Robert A. Pape


Robert A. Pape, coauthor of Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It, discusses the evidence that (still) shows suicide attacks are much more closely related to foreign military occupations than religious extremism, why U.S. efforts to date have been more effective at provoking terrorism than preventing it, the inverse correlation between troop levels and suicide attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan and how Pape’s thesis is finally catching on in media and government circles.

MP3 here. (15:30)

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.

6 thoughts on “Robert A. Pape”

  1. Does Pape make a difference between suicide attacks and suicide terrorism?

    The Islamic Jihad attacks on the french and american barracks in lebanon for example are not terrorism, but attacks on military targets, using suicide attacks, or human guided bombs as a method.

    The chapman attack that killed a lot of CIA officers a few years ago too, the targets are military not civilian. Does he count that as suicide terrorism? In that case he needs to re-consider the definition

    1. But no Prof Pape does not make a distinction between attack and terrorism. I would say if civilians are targeted, it is terrorism; if the occupier is targeted, it is an attack.

  2. "History Didn't Begin on September 11th." That is quite true. History did not begin on 9/11. But, that was the date that the history of the American Republic came to an end.

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