Small Wars Journal

Video: Anonymous Soldiers - How Terrorism Undermined Britain's Rule Over Palestine

Thu, 02/18/2016 - 9:11pm

Video: Anonymous Soldiers - How Terrorism Undermined Britain's Rule Over Palestine

Dr. Bruce Hoffman, Director of the Georgetown University Security Studies Program, presents "Anonymous Soldiers: How Terrorism Undermined Britain's Rule Over Palestine" at the CSS Lunchtime Series, on 18 February, 2016.



Wed, 02/24/2016 - 4:55am

In reply to by Robert C. Jones


There is a Forum (SWC) thread 'A Frightening Thought: When Terrorism 'Works':

I expect there a few other threads, perhaps those on how terrorism ends.

Having listened to Bruce Hoffman over the years, he has slowly moved towards accepting terrorism works and this book is the current culmination of his thinking.

Robert C. Jones

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 2:24am

A bit long, but I really enjoyed watching this presentation by Dr. Hoffman on several levels.

First, I have long wanted to attempt this presentation style of telling a compelling tale supported only by compelling images. Ken Burns is the master of the art, but I think Dr. Hoffman has caught that style once he works the bugs out. This first dress rehearsal was solid.

Second, this is an important topic. New nations born of revolution invariably involve use of terrorist tactics. Getting our history right helps us make better decisions in the present. A new state is forming currently around the plight of Sunni Arabs in Syria and Iraq, and currently we can't seem to see past our own fears and revulsion with the rhetoric and actions of the group who emerged to capture that energy and lead that effort.

Third, his insights in the Q and A on how to research, organize and write a major effort like this are worth the time of watching the whole piece alone.

Lastly, a bit of validation. I briefed Dr Hoffman in that very conference room on some strategy work we were doing at USSOCOM several years ago, and his body language and facial expressions alone conveyed his disagreement. Particularly on the provocative role of governance in being the primary "radicalizer" of a population, and the necessity of governance to evolve and for reconciliation in resolving terrorism born of revolutionary and resistance insurgency. Having to leave for another commitment he said (as my boss has often reminded me since). "You are suggesting that we would change something about ourselves." "Yes sir," I replied. "But that would be admitting that terrorism works." He countered. "Terrorism does work - that is why people use it." He then got up and left. In this pitch it appears he has continued to think about this issue and has evovlved in his position as this is one of his key takeaways - terrorism works.


Mon, 02/22/2016 - 4:24am

In reply to by davidbfpo

Thanks David. I really appreciate your work at the SWC.