Content and end-state-based alteration in the practice of political violence since the end of cold war: the difference between the terrorism of the cold war and the terrorism of al Qaeda: the rise of the "transcendental terrorist"
Gorka, Sebestyén (2008) Content and end-state-based alteration in the practice of political violence since the end of cold war: the difference between the terrorism of the cold war and the terrorism of al Qaeda: the rise of the "transcendental terrorist". PhD thesis, Budapesti Corvinus Egyetem, Politikatudományi Doktori Iskola.
For more than two generations the world was defined in international political terms by the label, the Cold War. This phrase was shorthand for many phenomena, including the division of the East and West into two blocs and the ideologicallybased definition of said blocs. Whilst we cannot state that the whole of the world was divided in an iron-clad fashion into two separate camps – the neutral and nonaligned nations representing a sizeable constituency – the fact remains that for North America, Western Europe, the USSR and the Soviet controlled satellite nations, the bipolarity of the Cold War geostrategic environment had an overarching impact upon several areas of policy, including national security, foreign affairs, defence and attitudes to the use of force. The influence of the bipolar stand-off had a significant shaping effect with regard to how government was organised on both sides of the Iron Curtain and on the ways in which threat perceptions were managed and influenced national policies concerning security. Fundamentally, the effect can be summarised as follows: Internally: National governments secured the law and order and domestic stability of their state system primarily through the agency of the police (or militia). These authorities were mandated to fight common crime and, in the West, to assist in the fight against terrorism. Additionally a threat was posed by the intelligence agents and subversives of the other bloc. As a result the domestic element of this threat was responded to with counter-intelligence agencies. Externally: The threat of a conventional war (World War III) meant that the armed forces of each bloc had to prepare for a possible bloc on bloc conflict in which classic concepts of territorial defence against an outside aggressor were central. The external threat was dealt with fundamentally by means of intelligence. It was not adequate to simply prepare domestically for a war with the other bloc. To be able to deter and to prepare against the opposition it was necessary to gather pertinent information (intelligence) on the enemy. This intelligence could be either technical and military in nature – for example the nature and capabilities of a new piece of military equipment fielded by the opposing army – or political and economic, such as the inner workings and intentions of the enemy’s political elite, or government and the state given industrial sectors. This distinction led to the fact that each type of information was gathered by a separate authority, the former being military intelligence and the latter being civilian intelligence.
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