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Pape has written a throughful and complete essay about a complex issue. He has reviewed many studies on suicide attacks all over the world, and put forward clear and sustained conclusions.
The ferocious scalation of the pace of suicide terrorism in the past several years cannot be considered irrational or even surprising. Suicide terrorism is the last weapon an occupied nation resort to when tackling foreing armies that menace their way of life in a substantial degree. It is more easily set when there is a religious difference between aggressor and resistance, but it is not a religious issue. Main religions have placed a strong tabu against suicide, and suicide terrorist aren't the religious type. They are the committed type of persons, with higher status and broad relations: "The individuals who carry out suicide terrorist attacks are typically mentally normal, with good prospects for employment or other advancement in their society, and they enjoy good standing in their communities. They are, in other words, much like ordinary soldiers with a strong sense of duty and a willingness to sacrifice all for the common good of their community". Suicide terrorism campaings exists because they pay. In some instances, modern democracies have retreated after such a campaing against their ocupation.
A book worth reading, with precise notes and long reference section.