A brief discussion of the history of political terrorism and the problem of definition to be followed by an attempt to put terrorism into a relevant context of contemporary politics and a review of some of the characteristics of contemporary terrorism with respect to politics, insurgencies, religion, and suicide.

Ambassador Edward Marks retired from the State Department in 1995, after a forty year career involving services in nine countries, the United Nations in New York, and Washington, DC. Recalled to active duty in June 2002, he served as the State Department counter-terrorism advisor at the US Pacific Command in Honolulu until mid-September 2005.

Since retirement, Ambassador Marks has engaged in various activities and is currently a Distinguished Senior Fellow at George Mason University, a Senior Associate of The International Center for Terrorism Studies of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, and a Senior Fellow at the Joint Forces Staff College. In addition, he is a Trustee of the Command and General Staff College Foundation and a Director of the DACOR (Diplomatic and Consular officers, Retired). He has been a consultant to the United Nations, the Project on National Security Reform, has served on various editorial boards and is the author of numerous articles and publications.

Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Ambassador Marks graduated from the University of Michigan (B.A.), the University of Oklahoma (M.A.), and the National War College. He is married to Aida Marks née Nercess of Tehran, Iran. He served in the United States Army 1956-58, and resides in Washington, DC.

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