A strategic analysis of the origins of international terrorist attacks on aviation and the British responses
This research examines the effects on Great Britain of international terrorist attacks on aviation. The methodology is utilitarian. It is also eclectic, drawing upon scholarly and operational sources. The first objective was factual: to establish the origins of international attacks on aviation, their effects on Great Britain, and the British responses. It found that the attacks were a "blocked tactic!' product of the Palestine conflict. They had neither political nor economic effect on Great Britain. HMG was steadfast in its neutrality. The second objective was analytical: to assess the value of the attacks to their exponents, and the effectiveness of the British response. The evidence is that the attacks, despite tactical successes, were strategically counterproductive to the Palestinians; they assisted Israel's endeavours to label all Palestinian resistance to Israel as terrorism. By targeting the West and forming' alliances with its enemies, the Palestinians deprived themselves of Western diplomatic and economic resources crucial to their cause. Since renouncing terrorism (1988), they have made more progress than in the preceding 40 year's. The international response is not to be measured in the number, but in the implementation of enactments. It has been inadequate. The British response was re-energised by the atrocity of Lockerbie. The conduct of HMG, both MPs and civil servants, has been laudable. Britain's aviation security programme is effective, but the relationship between government and industry is now confrontational. The third objective was to derive proposals for improvements in aviation security. The recommendations are for government financial contribution, a partnership between government and industry, and a holistic approach. Bilaterals and alliances are the best means of obtaining international progress. Attacks on aviation have abated but may recur. Countermeasures should be systematically strengthened. The research has recognised the need to withhold information of value to attackers of aviation.