Third Party Combatants as a Tool of Terrorism

Historical ContextThroughout recorded history of both ancient and current warring conflicts, the mention of third party combatants as force multipliers or surrogates has been commonplace.  Foreign auxiliaries date back to Old Testament biblical notations of ancient battles citing presence of surrogates among armies and recruited spies acting on behalf of ever-shifting masters.  Historical references continue to litter texts with tales of the employment of procured tribal scouts, foreign corps, bodyguards, recruited and slave warriors from abroad, agents of influence, and mercenaries ranging from Pharaoh Ramses’ use of third party combatants to the 20th Century’s use of naïve adventure seeking mercenaries in Africa’s rebel brush wars.  Photo: 2011 Karachi, Pakistan.  Attack on Police Station.  "It is not difficult to identify the perpetrators of the proxy war, particularly in the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, Balochistan and Sindh. The spy network in…

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About TRAC’s Core Articles

Commissioned, proprietary analysis of key components of terrorist activities and groups, such as “Recruiting Female Suicide Bombers”, written by experts worldwide.

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About the Contributor

Scott Swanson

Scott Swanson is an intelligence and special operations planning advisor to the military and intelligence community. He is also an instructor, guest lecturer, and adjunct professor for...