogue. The way the war on terrorism enables the US to shape
the political agenda within the US, in international discussions
and in many other countries may be its most impressive quality.
The war on terrorism also draws attention away from arms control
and arms elimination projects. Efforts to reduce the availability
of land mines, light automatic weapons and explosives might have
a direct effect on the frequency and deadliness of terrorist actions.
Control of the production and distribution of nuclear, biological
and chemical weapons (NBC) would lower the chances of terrorists
making use of such weapons. These efforts are weakened and displaced
by enlarged military budgets and accelerated production of I weapons
systems for possible counter-terrorist use.
guide to Terrorism