I'd have to say that every country has suicide attackers during a crisis, however, if they are in a crisis war, the suicide attackers are "inside" the social norm and lauded (Medal of Honor during WWII, which is NOT the same as Medal of Honor in prior times, etc) while suicidal attacks when not at war are "outside" the social norm and not lauded except for a small peer group. I don't really differentiate between someone who charges a machine gun and someone who blows themselves up to attack those they perceive as enemies of their way of life, it's a different mechanism, but the internal thought process OF THE PERSON PERFORMING THE ACTION has to be remarkably similar, IOW, self sacrifice, determination for revenge or prevention of further damage to the home family or society, etc.
Socially we see these actions as immensely different, but does the suicide bomber see himself any differently than Rodger Young saw himself? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodger_Wilton_Young
I submit that the difference is in the outside, not the inside. And that's the essence of the generational dynamic at work, during a crisis era people will attack those they perceive as enemies of their "way" with any means that come to hand, and the longer the official declaration of war is delayed, the more bitterly they will attack. Individuals will tend to use explosives, persons inside a support structure (military) will use more sophisticated means.
This post will get some flames.