Robert Pape


Robert Pape, author of Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism, discusses the new comprehensive online database of suicide attacks, how US occupations help al-Qaeda recruitment efforts, the overwhelming evidence that suicide attacks are motivated by nationalism and not Islamic fundamentalism and the upcoming CPOST book After Iraq: Stopping the Rise of Anti-American Suicide Terrorism Around the World.

MP3 here. (30:05)

Robert A. Pape is Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago specializing in international security affairs. His publications include Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism (Random House 2005); Bombing to Win: Air Power and Coercion in War (Cornell 1996), “Why Economic Sanctions Do Not Work,” International Security (1997), “The Determinants of International Moral Action,” International Organization (1999); “The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism,” American Political Science Review (2003); and “Soft Balancing against the United States,” International Security (2005).

His commentary on international security policy has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, New Republic, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, and Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, as well as on Nightline, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, and National Public Radio. Before coming to Chicago in 1999, he taught international relations at Dartmouth College for five years and air power strategy for the USAF’s School of Advanced Airpower Studies for three years. He received his Ph. D. from the University of Chicago in 1988 and graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Pittsburgh in 1982. His current work focuses on the causes of suicide terrorism and the politics of unipolarity.

33 thoughts on “Robert Pape”


    And when Yitzhak Rabin, more famous as a signatory on the Oslo Agreement, ordered the Israeli military to systematically break the arms of young Palestinians in the hope of suppressing an entirely legitimate revolt, thuggery had become a matter of national policy. It was only when some of those same young men began blowing themselves up in Israeli restaurants and buses that many Israel supporters were once again able to construe the Israelis as the victim in the situation;

  2. I hate to rain in Pape's parade about making progress getting his point across, but the last I saw the military muck-mucks testify in congress (about 6 months ago), he (forget exactly what decorated chest), when asked why they do it, gave the 'hate us for our freedoms & Islam is a militant religion' answer.

  3. And how many Christian suicide bombers are there?


    No in fact most in Dagestani’s support Russia especially since the "moderate" Chechen regime Maskhadov let Basayeav and Khattab invade the region and return to there base in Grozny with the protection of his government an obvious provocation for war just like the KLA in Kosovo. Seeing how they were both trained by Turkish military and British SAS in Turkey that is not a surprise.

    Actually the “black widow” narrative is a myth apart from cases like this when they are married to militant leaders and they are killed. Some BS Islamic clan code.

  4. Why did Raimando and everybody else for that matter dismiss the obvious FACT that since the collapse of the USSR starting in 89 western intelligence has been sponsoring, training and creating domestic and international terror network in Russia especially British intelligence which have been caught red handed supporting Chechen terrorism.

    What does he think the Balkans wars were about?

    And the reason why is pretty obvious.

  5. "It was at this moment that in the surroundings of the Chechen leadership appeared an English businessman of Polish descent Mansour Yahimchik, who had in due time been one of the leaders of the Polish «Solidarity» in Krakow. He suddenly showed unexpected interest in the Sufi version of Islam in Chechnya, was naturalized as a citizen of «Ichkeria», became the Chechen presidential adviser on foreign economic issues. At his suggestion the Chechen leaders got in contact with the British financial elite, he was arranging meetings of the Chechen leaders with the English Lords, with Margaret Thatcher, with heads of major companies.”

    With the direct participation of this Pole-Englishman in April 1997 was established a Caucasian investment fund, in Washington was registered the Caucasus-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Lord McAlpine – Representative of the Financial Group at Goldsmiths’ – promised to invest 3 billion dollars in the Chechen oil industry, but given that he gets the right of general tenancy of the entire Chechen oil industry. In fact, already at that time the matter concerned purchase of the Chechen oil industry, which later was tried to be performed by Khodorkovsky.”

  6. There is one common denominator in these wars… money. First, the Taliban had cut off the flow of Opium back around 1990. No coincidence that the stock market crashed in 90-91. Saddam had cut the leash, wanted nukes and was threatening to sell his Oil denominated in Euros. The banksters hoped to bring him back into line with GW1 but he did not heel. So along comes 9-11 and here we are, going onwards to a decade of occupation with no end in site. Now Iran, also trading their energy exports off of the dollar market, is being demonized. Can you blame them for wanting Nukes? The only reason that they leave N.K. alone is because they have Nukes and it is next to impossible to infiltrate their government. We are fighting these wars, using taxpayer money and U.S. lives, to insure the profits of Western syndicates who control the global energy and drug markets…

  7. Don't blame Wall Street. The Russians themselves are responsible for this long-standing conglict. Let's start with Imam Shamil and his wars against Tsarist colonizers. Then Stalin shipped the entire Chechen nation to the steppes of Central Asia, an act of clear genocide. Half the population died, but many of the rest managed to return to their homeland. The Chechens fought the Soviets to a standstill during the First Chechen War. The Second Chechen War was launched by Putin to cement his popularity. As in the case of Gaza, war is an eupheism. It was a no-holds-barred massacre. Before her murder, Anna Politkovskaya has documented Chechnya well.

    There is significant mixing of populations between Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia. Those peoples, especially the Chechens, have a long-standing opposition to Russia and its machinations purely on nationalist grounds. Islam is a late-comer, and it is used to further differentiate oneself from Russia.

  8. It should be mentioned that Russians generally have a case of Caucasophobia. Peoples from the Caucasus are routinely harassed, beaten, discriminated against, and very often killed.

    The right-wing Russian Jewish immigrants to Israel have transferred these Soviet ethnic stereotypes. Caucasophobia has become Arabophobia. Consider the statements of Israel's Foreign Minister Lieberman, ex-Soviet, and the party he represents, the most virulently right-wing in Israel and mostly composed of ex-Soviet Jews. Consider that Israel knowingly uses these Jews as Border Guards, where they are in daily contact with the Palestinians and get to display their sentiments. Consider the "Death to Arabs" graffiti left in Cyrillic on Palestinian homes.

    There are more similarities than not between Russia and its treatment of people from the Caucasus and Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians. Both the Chechnya and Palestine are occupied countries.

    1. So now even that Israelis hate Arabs is the fault of Russians? I am sorry kassandra, but you are starting to show your colours here.

  9. While I agree that non-interventionism would be the best course to take in the Muslim world, there is still the matter of that other grievance of Bin Laden and the Islamists–our support of corrupt Middle East dictators. It must be made known that there would be corruption in this region regardless of any of the American meddling in its affairs, as it is an immemorial practice. As Jon Basil Utley relates, it was not ""considered 'corrupt' to use government power to profit one’s family, clan, or tribe. Everybody did it! Look at Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, or Afghanistan today. Profiting oneself, one’s clan, and one’s tribe is a tradition stretching back thousands of years. What America calls "corruption" has been the world’s way of life until relatively recently." Anyone serious in undermining the aims of the Islamists would do well to maintain that corruption and kleptocracy would prevail regardless.

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  11. Scott Horton, June 02, 2007 … On May 15th, Dr. Ron Paul, the antiwar Republican presidential candidate … he sited the role of American foreign policy in motivating the murderers of 9/11. …

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  13. The Planned Logic of Irresponsibility Terrorism Scott Horton Interviews Robert Pape Robert A. Pape is an American political scientist well-known for his work on international security affairs, particularly strategic air power and suicide terrorism. He is now a professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. texas criminal lawyer

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