This book Edited by Anna Reidcontains essays which show today's War on Terrorism and echoes in the past. Similar groups have been beaten before.
The Case Studies are
1. China's Boxer crisis
2. Italy's Far Right and the Red Brigades
3. Greece's Revolutionary Organisation November 17th
4. Japan's Aum Shrinrikyo
5. Peru's Sendero Luminoso

General conclusions drawn from the cases studies are
1. Like generals, spies and policeman tend to fight the last war eg. The Bush administration concentrated on the threats from Iraq and overlooked al-Qaeda
2. Faced with a major new threat, security services need strong central direction, bigger budgets and better training. Overlaps and rivalries must be eliminated
3. Giving the security services more power is difficult in countries which have a history of militarism
4. When framing anti-terrorist legislation, governments must strike a difficult balance between security and civil liberties
5. 'Repentance' laws, allowing suspects to plea-bargain in exchange for identifying colleagues, are useful, though they can also result in derisory gaol terms for serious offences, and encourage suspects to fabricate information
6. Troops sent on punitive expeditions to regions harbouring terrorists must be kept on a tight reign
7. The capture of a charismatic leader can prove a turning point
8. Security successes must be consolidated by broader reforms that tackle terrorism's root causes
9. Terrorist movements often draw their leadership, and much of their support, from the marginalized middle classes
10. Keeping mainstream opinion on side doesn't solve terrorism on its own.
11. Exaggerated rhetoric is harmful
12. Governments must admit their mistakes, and adapt their policies to changing
13. The terrorist threat should be kept in proportion
14. Terrorist movements fade in the end, but it often takes 20 years or more

Taming Terrorism is available from Policy Exchange, Clutha House, 10 Storey's Gate, London SW1P 3AY. Tel 020 7340 2650

The views of authors are their own. The UK Defence Forum holds no corporate view on the opinions expressed in papers or at meetings. The Forum exists to enable politicians, industrialists, members of the armed forces, academics and others with an interest in defence and security issues to exchange information and views on the future needs of Britain's defence. It is operated by a non-partisan, not for profit company.
April 2005