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The Escalation of Terror: Hate and the Demise of Terrorist Organizations


  • Catherine C. Langlois
  • Jean-Pierre P. Langlois


Our goal in this article is to examine the strategic interaction between terror groups, hosts, and the United States in order to better understand the parameters of the interaction and the elements of a winning strategy. We adopt a game theoretic approach assuming that each player has a well defined goal and accounts for the anticipated behavior of the others to develop strategy. The game that we develop is a repeated game in which the host and the US must decide whether to fight a terrorist organization whose membership and resources will grow indefinitely if left unchecked. Our model predicts circumstances in which a host will begin to push back against the terrorists in anticipation of a future involvement of the US. It also predicts circumstances in which the terrorist organization’s hatred of the US prompts attacks that seal its fate and early demise.

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  • Catherine C. Langlois & Jean-Pierre P. Langlois, 2011. "The Escalation of Terror: Hate and the Demise of Terrorist Organizations," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 28(5), pages 497-521, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:compsc:v:28:y:2011:i:5:p:497-521

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    counterterror; escalation; game theory; host country;


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