Free «Negotiating with Terrorists» Essay Sample

Negotiating with Terrorists

Terrorism is one of the most significant problems in the modern world, which aims to intimidate and blackmail humanity. The geographical areas of ??terrorist activities are boundless today. Terrorists use different methods to achieve their goals, so they often hold hostages or lay a bomb in the building. Typically, religious extremists are the most dangerous groups with some ideological reasons for the warfare against the Western civilization. In this case, it is highly difficult to negotiate with them, in contrast to the political groups, because the main goal of the terrorists is the complete destruction of the object and the civilian population, as well. However, the total violent strategy leads to the infinite war and escalation of the conflict, and the current US government needs to seek a compromise between moderate and radical actions. The United States should negotiate with religious groups partially for saving human lives and preventing an escalation of the conflict as well as creating a model for the transformation of terrorism into a less dangerous format.

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It is difficult to solve the problem of terrorism in one way, because terrorism as a socio-political phenomenon has a very complex structure and definition. According to Miller (2011), terrorism has no domestic, international, and academic consensus (p. 150). Terrorism has different ideological masks, some of which, at first glance, have nothing to do with its activity. This phenomenon is multifaceted, because it combines ideological, religious, ethnic, and other factors. The government often tries to conduct secret negotiations, not only to avoid the public condemnation, but also to stop all the forces of terrorism (Browne & Dickson, 2010, p. 381). In addition, the genesis of this phenomenon demonstrates its ongoing transformation: changing forms and methods of operation, organizational structure, and even technological evolution. The religious terrorism has much in common with other forms of social protest: aggression, armed struggle and military conflicts of varying intensity, guerrilla actions, and sabotage. At the same time, terrorism is not simple abstraction, but a real danger for the US and world security, so the US government should negotiate with terrorists partially.

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The partial negotiation with the terrorists creates a chance for saving more lives than a full military intervention. For Miller (2011), the question of negotiation with terrorists is rarely even raised (p. 148), because it actualizes various political dispositions. Opponents of the agreement suggest that negotiations give the legitimacy to terrorists (Ungar, 2014), and thus, their anti-human methods become appropriate too. In this case, most countries convince that they do not negotiate with apocalyptic terrorists: “Governments in all countries and of all political parties say they will never talk to terrorists. But they almost always end up doing so” (Powell, 2015). However, the negotiation does not mean to accept their methods, but to focus the attention on the main problem – human lives. There are many cases where the total destruction of the terrorists (including the usage of homicidal missiles) took away innocent lives. In this case, the government is guided by a simple logic: a taken life is a lesser evil than the future extermination of terrorism. Yet, such logic is flawed, because it is impossible to eradicate terrorism with killing innocent people. There is no more or less important lives, so the US government should try to save all of them, regardless of the ultimate goal.

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Since different religious groups represent terrorism, the partial negotiation allows for a dialogue with less aggressive terrorists. The partial negotiation requires a careful consideration and analysis, which must weigh all the chances for the further operation. At the same time, Miller (2011) states that, “while negotiations with more ‘traditional’ groups such as Hamas are possible, for al-Qaida, the chances of a negotiated outcome are slim” (p. 148). Al-Qaeda does not want any dialogue, as their main goal is the destruction of infidels. One more example is Somali pirates who do not accept the modern diplomatic logic: “Somali pirates will continue to hijack ships in exchange for ransom payments because the payments have only been growing in recent years” (Dutton & Bellish, 2014, p. 301). Moreover, the attempt to negotiate with the radical terrorists further confirms their target, because in this way, they believe that they really do the right thing. The government should understand the danger level of each group in the context of religion. Nevertheless, if the radical groups are ready for a dialogue, they should try to negotiate with them for the future of the anti-terrorist company. Therefore, in practice, democratic governments often negotiate with terrorists (Powell, 2015).

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The negotiation is particularly relevant to non-violent religious groups, because it creates more time for a dialogue. Typically, these groups are ready to negotiate and, therefore, do not resort to radical violent methods such as torture. Their goal is more political than religious, as the history has a plenty of examples of such arrangements (for example, the British government secretly negotiated with the Irish Republican Army even after the attacks on the Downing Street). In fact, even the radical terrorists also do not want to die, because most of them are the ordinary people. Sometimes, they just want to express their ideological position to the government, but not to fight or even start a war. Another thing is that the government often uses terrorism as a justification for its own political ambitions. For example, the intervention in Iraq was not a humanistic question for Bush, but rather the economic one; therefore, the emergence of terrorism was a violent reaction against the US policy.

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The main reason for the need of the partial negotiation is that it gives a chance to stop the escalation of a conflict, especially in the context of religion. The last aggressive methods of fighting are crucial in the most drastic cases, but today, the US government should be flexible, intelligent, and highly tactical as it has never been before: “However, where this accepted rule of thumb that demands no negotiating with terrorists comes into serious conflict with the reality of modern warfare is when it comes to members of our military who fight these wars” (Ungar, 2014). The soldiers have to fight against terrorism, and politicians must find a way to stop it. Otherwise, the US aggressive methods generate the aggressive attacks that lead to thousands of victims. Therefore, the negotiation is a form of the modern diplomacy, which reduces the escalation to the point where terrorism becomes a less dangerous phenomenon. It should be added that it applies to non-aggressive and less radical groups, since the most extremist terrorists require radical solutions.

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Thus, the government should negotiate with the religious terrorists for several reasons. First, negotiations with terrorists do not necessarily mean admitting their legitimacy, but only an attempt to reduce the number of victims or even to save lives. Several historical examples show that the aggressive policy does not lead to positive results, because the activity of terrorists exacerbates. Second, the partial negotiation provides a partial simulation of new strategies in the context of non-aggressive groups, especially in the situation of different ideological positions. In this case, it is possible to reduce their activity or even stop them in the most appropriate diplomatic way, despite of their radical positions. However, it does not work with religious extremists such as al-Qaida. Since terrorism is a new form of war, it is critical to be able to negotiate with it. Third, the negotiation can help in reducing of the escalation in the hot war zones, including the Arab countries. There are many innocent and young people in these groups, so it is essential to convince them that they act in a wrong manner. The issue of negotiation is highly complicated, but it clearly gives a chance for decreasing of a number of victims in the peaceful areas all over the world.

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