The Madrid Train Bombings: A Decision-Making Model Analysis
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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The events of 11 September 2001 brought the threat of terrorism into American public focus and gave politicians the political capital they needed to pursue terrorism with all the elements of national power. Since then the United States has fought an unconventional war against an adaptive and violent enemy. Extremist organizations still exist with the means and will to do harm to America and its allies. This thesis analyzes a terrorist attack using two decision-making models in an effort to more accurately explain government strategic reactions in the aftermath of such an attack. The premise was that a validated decision-making model would provide detailed understanding of national strategic reactions to a terrorist attack. It also would provide critical knowledge that would more efficiently focus the instruments of national power to marginalize terrorism and stabilize the international community. The terrorist attack analyzed is the Madrid train bombing attack of 11 March 2004. This case study was chosen specifically because of the strategic consequences of the Spanish governments reactions. The Madrid attack influenced national elections, changed Spains diplomatic focus away from the United States, and resulted in the withdrawal of Spanish troops from the Iraqi War. The attack was analyzed using both the Rational Choice Model and the Bureaucratic Politics Model. The results indicate that the Bureaucratic Politics model more accurately explained Spains strategic reactions. The depth of study required for the analysis provided important insight into the consequences of Spains reactions.
- Administration and Management
- Government and Political Science
- Unconventional Warfare