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The Military, the Media, and International Terrorism.

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Student project rept.,

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After a brief respite in 1983 and 1984--with the notable exception of the bombing of the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut in October 1983--United States military facilities overseas have once again become prime targets for terrorists. Terrorist groups such as the Red Army Faction in West Germany, the Red Brigade in Italy, and various Muslim groups in the Mediterranean and Middle East regions, have vented their anger and dissatisfaction on American soldiers, sailors, and airmen who are often stationed in isolated duty posts worldwide. Whether it is ban-the-bomn leftists in England, independence advocates in Puerto Rico, or Communists in the Philippines, international terrorism puts American servicemen and their commanders before the cameras eye and subject to the scrutiny of an increasingly aggressive news media. Terrorist acts make good news. This study seeks to advise public affairs officers and commanders of some of the assets available to them when a terrorist incident involving the American military occurs. To gather my data, I travelled to the most active terrorist spot today, West Germany, and talked with PAOs at European Command, US Army Europe, and US Army Europe, and US Air Forces in Europe. There I shared information obtained at the various headquarters and interviewed personnel experienced in dealing with the media during a terrorist situation and, in one case, with personnel who had actually been endangered by a terrorist act. American military commanders need not be victimized by the news media if they rely upon their public affairs professional to control volatile situations. Author

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  • Administration and Management
  • Sociology and Law

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