ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel


Updated on October 23, 2011


Terrorism unleashes violence; but its intensity and magnitude differs from that of a battle. In a battle the enemy is identifiable and quantifiable. In other words you can pin point their location, gauge its size and predict its destructive power. Apart from field intelligence, modern technology aids its assessment. The military is a war machine meant for such combat scenarios. But terrorism is totally different. The terrorist is unidentifiable, impossible to neither gauge how many are involved nor surmise its destructive capacity. The military is not suited for such operations. It would be a waste of manpower and resources to do shadow boxing with such an unknown and elusive enemy. Tackling terrorism calls for a totally different strategy and mindset. The military is just not trained for that.

To say that a terrorist is motivated in an understatement; soldiers too are highly motivated. But there is a great difference; the soldier is a professional but a terrorist is a fanatic. The soldier uses a bomb—but a terrorist is the bomb. To deal with such an enemy you need different skill sets, which the soldier is not trained for. So what are the pros and cons of using military force?

  • It helps in alleviating the fears of the public traumatized by terrorist violence.
  • Display firm affirmative action
  • Be prepared for contingencies

But on the flipside is

  • Disproportionate force response. Terrorist violence is usually of maximum impact with minimum manpower. More than its destructive power it is the psychological shock which has devastating effect. So when the state uses military force to crush terrorism it is more like using the hammer to kill a fly.
  • Demoralizes soldiers. This happens usually when military operations meet with limited success. This is because of the tendency of terrorists to use human shields to protect themselves. One of the most daunting tasks of the Indian army in Kashmir was to isolate militants using local people as shields. As the probability of success dwindles, soldiers get demoralized.

So what do we do? The state must develop special task forces to combat terrorism. Forces that are unobtrusive and blend with the crowd. Who use stealth and are fiercely dedicated. Naturally this calls for a different kind of selection and training. What is needed is not the average soldier who volunteers for conscription, but persons with a samurai mindset. Depending solely on such special task forces is a defensive strategy. But the problem with terrorist attack is the unpredictability of its occurrence which is also the terrorist’s main advantage. The only way to counter the terrorist’s element of ‘surprise strategy’ is to refine and augment the intelligence gathering activity. Here technology can come to our aid. Profiling and tracking of suspects is not a new idea, but can socially and politically turn out to be a highly emotive issue. For a democratic government it can be a minefield if not handled sensitively. Obviously people participation in nailing suspects is the only possibility to diplomatically handle such sensitive issues. Combating terrorism purely on the basis of military force can be a counterproductive exercise.


Submit a Comment

  • ram_m profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from India

    Thank you Kathleen and let us bow our heads to those brave-hearts who continue to sacrifice their lives unflinchingly to keep terror at bay.

  • Kathleen Cochran profile image

    Kathleen Cochran 

    7 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

    Couldn't agree more. Well said. America has learned the hard way we cannot spend a decade fighting the war on terror like we did Desert Storm. We have asked our military and their families to make incredible sacrifices and they have - honorably. But this is not the way to do this if for no other reason: we can't afford it and we can't ask these families to do this forever. Thanks for your views.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)