State-sponsored international terrorism declined precipitously over the subsequent two decades.
Some of the reasons were specific to particular states that had been leading practitioners, such as the survival of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the subsequent realization of rulers in Tehran that constant assassinations and subversion in neighboring states were not critical to keeping their regime alive. Two other factors had more general application.
One was the end of the Cold War and demise of the Soviet Union, which had been an important source of aid to a state such as Syria—aid substantially greater than what Russia provides today.
The other, related, factor was globalization and the escalation of opportunity costs of being a pariah state.
THE ATLANTIC: The decline of state-sponsored terrorism
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