Argentina's Definition of Terrorism Term Paper

Pages: 10 (3585 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 20  ·  Level: College Sophomore  ·  Topic: Terrorism

Argentina's Definition Of Terrorism

Terrorism is nowadays one of the most important aspects of international security which states and international organizations are trying to address at all levels, both internal and global. This is largely due to the fact that the terrorist flabellum does not represent a regular threat to the national and international security, but rather an unconventional one, whose motives, reasons, and targets cannot be fully understood or identified. In this sense it is argued that "the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 11 September 2001 have focused attention on the issue of international terrorism as an urgent matter for the United Nations" (International Peace Academy, 2002) This is why it is important that action is taken at all levels. States around the world are more or less willing to adapt their laws, politics, and policy to deter the terrorist phenomenon.

Argentina is a very interesting case in this sense because it represents a cooperative country, willing to address its problems, as well to try to prevent further ones in the fight against terrorism. At a global level though, the United Nations represents the forum for communication and collaboration between states worldwide and the accredited entity for the establishment of the rules and norms which govern the international scene. This is why it is of crucial importance the way in which the states communicate at the global level and inside the UN. The activities conducted under the UN flag represent the will of the international scene and are a corroborated effort to defy the threat of insurgency.

Introduction

Terrorism cannot be countered with total efficiency without the proper definition of the actual term. In this sense, "definitions of terrorism are controversial for reasons other than conceptual issues and problems. Because labeling actions as "terrorism" promotes condemnation of the actors, a definition may reflect ideological or political bias. Given such considerations, (they) discourage attempts to define terrorism." (Gibbs, 1989, 1) Under these circumstances, it is rather hard to find the best solution for an eventual coordinated action at the international level. Still, the mere actions which are undergone through the United Nations are important for an overall solution. This is largely due to the fact that "terrorism is a special type of violence. It is a tactic used in peace, conflict, and war. The threat of terrorism is ever present, and an attack is likely to occur when least expected. A terrorist attack may be the event that marks the transition from peace to conflict or war" (U.S. Army, n.d.) a similar point-of-view is shared by Merari and Paul Wilkinson, two of the most important scholars in the analysis of terrorism and political violence. (Merari, n.d., Wilkinson, n.d.) From this point-of-view, the role of each country of the organization is essential. Argentina is in this sense is a rather happy example from the point-of-view of the availability it has shown throughout the years in the fight against terrorism, especially since the terrorist attacks of the Israeli Embassy at the beginning of the 1990s.

The present paper will address the position of the Argentinean state in relation to terrorism. Thus, it will focus in the first part on the general interest of the state in international affairs and inside the UN; also, it will deal with the actions the Argentinean state has been part of, legally and otherwise; third, it will make a comparison with the attitudes of the states in the region and will underline the extent in which its attitudes differs or is similar to its neighbors; fourth, it can be said that there is much that needs to be done in the area of terrorism concerning Argentina; thus, particular goals must be set and followed thoroughly and areas where negotiation is and is not possible must be identified. Finally, a set of suggestions for the improvement of the current policies is in order with particular attention given to the national factors involved in the decision making process.

The position and the interests of Argentina in international relations and the UN

At an official level, the interests and initiatives of Argentina resemble to those of the other states attached to the United Nations values. In this sense, "Argentina, one of the 51 Founding Members of the Organization, has been an active participant in all of the UN organs and programs, in accordance with our Foreign Policy, and has endeavored to build consensus at the international level towards the strengthening of international human rights, the promotion of universal values associated with peace and security, with the democratic representation and with the fulfillment and promotion of human rights." (Permanent Mission of Argentina to the United Nations, 2008) in this sense, it can be said that the position of the state is in complete accordance with the rest of the states.

In relation to the issue of terrorism, Argentina showed a manifested desire to contribute to the common efforts to deal with the terrorist threat. In this sense, it has been argued by the Minister of Interior that "Argentina was the first Latin American country to enact a law creating a new intelligence system, which included the establishment of a National Directorate of Criminal Intelligence. Moreover, Argentina is increasing its capacity to enforce border security, train police officers, cooperate between agencies, and become involved in multilateral counterterrorism initiatives within Mercosur, the OAS, and the United Nations." (Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2006). Therefore, it can be pointed out the fact that the country, through its internal measures taken and its international collaboration system tries to address the issue of terrorism in all its perspectives.

Policies related to terrorism and factors determining them in Argentina; comparison of Argentina to other states in the region

Argentina is not viewed as a territory with an increased degree of terrorist activities. However, despite the fact that it does not represent a target for terrorist activities, in 1992 it was the site of the most terrible terrorist attack in Latin America. The bombing of the Israeli Embassy "killed 86 and wounded about 300" (Katz, n.d.). This was the most important event related to Argentina in recent decades which involved terrorist acts on its territory. This fact however led to measure aimed at increasing the security of the area and at creating a proper response.

One of the main factors which contributed to the establishment of a cooperative policy toward terrorism is related to the increase in the level of awareness of the impact of terrorism in the world. In this sense, the fact that the number of terrorist attacks as well as the number of casualties which result from these attacks increased significantly in the 90s and culminated with the 9/11 attacks drew an important alarm signal (Morgan, 2004). Thus, there is a need for cooperation in the sense that one of the main objectives of the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Argentina is the strengthening of the cooperation between the Latin American state and the United States, the EU, as well as the UN. More precisely, it seeks to offer "the highest priority to the fight against international terrorism, to the transnational criminality and drug trafficking by increasing the speed of all international activities which contribute to the prosecution, control, and elimination of these flagellums" (Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, 2008). Therefore, the initiatives seem to take into consideration all the aspects related to the fight against terrorism and international crime.

Another important factor in determining a reconsideration of the Argentinean action against terrorism, crime, and transnational affairs is the history of the nation. More precisely, it is a rather well-known fact the idea of corruption which is said to have contributed to a large extent to the lack of action in the embassy bombing enquires. Thus, it has been argued that "institutional weaknesses -- limited budgets, political corruption, a lack of common enforcement laws between MERCOSUR countries, the absence of advanced security technology, and a lack of interagency coordination give terrorists the opportunity to commit crimes" (Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2006). Therefore, these aspects represent in fact some of the traditional problems and factors which determine the direction of the actions taken at governmental level in Latin America, in particular in Argentina.

In response to this present state of affairs, Argentina drafted its policy concerning terrorism and international crimes according to the principle of cooperation and the reconsideration of internal issues and affairs. Thus, one of the most important aspects of the Argentinean state is the corruption issue and the way in which money laundry is conducted on its territory without legal repercussions. In this sense, the Financial Intelligence Unit was created in order to "transmit information in order to prevent and impede money laundering. The Financial Intelligence Unit shall analyze, handle and transmit the information" (Cover-up and Laundering of Assets Act, 2000). This policy aspect is important because it is a matter of a wide initiative aimed at "the development and promotion of policies to combat money laundering… [END OF PREVIEW]

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