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Suicide bombers in the new context of asymmetric warfare

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The nature of contemporary conflicts has changed from traditional territorial conflicts between states, to conflicts between states and non-state actors with enormous disparity of means and with aims different from the conquest of territories. 'Asymmetric warfare' is an undeclared conflict, with considerable disparities in military or financial resources and in the status of the two contenders.  Through the influence of Chinese strategic thinking in the 1990s, the term 'asymmetrical warfare' took on the meaning of a conflict conducted with scarce resources and unconventional methods of warfare to fill its military, technological and financial deficiencies, transforming weaknesses into strengths in order to hit the opponent where he does not expect it and create strong psychological shocks. 
The strategic debate was influenced in particular by the literary success of the classic "Art of War" by Sun Tzu and above all by the book "War without limits: the art of asymmetrical warfare between terrorism and globalization" published in 1999 by Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui, two upper colonels of the Chinese Air Force. 
Liang and Xiangsui indicated in the 1991 Gulf War the beginning of a mutation in the nature and function of war. War could be waged in any field: political, technological, commercial, financial, cultural or media, especially by combining and adding other methods to military methods in a hybrid way, in order to multiply the lethal effects, causing enormous damage.
The attacks of 11 September represent the definitive affirmation of the term asymmetrical warfare. In an asymmetrical conflict, heterogeneous parts fight: the protagonists, state or not, have unequal forces, are equipped differently, use different means and methods, pursue different aims. Asymmetry, therefore, consists in acting, organizing and reflecting differently from the opponent in order to maximize their strengths and take advantage of the weaknesses of the opponent. The belligerents who suffer from a strong technological inferiority often have to resort to unconventional weapons such as chemical, bacteriological, radiological, nuclear, improvised devices, and especially suicide martyrs. 
Therefore, unlike the great majority of traditional war actions and the same majority of those carried out by the "old" terrorism, the tactic on the field of the new terrorism does not provide for the protection, as far as possible, of the life of its combatants, but, on the contrary, for its programmed destruction; in this context, the kamikaze are systems of arms that the commanders do not count on recovering and reusing. They are human containers to be lost, mere vectors of an explosive charge to be conducted on the target. In its dual application to the enemy and to oneself, thus, the human sacrifice from relative becomes absolute.
It is in this context of new terrorism, therefore, that the figure of the kamikaze re-emerges, considered the unconventional weapon par excellence. 
di Noemi Genova