Carrots or Sticks? A Commentary on Military Force as an Effective Response in Counter-Terrorism

Edidiong O, Henry U Ufomba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Terrorism in its operational sense refers to the purposive adoption of lethal violence aimed at human or non-human target with the objective of making the state or an agency of the state to act in line with the demands of the perpetrators.While there is a degree of disagreement among scholars on what terrorism itself implies there is a higher intensity in the debate on the most effective strategy for counter-terrorism. Situated within the latter front of the debate this commentary argued for the use of military force as an effective first-approach counter terrorism measure. It argued that negotiation create a sense of credibility to terrorist organization among the populace- which have a negative impact on the political capacity of the state while validating the demand of the terrorist organization. Hence military force was advised as first line of action against lethal terrorist attacks so as to reinforce the status of the state as the legitimate monopoly of the apparatus of force. Furthermore military force when successful creates collateral cost on the limited human and material resources of the terrorist organization which reduces its capability in the short and long run.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-544
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Terrorism
  • Nigeria
  • Boko Haram
  • Insurgency
  • conflict
  • conflict resolution
  • Counter-terrorism
  • military force
  • terrorist organization
  • State


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