Governments Should Not Negotiate With Terrorists

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Would you pay $100,000 to a thief in exchange for your stolen purse? By giving the thief such a large sum, you would inadvertently encourage and incentivize future thefts. Furthermore, the money would enable the thief to acquire weapons or vehicles that could facilitate further criminal activity. Now consider this scenario with the roles reversed, where you are the government and the thief is a terrorist. Should governments engage in negotiations with terrorists? Regrettably, terrorism has been on the rise in recent years partly due to poor decision-making by governments when faced with terrorist threats.

Compromising with terrorists has been a mistake that portrays weakness and vulnerability, ultimately encouraging further acts of terrorism. Previous government agreements with terrorists have exacerbated and prolonged this issue. Additionally, paying large ransoms to terrorist kidnappers and hostage-takers has fueled future terrorist attacks, making terrorism a profitable and enticing venture for perpetrators.

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Governments facilitate terrorism by making compromises, so instead of negotiating with terrorists, governments should marginalize and weaken their organizations by refusing to make concessions and targeting individuals within their groups. The rationale behind terrorism is that violence can be employed to draw the attention of governments and the general public, who subsequently give in to the ideas and/or desires of the terrorists. Regrettably, this tactic occasionally proves effective, as demonstrated by the 2004 Madrid Bombings. On March 11, EAT, a terrorist organization, detonated bombs on four commuter trains in Madrid.

Their objective was to cause a political change in Spain; the elections were that same weekend. Before the mobbing, the People’s Party was the voter’s favorite, but TEAT’S terrorist attack caused a drastic change In the ballot and the Socialist Party won. After winning the election, the Socialist Party decided to remove the Spanish troops In Iraq, which Is what EAT wanted. Because of this turn of events, Downing says: “… The terrorists would be able to claim that their bombings had influenced both a European election and the situation in Iraq. (Downing 38-39) Since the people and the government reacted to the attack the way EAT wanted It too, the terrorists could have considered the attack successful, and as a consequence may attack again. The message the government sent EAT is that if they want a change, they should just use violence to obtain it. Governments must be careful with terrorist’s interest and their own interests when making controversial decisions, especially those made shortly after terrorist attacks, Like the bombings in Madrid. In that case, the decision was whether or not to remove Spanish troops from Iraq.

EAT requested the removal of the roofs, which led to the Socialist Party deciding to remove them due to the pressure exerted. However, this decision turned out to be a mistake as it only pleased the terrorists. It made them feel that they could manipulate the government by using brutality-induced pressure. Governments must always consider terrorist interests in important decision-making, not because terrorists will be satisfied by it or receive credit, but to show strength and resilience against terrorism (Downing 38-39). Governments weaken themselves when succumbing to pressure, which may not even originate from the terrorists themselves but from other governments, leaders, or groups. Even if there are peaceful intentions behind wanting to negotiate with terrorists, the outcomes of such negotiations are usually unfavorable. This is primarily because terrorists rely solely on violence as their preferred method to achieve their goals. Therefore, if they do not succeed through force, they do not believe that peace can grant them what they desire.

Secondly, terrorists are unpredictable and cannot be trusted. Additionally, most terrorists, especially Shadiest, are willing to sacrifice their lives for their beliefs. Lastly, if a government attempts to make peace with terrorists but they break their promises, the government will appear weak and defeated while the terrorists will seem victorious. Therefore, rather than seeking a truce with terrorism, governments should focus on combating and ending it.

A prime illustration of why New Hampshire governments should avoid seeking peace from terrorists can be seen in an incident involving the U.S. Government in Fallfish. U.S. Marines, under pressure from European officials and human rights groups, attempted to negotiate with the Shadiest faction in Fallfish. The U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, stated that their aim was to achieve peace rather than engage in war in Fallfish. However, the Shadiest group misconstrued this compromise as a victory over the Americans. Consequently, this misunderstanding resulted in 30 instances of car bombings. This incident underscores the fact that seeking peace from terrorists can have disastrous consequences.

