Why would a rebel group decide to attack ordinary, “innocent” people (civilians or noncombatants) in furtherance of its political objectives? Armed movements typically use violence against civilians who (1) directly or indirectly support the state the insurgents are fighting (politically, economically, or militarily), (2) routinely benefit from the actions of that state, and/or (3) have a substantial capacity to influence that state. Attacking such civilians is an indirect way of attacking an enemy state.
KeywordsPolitical Objective State Violence Political Alliance Insurgent Group Rebel Group
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