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Fall, 2005 Mondays: 7 – 9:45PM

H.H.A. Cooper School of General Studies


Terrorism, an age-old phenomenon, has come to assume a distinctive, recogni zable, modern form. Its manifestations have become, in our times, a constant background against which the affairs of nations are played out. Terrorism has acquired an importance for the conduct of those affairs far beyond what is suggested by mere statistics. This course will explore, in depth, the ways in which critical areas of American foreign policy have been influenced by terroristic events, often protagonized by shadowy, insubstantial forces that are, notionally, hardly a match for those opposing them. Because of its nature, terrorism in its modern guise is capable of humbling mighty nation states. It turns many of our notions of government upon their heads. America’s fight against terrorism has been frustrating, disappointing, and, in the main, inconclusive. This course requires a lively, informed interest in current events, a sense of history of the place of the United States in world affairs. Substantial reading of current news sources and periodicals is demanded so as to keep pace with a fast-moving, evershifting subject. Requirements The course grade will be based upon a final term paper on a carefully defined topic, designed to test the student’s comprehension of the course matter, the ability to conduct extensive research and to articulate its results. Required Text Pillar, Paul R., Terrorism and U.S. Foreign Policy, Brookings, 1 st Edition.


H.H.A. Cooper

Introduction. Definitions. The significance of the subject for the United States. The events of September 11, 2005. Forms of terrorism: Assassinations; bombings; kidnappings; hostage-takings; et al. Terrorism and the Media; the contagion effect. Where do terrorists get their ideas? How do they translate them into action? What are terrorists like? How do they become terrorists? What are their motives? How do we know the answers to these questions. International terrorism. The risks for the United States and its interests at home and abroad. Have United States policies increased the risks? Domestic terrorism; the “Patriot Movement.” What do they want? How are they going about it? Is domestic terrorism still a great concern? Hi-tech terrorism; nuclear and bio-chemical forays into the future. How serious are the dangers? Counter-terrorism, strategies and tactics; the place of intelligence in the war on terrorism. Cooperation with other countries. Legislative efforts to combat terrorism; how effective are they? Do we need more laws? The financing of terrorism; is the United States implicated? Has it been implicated in the past? Terrorism and the Cold War. How valuable is the old literature in a new day and age? How has terrorism changed? What will fuel international terrorism now that the Cold War is over? Are we over-emphasizing the clash of civilizations?

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Week 13

Terrorism: Where is it going? How big a problem is it going to be as the 21st century develops? Review and Revision

Week 14