A good example of Tucker’s point is technology, which is widely touted as one reason why terrorism has f undamentally changed. The argument attests that new technology makes communication secure and cheap, thereby allowing organizations to decentralize their networks. Moreover, it expands recruiting abilities, improves surveillance, and opens up the possibility of online training. However, Tucker shoots down these alleged improvements by demonstrating that they actually help very little or not at all—f or example, initial f ace-to-f ace meetings to build trust are crucially important f or recruitment, while training seems to operate with less ef f ectiveness online since it can do little to alter the way in which individuals process and learn inf ormation. On top of these unintended technological consequences, governments themselves continue to expand their technological capacities. Rather than f alling behind, they keep pace with the changing dynamic and exploit technology to counter non-state actors.

Tucker goes on to describe that the threats from sabotage and subversion are similarly overestimated while governmental capacity and popular resilience tend to be understated. Though his deconstruction of critiques has a tendency to be buried in point-by-point takedowns of other authors, he nevertheless paints a convincing argument as to why the seemingly ‘new’ terrorist threat is not so new at all. His strength lies in peppering the analysis with historical examples to show how terrorism, sabotage, and subversion can be put into perspective by the long history of political violence in America. For political violence, as well as with many other current issues, the true threat and the perceived threat should be caref ully compared by policymakers and ordinary citizens alike [Πηγή]



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