Terrorist Attacks on Military Targets: Political, Economic, and Strategic Explanations

Jennifer Lanterman, Rutgers University

Terrorism is a word that has been used increasingly throughout the course of the 20th and 21st centuries, and this increase has been amplified post-September 11, 2001. The increase in usage of the term terrorism is largely a function of the growing awareness of and focus on terrorist behavior and attacks against governments, groups, and individual people. In this research, three hypotheses are advanced to explain terrorist attacks on military installations, property, and personnel. A comprehensive database was compiled and examined to determine whether support for each of the three hypotheses exists. Preliminary review suggests that political and/or economic crises precipitate terrorist attacks on military entities. Suggestions for future research include examination of the role that the decline and cessation of the Cold War has played in terrorist attacks on military entities and rebel activity of freedom fighting.

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Updated 05/20/2006