Dennis M. Foster, Ph.D.                                                           

PO335 - The Politics of Terrorism

world-trade-center-12The Politics of Terrorism is a three-credit course that focuses generally on the role of terrorist violence in the modern world. The two central goals of the course are to provide cadets with an opportunity to study the historical use of political terror and to encourage cadets to think of terrorist activity not as the work of the mad, but of self-interested and calculating political actors. After an introduction that includes a definition of terrorism and an exploration of its geneses, the course focuses on the rational and psychological aspects of the individual terrorist, terror types, strategies, and tactics, and the difficult task of counterterrorism. The final part of the course illustrates and highlights each of these aspects by examining cases culled from recent history, including the Zionist-British conflict over Palestine in the 1940s, the Algerian drive for independence in the 1950s, and the ongoing standoff between the USA and Islamic fundamentalist terrorists.