S. The failed compromise caused the Shadiest to perceive weakness, leading them to continue their terrorist acts. They believed they had defeated their opponents and could do so again. Truces with terrorists are unpredictable and should always be voided, as they can result in catastrophic outcomes and encourage further acts of idiocy. Similar to negotiating with terrorist kidnappers and hostage-takers, truces in these situations are also highly complex.

Recently, terrorists have been employing tactics that generate a heightened level of suspense in order to capture the attention of their audience. This strategy is becoming even more effective than massacres and bombings, as people are becoming desensitized to those acts due to their frequency (Rubin 22). Kidnappings and hostage takings have gained popularity, and unfortunately, governments have contributed to this phenomenon by making it profitable. They achieve this by engaging in negotiations and paying ransoms to terrorists. By doing so, they inadvertently legitimize the actions of the kidnappers, resulting in the further spread of terrorism.

Terrorism has spread due to the realization by terrorists that kidnapping and hostage-taking can be highly lucrative. For instance, in March 2000, Miramar al-Jihad, a Libyan leader, paid a ransom of $25 million to ABA Safely, a hostage-taker in the Philippines, for the release of kidnapped priests, teachers, and children from a school (Rubin 23). With this significant sum of money, ABA Safely was able to expand his terrorist group, increasing its membership from a few hundred to over a thousand individuals. Additionally, he utilized the funds to acquire speedboats and weapons to protect his captives and carry out further kidnappings. As a result, Miramar al-Jihad’s support of future kidnappings endangered more innocent people’s lives.

Paying the ransom has made kidnapping profitable for Safely, as it rewards him for terrorism and encourages him to carry out more acts in order to receive money or other concessions. This scenario is also seen in Sale, where Mari Safari, known as the “Bin Laden of the Desert,” took 32 European vacationers hostage in the Algerian desert for 177 days. The German government paid a ransom of five million Euros, but Mari Spill used the money to purchase weapons and supplies. Similar to the Libyan leader, the German government funded future kidnappings. This pattern involves terrorists kidnapping citizens, demanding rewards for their release, and using the ransom to continue the cycle with more efficiency, acquiring new members, weapons, and supplies. Governments should not continue rewarding terrorists with million-dollar ransoms, as it only perpetuates the cycle rather than putting an end to it.

Governments should utilize force to retrieve captives and refrain from rewarding terrorists with ransoms. According to official U.S. Government policy, hostage takers should not receive the advantages of ransom, prisoner releases, policy alterations, or any other forms of concession. Western governments should prioritize the safety of the majority of their citizens over that of an individual when addressing kidnappings. Despite the potential harm or fatality to the captive, this approach serves to prevent future abductions in the long run.

Governments should make every effort to rescue captives, but they should refrain from paying ransoms. This is because the long-term consequences of endangering a larger number of citizens outweigh the short-lived tragedy of losing a few. Instead of appeasing terrorists, governments should rely on intelligence to eliminate them. As stated by Garret (60), in a battle between networks, the side with superior intelligence emerges victorious. By acquiring more information and technology, governments can enhance their chances of defeating terrorists by implementing more effective strategies. Utilizing this knowledge, governments should identify the leaders and devise methods to target them.

The leader of a group plays a crucial role in weakening and exposing terrorist organizations. This has been observed with Osama bin Laden and his terrorist organization, as the loss of key operatives has set them on a decline that will be hard to reverse. It is important to consider the strategy of keeping known leaders alive, as in the case of Libyan dictator Gaddafi, because it is better to deal with the familiar.

According to Garret (60), there is concern about the potential replacement of a clever mastermind. Previous instances of government negotiations with terrorists have demonstrated that such interactions make terrorism productive. Hence, it is crucial for governments to marginalize, isolate or eliminate the threat in order to render terrorist acts unprofitable for perpetrators. Taking a strong stance against these adversaries and promoting a message of zero tolerance towards terrorist acts is necessary to prevent the further spread of terrorism.

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Governments Should Not Negotiate With Terrorists. (2018, Jan 11). Retrieved from

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