Saturday, August 13, 2011

Does Terror Lead to Militarized Societies?

The recent terrorist attacks in Norway pose an interesting dilemma for the Norwegian government. Norway has been historically reluctant to have a militarized society because it doesn’t represent a political value for them. Refusing to becoming a militarized society would be bucking the common impulse after a terrorist attack to militarize that other countries have fallen into, including the United States and Russia. Even the European Union has had to reexamine their liberalized immigration and defense policies in the wake of terrorist attacks within the United Kingdom, Germany, and Spain, among others.

The fact that several societies have become more militarized in the face of terrorist attacks is actually counter-active to the message a democratic society should send to terrorists. By revving the engines of war and decreasing the freedoms that people enjoy and moronically suggesting things like people invest in duct tape and plastic sheeting creates a culture of fear, which basically proves the terrorist point.

 That terrorist whether he uses an airplane bomb, truck, or dirty bomb wants to instill fear within his targeted population. Democratic societies, by applying increased restrictions on their own populations give terrorist organizations a victory, that is wholly undeserved.

Did terror itself lead to a militarization of society though? The United States needed a larger military force to cope with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan along with all the other obligations, so we can say yes. But Russia and many other nations have broad programs of military conscription, indicating that any threat will be met with a large force that would’ve existed anyway, terror or not.

 But with every attack comes new restrictions on freedom and protections as terrorists change tactics, indicating that democratic societies often do become more security oriented. Therefore, if Norway retains their cultural values of a non militarized society, they’ll be bucking the common wisdom of more security and restriction.

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