Initially, the author briefly explains a popular opinion about rationality of the choice of terror tactics to achieve a set goals, citing the works of contemporary researchers who express this belief. According to theirs concepts, terrorism allows to achieve a more profitable bargains, increasing its capabilities in comparison with the target countries (Abrahms 2006, 45).
Further, the author expresses his disagreement with this opinion, expressing ? conviction that such theses are often “empirically weak” (Abrahms 2006, 45). He pays attention to the question of the effectiveness of terrorism, first of all, if “the terrorist campaigns achieved their core policy objects” (Abrahms 2006, 46).
Then the author exposes his understanding of measuring the effectiveness of terrorists’ actions. He offers to measure the effectiveness of terrorism in two dimensions: “combat effectiveness”, which means ? degree of harm from coercive force; “strategic effectiveness”, which means the measure of “coercion achieves its politic objectives” (Abrahms 2006, 46). The efficacy of terrorism is measured by comparing their stated objectives with outcomes. Author proclaims the declared targets of terrorist groups are a reliable indicator of their actual intentions. In supportion of this statement author constructes the system of assessments of the efficiency of terrorism. He uses 28 terrorist organizations, defined theirs objectives, target types and successful (Abrahms 2006, 49-50). As a result, the author come to the conclusion that only a few known terrorist campaigns (3 of 28) fully achieved proclaimed goals (Abrahms 2006, 51). Even the effectiveness of economic sanctions is higher, according to authors’ statement (Abrahms 2006, 50).
The author asserts limited objectives are much more useful in finding acceptable solutions, because it includes opportunity to negotiate, what cannot be said about maximalists objectives (Abrahms 2006, 54). As maximalist objectives are the most radical, the resistance from a target countries is extremely intense (Abrahms 2006, 55). As a result, it makes useless most of intentions of terrorists groups in achieving proclaimed maximalists objectives.
However, this is not the only factor of success or failure. It is important to pay attention to the “target selection”: groups, which attacks only noncombatant/civilian goals (civilian-centric groups) and groups, which attacks military targets but civilian targets are not excluded (guerilla groups) (Abrahms 2006, 55). At the result the author came to conclusion, that guerilla groups have more successful acts than civilian-centric groups. The reason for this phenomenon is that civilian-centric groups are not able to announce theirs goals correctly. That is why targeting countries mostly judge that such groups pursue maximalist objectives, which, as it was revealed earlier, cause to resists (Abrahms 2006, 56).
Surface interpretation of objectives by targeting countries is explained by “theory of high correspondence” of terrorism. It is proves that observers tend to interpret the actor’s goal in terms of the consequences of the action, but they does not notice the fact that the proclaimed goal can significantly differ from the result obtained (Abrahms 2006, 59).
The theoretical value of the article is an original view on the problem of terrorism. Criticizing for insufficient empirical analysis of scientists proving the efficiency of terrorism, the author had made a bold statement about the ineffectiveness of terrorism as an instrument of coercion.
The article extends existing knowledge about the problem of terrorism. It shifts the thought that terrorism is an effective measure of achieving political aspirations. But the idea of low efficiencyof terror acts needs more time to be better developed because terrorist actions are primarily attracted attention of society by loud consequences, and only a small part of society analyses the objectives of terrorists.
The author uses an academic style of righting, he avoidies formalities in the text. In the article the author uses quantitative approach, supplemented by case study: Russia’s reaction to Apartment bombings in 1999, US response to the September 2001 attacks and Israel’s answer to the First Intifada. It should be noticed that the author considers different regions of the world which allows us to judge terrorism as a global phenomenon.