How Terrorist Groups End

Two Events with Dr. Chris Harmon:
How Terrorist Groups End and A Conversation: The Ideas Behind Terrorism

How Terrorist Groups End

 Thursday, November 1, 2012
5 pm
The Honors College Commons  (2nd floor, MD Anderson Library)
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Dr. Chris Harmon

Although our age seems plagued by terrorist groups, there have been hundreds of such organizations in decades past, and nearly all of them eventually ceased their practices. How and why? Those questions intrigued the lecturer in 2003—after he had worked on “war termination” in strategy courses for officers at the Naval War College and Marine Corps Command & Staff College. He began lecturing and publishing on the phenomenon, and has carried that work forward, as in a chapter in a McGraw-Hill book he co-edited, Toward A Grand Strategy Against Terrorism (2010). Dr. Harmon will discuss five of the most common ways that important terrorist groups have ended. The talk closes with remarks on Al Qaeda and its limited parallels with late 19th century violent anarchism—a movement that disappeared by the early 1920s.

A Conversation: The Ideas Behind Terrorism

Friday, November 2, 2012
2 pm
212L (2nd floor, MD Anderson Library)
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Behind the bombs, and between the headlines those periodically create, are ideas. 

Christopher C.  Harmon created the first edition of his textbook Terrorism Today (2000, 2007) with the conviction that we do not take with sufficient seriousness the words and ideas of terrorist groups. Their leaders are often well educated; some are deadly serious thinkers. Certainly these groups require a range of skills in communication and persuasion—if they are to gain any political traction. 

The presenter will open with some thoughts about Nationalism, Neo-Fascism, Communism, Anarchism, and Religion, focusing on ideological underpinnings of contemporary terrorist organizations. After no more than 30 minutes, we’ll begin Q & A and general discussion.  

About Dr. Chris Harmon

Christopher C. Harmon has been a professor of international relations and instructor on topics such as terrorism, counterterrorism, and strategy & policy in six graduate schools, including the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. and the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Germany. His work at Marine Corps University began in 1993 and today he holds its Matthew C. Horner Chair of Military Theory. Dr. Harmon has published several dozen journal articles and four books, including the textbook Terrorism Today (2nd ed. 2007). He has lectured on how terrorist groups end on Capitol Hill, in the Pentagon, at the Woodrow Wilson Center, and in Lyon at INTERPOL headquarters. From the U.S. State Department he holds an award for Distinguished Public Service. 

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