John Quigley, Identifying the Origins of Anti-American Terrorism

56 Fla. L. Rev. 1003 (2004) | | | |

INTRODUCTION :: Professor Dinh’s analysis is directed at identifying the instrumentalities that, in his view, should cope with terrorism. His analysis is an important piece of the puzzle. Professor Dinh argues that it is nation-states, acting collectively, that should respond to terrorism, and his article provides suggestions about what these nation-states should do.

Professor Dinh does not, however, analyze the origins of the terrorism faced by the United States. He does not indicate how, when, or why the ideology he perceives developed. A comprehensive analysis requires three elements: (1) analyzing why terrorism is occurring, (2) identifying the instrumentalities to cope with it, and, (3) prescribing what these instrumentalities should do.

This Commentary seeks to supply the beginnings of an analysis of the first element, as a necessary supplement to Professor Dinh’s analysis of the instrumentalies. Absent such an analysis, neither the second nor the third element can adequately be approached. If terrorism is to be addressed rationally, its origins must be determined. Just as a physician cannot treat a patient without making a diagnosis, so with negative social phenomena, one must determine their origin before prescribing remedies or identifying appropriate actors to administer the remedies.

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