Human Leverage: Hostage-taking as a Tactic in Insurgency
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
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Thesis Seeking the influence to sustain their movements, some insurgent groups in Iraq have employed hostage-taking to generate power and leverage. This paper will argue that the hostage-taking tactic in Iraq is an important component of a well-crafted, culturally symbolic, technologically aware, and often successful information operations campaign that may have increasing value to insurgent movements in the future. An examination of past use of hostage-taking by insurgent and terrorists groups is important to better understand the tactic in Iraq. Beginning with the writings of Carlos Marighella, a Brazilian terrorist leader, this study examines the contributions of Palestinian groups, Hezbollah, the Iranian Hostage Crisis, the FARC and Chechen groups to the evolution of the tactic, in order to highlight several important threads both in method and objective that we now see in Iraq.
- Unconventional Warfare