TED Conversations

russell lester

Orchardist, Grange

This conversation is closed.

Terrorism a crime or an act of war?

In the current world we are engaged in a war against terrorism and those states we identify as supporting it. This is a shift from the traditional veiw of terrorism as a crime and its practitioners as criminals is this a good change? why? Why not?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jan 6 2013: I could only base such an opinion on the size of the organization causing the harm. If the terror organization was, say, five members large, then I would classify it as criminal activity, where if the organization causing the harm was several thousand strong, like Al Queda, then yes, I would classify terrorism as an act of war.
    • thumb
      Jan 6 2013: That makes sense because the police, who fight crime, seem to be oriented to taking on individual criminals, such as a robber, whereas the military takes on big groups and is a big group itself. Also the military is more accustomed to fighting battles that cross country lines, as terrorism does, they know the logistics, the communications, etc.
      • thumb
        Jan 6 2013: The military are specifically not trained to act as law enforcement, they are actually degraded in combat capability and exposed to undue risk as police officers. However the use of military to carry out military missions is appropriate and the destruction of enemies is such a mission. The assault on specific targets such as training camps and weapons caches is the role the military should pursue.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.