The success of suicide bomber attacks in Iraq makes it more likely they will happen in the United States too, a new study warns.
“America needs a new strategy that safeguards our vital interests, but that does not stimulate the rise of a new generation of suicide terrorists,” says the study, released Wednesday by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.
In the policy analysis “Suicide Terrorism and Democracy: What We’ve Learned since 9/11,” Robert Pape, professor of political science at the University of Chicago and the author of the book “Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism” studied the psychology of suicide bombers. “The longer this suicide terrorist campaign continues, the greater the risk of new attacks in the United States,” he concluded.
Pape argued that, contrary to popular U.S. and Western opinion, suicide bombing was neither the last resort of the disaffected, nor was it limited only extreme Islamists.
Pape concluded that the strategy behind the tactics of suicide bombing attacks was logical and consistent and was designed to achieve specific territorial objectives.
Pape predicted that the Bush administration’s policy of “spreading democracy throughout the region” of the Middle East would probably provoke widespread violence is not only prone to failure, but is also likely to incite further violence against America and its allies.
In his study, Pape concluded that the United States and its allies should start what he called a disengagement process from Iraq and eventually turn over all control of Iraqi security forces to the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. He also recommended a more widespread, general withdrawal of U.S. military forces from the Middle East to undermine the appeal of al-Qaida and similar groups to large numbers of people there that they were needed to fight U.S. forces in their countries.