Terrorism as a leading indicator
Insurgents’ use of terrorism at the initial stages of conflict
in The role of terrorism in twenty-first-century warfare
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For some insurgent groups, terrorist campaigns are a first step in initiating a wider-scale armed conflict. Terrorists – would-be insurgents – seek to change a political system and seek to do so through the application of violent means. In order to be successful, they require some form of support, either internal or external. In other instances, terrorism is a dead end. The (would-be) insurgents are unable to develop the support and capabilities needed for engaging their adversaries in warfare, despite their interests in doing so. Context matters here, as these weak actors are more likely to find success in weak states. In still other instances, those who use terrorism lack the ambition to initiate war. These are not insurgents; they seek to change policy not political regimes.

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