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Impact of Terrorism as an Asymmetrical Threat on the State's Conventional Security Forces

Authors: Igor Pejic


The main focus of this research will be on analyzing correlative links between terrorism as an asymmetrical threat and the consequences it leaves on conventional security forces. The methodology behind the research will include qualitative research methods focusing on comparative analysis of books, scientific papers, documents and other sources, in order to deduce, explore and formulate the results of the research. With the coming of the 21st century and the rising multi-polar, new world threats quickly emerged. The realistic approach in international relations deems that relations among nations are in a constant state of anarchy since there are no definitive rules and the distribution of power varies widely. International relations are further characterized by egoistic and self-orientated human nature, anarchy or absence of a higher government, security and lack of morality. The asymmetry of power is also reflected on countries' security capabilities and its abilities to project power. With the coming of the new millennia and the rising multi-polar world order, the asymmetry of power can be also added as an important trait of the global society which consequently brought new threats. Among various others, terrorism is probably the most well-known, well-based and well-spread asymmetric threat. In today's global political arena, terrorism is used by state and non-state actors to fulfill their political agendas. Terrorism is used as an all-inclusive tool for regime change, subversion or a revolution. Although the nature of terrorist groups is somewhat inconsistent, terrorism as a security and social phenomenon has a one constant which is reflected in its political dimension. The state's security apparatus, which was embodied in the form of conventional armed forces, is now becoming fragile, unable to tackle new threats and to a certain extent outdated. Conventional security forces were designed to defend or engage an exterior threat which is more or less symmetric and visible. On the other hand, terrorism as an asymmetrical threat is a part of hybrid, special or asymmetric warfare in which specialized units, institutions or facilities represent the primary pillars of security. In today's global society, terrorism is probably the most acute problem which can paralyze entire countries and their political systems. This problem, however, cannot be engaged on an open field of battle, but rather it requires a different approach in which conventional armed forces cannot be used traditionally and their role must be adjusted. The research will try to shed light on the phenomena of modern day terrorism and to prove its correlation with the state conventional armed forces. States are obliged to adjust their security apparatus to the new realism of global society and terrorism as an asymmetrical threat which is a side-product of the unbalanced world.

Keywords: Asymmetrical warfare, conventional forces, security, terrorism.

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