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War on Terror or Pretext for Power?: Putin, Chechnya, and the 'Terrorist International'

Australasian Journal of Human Security, The
Volume 1 Issue 2 (2005)

Abstract: For some time before the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, Russian diplomats had been warning of the development of links between terrorist groups across an 'arc of instability' spreading from South-East Asia to the Balkans. They argued that the situation in Chechnya should be understood in this context since it had become a hotbed of religious extremism with support from external terrorist groups. Russian discourse on 'international terrorism' was at the same time a defence of Russian actions in Chechnya, and a call for concerted action against a common threat. After September 2001, Western governments - in particular the Bush administration began to respond. This article examines how Russian policy makers have used the notion of 'international terrorism' to justify their policy in Chechnya and wider foreign policy. It considers the validity of Russian claims to be fighting international terrorism in Chechnya and examines the role that the Chechen conflict and counter-terrorism have played in Putin's rise to power and subsequent consolidation of power. Finally, it highlights the dangers that lie behind the rhetoric of a global 'war on terror'. Putin has attempted to position Russia on the front-line of the 'war on terror', defending Western/European 'civilisation' against the 'threat from the south'; but does Russian policy over Chechnya really match developing European norms of coping with ethnic diversity?

To cite this article: Headley, Jim. War on Terror or Pretext for Power?: Putin, Chechnya, and the 'Terrorist International' [online]. Australasian Journal of Human Security, The, Vol. 1, No. 2, 2005: 13-35. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=125207287878135;res=IELHSS> ISSN: 1176-8614. [cited 30 May 17].

Personal Author: Headley, Jim; Source: Australasian Journal of Human Security, The, Vol. 1, No. 2, 2005: 13-35 DOI: Document Type: Journal Article ISSN: 1176-8614 Subject: Human rights; Terrorism; Military policy; Islam; Peer Reviewed: Yes Affiliation: (1) Lecturer, Department of Political Studies, University of Otago, New Zealand, email: Jim.headley @stonebow.otago.ac.nz

Database: Humanities & Social Sciences Collection