Edited by Shin Chiba and Thomas J. Schoenbaum
Chapter 2: War and Peace in an Age of Terror and State Terrorism
2. War and peace in an age of terror and state terrorism Richard Falk I INTRODUCTION There are strong reasons to resist an interpretation of the current world situation that raises the violent interaction of states and non-states above all other concerns. And there are additional reasons to be reluctant to be content with labeling such interaction by the inﬂammatory terminology of ‘terror,’ ‘terrorist,’ and ‘terrorism.’ Since governments and the media are likely to continue to use this way of talking about their adversaries, it is at least as important to associate terrorism with political violence that targets civilians, independent of whether the actor is a non-state movement or a sovereign state. Such usage at least challenges the propagandistic allegations directed at any enemy of the state. After the ending of the Cold War, and the collapse of the Soviet Union, there occurred a decade of relative calm with respect to war and peace in the world. There were many bloody conﬂicts taking place, especially in formerly colonized countries, but little threat or concern about the outbreak of major wars between states, except possibly with respect to India and Pakistan. The new emphasis was on warfare within sovereign states, and the extent to which the UN and outside actors had a duty to intervene under certain conditions.1 This focus was superseded after the 9/11 attacks by a preoccupation with transnational organized political violence in which the principal actors were not normal states, as was the case...
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