Terrorism The high costs of contemporary warfare,

Terrorism is commonly recognized as a series of violent, criminal acts
directed against a State, with a view and intention to create a state of
terror in the minds of the public. A terrorist act is intended at
destabilizing the prevailing socio-political set-up. Any government
engaged in acts of violence or threat of violence, in order to pursue its
policies of domination, exploitation or expansion and hegemony is
deemed to be committing an act of terrorism. When a Government
provisions acts of terrorism by sponsoring terrorist groups, either by
providing them with the financial support, or through the provision of a
safe-haven for the training and supply of arms, it is known as State-
sponsored terrorism.

State Sponsored Terrorism – For a long time now, terrorism has been
perceived as a contest between two sides. One, the terror
group/organization, and two, a sovereign state. However, since the
second half of the 20th century, several countries began to use and
expand their use of terrorist organizations to endorse state interests in
the international arena. Instead of apparently being the weapon of the
weak, terrorism has become a tool of states.

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According to Ray S. Cline and Yonah Alexander, state sponsored
terrorism aims “to achieve strategic ends in circumstances where the
use of conventional armed forces is deemed inappropriate, ineffective,
too risky, or too difficult.” The high costs of contemporary warfare, the
Cold War, and concern about non-conventional boom, as well as the
danger of defeat and the averseness to appear as the aggressor, have
turned terrorism into an effective, convenient, and generally discrete
weapon for attaining state interests in the international realm.

The Soviet Union was among the first to sponsor a variety of terrorist
organizations. Although with the collapse of the Soviet Union, Iran has
taken up the top spot for the same.