Pillar and Jervis on Bush Doctrine and Terrorism Strategy

Subject: Warfare
Pages: 3
Words: 669
Reading time:
3 min

Pillar proposes to stop the war against terror and isolate from the outside world. Also, the author proposes to blockade those states which support terror groups. It can be further argued that in a divided or segmented society or world the privileged groups who benefit from that hierarchical order will see the world somewhat differently from those on the bottom. This argument need not hold for every member in a specified category of persons but rather for the category or group in general.

Thus, ideology is a collective phenomenon that cannot be reduced to the level of the attitudes of individual group members. It is made and remade by people who share a common position in the hierarchy, but it is that structural position that must be understood, not the personalities of social actors. In addition, the means available to those in more powerful positions include greater access to the modern forms of ideological institutions (education, media, and religion) that disseminate the ideas and ideals of the existing order.

Pillar underlines that the USA is the main target of a terrorist because of its leadership position in the world’s economy and politics. The main counterterrorism policies should involve diplomacy and criminal laws against terrorism, strict financial controls and military forces, intelligence, and participation of the nation in this battle. “There are several more modest counterterrorism objectives that one might hope to advance through financial controls and prohibitions. First, blocked assets of state sponsors can be bargaining chips in reaching future understandings with those states.”

In contrast to Pillar, Jervis states that the USA should improve its international relations and supports such institutions as a Security Community. Thus, whether on a societal or world scale, thought systems that justify the existing order will be advanced more systematically than those that justify the change. Considering this definitional attempt, it is evident that the term revolutionary when added to terrorism once again expands the scope of the problem and makes evident its political direction.

It is also clear that this aspect of the dominant ideology of terrorism ignores the role of the state. State officials may declare a “willingness to accept” civilian casualties in service of state objectives. Although a distinction can be made between the intentional targeting of innocents, and a willingness to inflict civilian deaths to strike at other targets, this very caveat is subject to abuse. Moreover, within the context of state and other institutional terror, unauthorized actions by subterranean forces may also be carried out in the name of vengeance. Subterranean forces may hold ideological views that are called extremist, but by inference, such views are often pure or exaggerated derivations of dominant ideals.

Similar to Pillar, Jervis states that deterrence will be the main effective tool for the US government. “Critics argue that preventive wars are rarely necessary because deterrence can be effective and many threats are exaggerated or can be met with strong but less militarized policies.” As old colonial forms were supplanted, old formal colonial powers lost direct political control of their possessions. However, new forms of dependency gave rise to new forms of influence. Already a hemispheric power, the U.S. military, and other state functions were to be designed to expand and defend the new institutions of global reach including the multinational corporation.

The national defense ideology is rooted in a real developmental stage in productive forces; a stage not confined by national boundaries. And it is within the social relations of conflict born of these global forces, embodied and regenerated within the political formations of the modern state, that we find the reality of terrorism. Thus, new nation-states may be institutionally equipped for continuing dependency. It follows that when new revolutionary societies seek alternative institutions to negate that dependency, they may be deemed terrorists, especially when there is a danger of the spread of such alternatives to other countries.