Hi there. In the last video we discussed whether or not decapitation of terrorist organizations is a successful counterterrorism measure. In this video, we will explore the assumption that terrorism cannot be defeated. It is related to the assumption that we discussed last week about the success of terrorism. But in this case, we look at the effectiveness of counterterrorism measures. In this case we're talking about a defeat by counterterrorism measures or by counterterrorism actors. But who or what is exactly defeated? Who are the winners and losers? Are we talking about the phenomenon of terrorism or about individual terrorist groups? Well, to investigate this assumption, we will look both at the individual groups, as well as at the wider phenomenon. Who has said that terrorism cannot be defeated? Well actually quite a few experts and important politicians and public figures. For instance, former US President George W. Bush. He was asked in 2004, 'is it possible to win the war on terror?' He replied, well, "I don't think you can win it, but I think you can create conditions, so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world." There's no winning of the war on terror. Even in the eyes of President Bush, who was in many ways the architect of that whole concept. Also quite a number of experts seem to think that this is the case. Assaf Moghadam, senior researcher at the International Institute of Counter-Terrorism in Israel said that, "Terrorism cannot be defeated as the threat is constantly evolving." Well, are they right or wrong? That is what we will explore in this video. But first we will look at why it is important to investigate this assumption. Well, if you believe that terrorism cannot be defeated, this could lead to fatalism, and it could strengthen the idea that terrorism poses a very big threat. There's little we can do, and that might scare quite a few of us. This is exactly what terrorists want. Then in terms of counterterrorism strategy, if terrorism indeed cannot be defeated, this implies that we should primarily focus on prevention, to make sure that terrorist groups do not emerge. Or perhaps we should specifically focus on managing the impact of terrorism. To make sure that when it hits us, we can limit the impact. How can we measure defeat? To determine whether or not a terrorist organization has been defeated in a battle or contest, we have to determine whether or not this was caused by counterterrorism measures. For instance, by disruption or decapitation of the network, as we discussed in the previous video. If a terrorist organization cease to exist because of other reasons, we cannot call that defeated. We know that several groups and even waves of terrorism can fade out because of many other reasons. Well, one scholar who has observed this is David Rapoport. He distinguished the four waves of terrorism that we discussed in the first week of this course. He concluded that these waves, after a few decades gradually fade out. But he also gave an example of a defeated type of terrorism. He said that revolutionary terrorists, meaning the terrorists of the new left wave, were defeated in one country after another. A famous scholar actually referring to defeat not only of one group, but of a whole type of terrorism. But how did he measure this? How can he be sure that this was the results of counterterrorism measures? Can we consider that a defeat of terrorism? Well, various authors have looked into the question how terrorist group ends. For instance, Audrey Kurth Cronin, wrote a book in 2009 with a title 'How Terrorism Ends'. She identified six main endings; decapitation, negotiation, success, and failure, repression and finally, reorientation. She provides interesting case studies for each of these six endings. Two years before, two authors, aimed to approach the same question, but then quantitatively aiming to see which type of ending occurred most frequently. Seth Jones and Martin Libicki of the RAND Corporation examined 648 terrorist groups that were active in the periods from 1968-2006. They distinguished four major reasons for the ending of these groups. First, because of police and intelligence services, secondly, because of military force. A third reason is that terrorists joins the political process. The fourth reason is because terrorist groups were victorious, and a fifth and minor reason is the splintering of the group. It breaks up in different entities. Well, as the last one that signals the end of terrorism by its members, we exclude it here. Let us now have a closer look at each of these four major explanations. Do they provide reasons to challenge the assumption that terrorism cannot be defeated? The first one, the work of local police and intelligence services. The counterterrorism measures includes disruption, the collection of information on terrorist groups, penetrating cells and arresting members. It also includes anti-terrorism legislation and criminalization of certain activities. The others conclude that it's a major reason why groups ended. In fact, in 40 percent of the cases in which terrorist groups ended, this was because of policing. What about the second major reason why terrorism ends? The use of military force to kill or capture terrorists members, or to fight against states that support terrorism. Well, this age old way of fighting terrorism is not particularly effective. According to the report, only 7 percent of the terrorist groups that ended, since 1968, did so because of military force. But it's limited success is related to the fact that terrorists are of course, not armies, which also makes it harder to defeat them via conventional military power. The report also shows that the use of massive military power could alienate a local population and could therefore be counterproductive. The third major reason why terrorist groups end, is because they joined a political process. The possibility for them to enter such a process depends on the goals of these organizations. According to the RAND report, if these goals are narrow and concrete, terrorist groups may be willing to seek non-violent means to achieve them. The decision to join a political process is the result of a cost-benefit analysis. With the conclusion at pursuing a goal through politics has greater benefits and lower costs than using violent means. Such a step happens more often than many people assume, I guess, Of all the analyst endings of terrorist groups, 43 percent of them were the result of the groups joining a political process. The fourth reason was that terrorist organizations were actually victorious. They achieve their goals and, hence cease to exist. This happens in about 10 percent of the cases, according to Jones and Libicki. Looking at these four reasons, which support the idea that terrorists can be defeated? Well, as I said before, defeat implies that there's a winner and a loser. Well, two of the four are very clear. Military defeat clearly signals a defeat of the terrorists, whereas victory clearly implies the opposite. But both only occurred in a small number of cases. More frequently groups ended because of the work of police and intelligence services. This could be considered to signal the possibility of defeat. Together with military defeat, this means that around half of the cases in which terrorist groups ended, they did so because they were defeated. To label a move into politics as defeat, is more complicated, the organization is clearly not defeated. But it could be argued that it's a defeat for terrorism as an instrument. Because the terrorists realized that they can achieve their goals in a better way by using non-violent means. Or they were maybe pressured by the governments and all kind of counterterrorism measures to stop their violence. On the other hand, there are also cases in which terrorist organizations were invited to join a political process actually because of the use of violence, their violence was rewarded and therefore successful, one could argue. Well overall, the study shows that terrorist organizations can clearly be defeated by counterterrorism measures, ranging from policing and the use of military force to forcing them, or talking them into joining a political process. Important to add here is that groups might be defeated in the short run, but that does not mean that they cannot re-emerge later on. Think of the group Islamic State, which was militarily defeated, in the sense that it lost the caliphate in Syria and Iraq, yet the ideology and the attractiveness of the group remains. In other parts of the world, they have established new affiliates, so we should be very careful with claiming premature defeat of groups. While there are various examples of terrorist groups that have been defeated, another question is if the phenomenon of terrorism as a whole, can be defeated. Here we must simply conclude that that cannot be defeated. There will probably always be new forms of terrorism that we cannot even imagine today. But we can speed up these processes by defeating individual groups and networks. I believe it is important to stress this, especially against a background of much pessimism and defeatism about the possibility to force large organizations like Al-Qaeda, or the FARC in Colombia to end their terrorist activities. It will not be easy, but it's not impossible. Especially the case of the FARC in Colombia, seems to indicate that one can end a decade's long struggle by a mix of measures, including negotiations, and a political deal. To summarize, we looked at the assumption that terrorism cannot be defeated. In the interpretation of the word defeat is very important here. Various organizations have ceased to exist or been convinced to stop fighting. The assumption is clearly a myth if we only look at groups. But if we look at the phenomenon as a whole, it is clear that it cannot be defeated. So looking at both of these interpretations, we can consider this assumption to be 'false'. While the phenomenon cannot be defeated, individual organizations can. In the next video, we will discuss the assumption that terrorism can best be managed by way of a holistic approach.