Why Do Non-State Actors Target The US

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Succeeding the Cold War, the threat to the U.S. has shifted from traditional to non-traditional. As a global power, both actors target the U.S.; conversely, nation-states (traditional threat) have become steady while Non-State Actors (NSAs) (non-traditional threat) have cultivated at an amplified rate. Nation-states are defined as a sovereign geographical area with political legitimacy over a cultural population. “Non-state actors (NSA) are individuals or organizations that have economic, political or social power and are able to influence at a national and sometimes international level but do not belong to or ally themselves to any particular country or state,” (Joey 2015). The U.S. must assess the actors’ level(s) of the threat(s) as…show more content…
Conversely, tracking NSA resources is problematic due to the illegitimacy of the conduct. NSAs have grown in scope, to include gaining national resources to include human resources, natural resources and financial resources. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is a NSA that has matured over recent years but does not have the national resources of a defined nation-state. ISIL reportedly controls over US$2 trillion in assets with an annual income of over US$2.9 billion (Brisard 2014, 4). As ISIL gains resources, their capacity to pursue their strategic goals…show more content…
Again, nation-states are restricted by rules and regulations, such as international laws and the Geneva Convention. NSAs do not adhere to these laws and policies. Nation-states use military-grade defense systems that include costly weapon systems whereas NSAs use cheap, “do-it-yourself” solutions and weapons (source website). Most NSAs often use guerrilla warfare tactics that leave little evidence to detect them from citizens. “Imbalances of resolve result in asymmetries in intensity, expressed either as a willingness to endure a different degree of violence and/or as a willingness to inflict a different degree of violence” (V28N2, 2). “Asymmetric warfare is a dynamic and evolving phenomenon”
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