Terrorism

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  • With Eyes Wide Shut: The Continuing and Inexplicable Pursuit of Regime Change

    All that the western powers have achieved so far with regime change is to propel into powerful positions an assorted lot of Islamists as well as autocrats with medieval beliefs and a penchant for terrorism.

    January 23, 2013

    B. Aravind asked: Is it strategically correct to give Pakistan the most favoured nation status when it is not interested in addressing the issue of terrorism?

    P.K. Upadhyay replies: The question of India giving the MFN status to Pakistan is not very relevant at the present juncture, as India had unilaterally conferred this status on Pakistan a very long time back. The issue now is of Pakistan reciprocating and according a similar trading status to India, something on which various concerned circles in Pakistan seem to be in two minds. India accorded the MFN status to Pakistan in the hope and belief that it would be in the larger interest of Indo-Pak relations to expand the scope of people-to-people contacts by building bridges in various fields. Trade and commerce are important areas for improving people-to-people contacts and building a strong lobby for maintaining better inter-state relations. We need to wait and watch if Pakistani side reciprocates to this in true spirit and opens up new possibilities for better Indo-Pak relations.

    Return from the Precipice: Bangladesh’s Fight Against Terrorism

    Return from the Precipice: Bangladesh’s Fight Against Terrorism
    • Publisher: Pentagon Security International
      2013

    The image of Bangladesh of being a ‘moderate Muslim country’ was tarnished at the turn of the 20th century. The country known for its Sufi Islam was witnessing a spurt of Islamic radicalism. While delineating the threat posed by Islamic radicalism to Bangladeshi politics and by Indian insurgent groups to Northeast India, the book also focuses on their sources of finance. This book marks an advance over other works on the same topic as it discusses the actions taken by the Sheikh Hasina led Awami League government to counter terrorism.

    • ISBN 978-81-8274-697-8,
    • Price: ₹. 595/-
    • E-copy available
    2012

    Grand Strategy for India 2020 and Beyond

    Grand Strategy for India 2020 and Beyond
    • Publisher: Pentagon Security International
      2012

    This volume presents perspectives on cross-cutting issues of importance to India’s grand strategy in the second decade of the 21st century. The authors in this volume address the following important questions : What might India do to build a cohesive and peaceful domestic order in the coming decades? What should be India's China and Pakistan strategy? How could India foster a consensus on the global commons that serve India’s interests and values? What strategic framework will optimise India’s efforts to foster a stable and peaceful neighbourhood?

    • ISBN 978-81-8274-657-2,
    • Price: ₹. 995/-
    • E-copy available
    2012

    Aarti Panchal asked: Why are the international organisations not taking effective steps to curb terrorist activities in the Sahel region?

    Princy Marin George replies: Many countries in the Sahel region lack the capacity to tackle issues facing them owing to fragile state structures, and pressing political and socio-economic concerns. Regional problems, such as organised crime; trafficking of arms, humans and weapons; and, proliferation of terrorist networks are cross-border in nature, necessitating strong inter-state interaction. Regional cooperation, however, has been fragmented due to economic and political incapacities, and in some cases, outstanding bilateral contentions. Efforts to deal with these problems at the national level have proved to be inadequate due to their trans-national nature and porous borders between countries in the region.

    International organisations have worked on combating transnational threats, such as terrorism for over a decade. The African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, the United Nations, and the European Union (EU) have all formulated approaches to support security in the region. Most recently, the EU launched a civilian mission in Niger (EUCAP Sahel) to assist in improving the capacities of the Nigerian security forces, and eventually those of Mali and Mauritania - the other frontline states - in combating terrorism and organised crime, improving national control over territories, and in facilitating development in the region. The United States has also played a prominent role in strengthening regional counter-terrorism capabilities. Though multilateral frameworks may be the best way to address a trans-national issue, such as terrorism in Sahel, there are many challenges to it as well.

    As mentioned earlier, regional cooperation is lacking since not all Sahelian governments can agree on the best way to tackle these issues. There is also resistance to a regional approach to countering terrorism because of the perception that it could encroach on their sovereignty. Governments in the region have also been sensitive to international intervention, particularly Western-backed, since it is seen as detracting from more pressing local development priorities. Given recent events in the region, particularly in the Western Sahel, international assistance may be critical to addressing these threats.

    Pakistan’s Descent into Chaos

    The terrorist strike on Minhas airbase in Kamra on August 16, in which one Pakistani soldier and nine terrorists were killed, is but the latest manifestation of the state’s inability to protect even its vital military installations.

    August 19, 2012

    India’s Counter Terrorism Policies are Mired in Systemic Weaknesses

    India’s intelligence co-ordination and assessment apparatus at the national level and counter-terrorism policies remain mired in the days of innocence.

    May 14, 2012

    Rajesh Singh asked: What is the difference between insurgency and terrorism?

    S. Kalyanaraman replies: Insurgents, by and large, target the security forces and the state apparatus. They work to mobilise the people, acquire popular support and eventually overthrow the government. Insurgents, in Mao Tse-tung’s famous formulation, are the fish and the people are the water in which these fish swim. In contrast, the common people are the targets of terrorist violence today, although this was not the case when terrorism first emerged in the modern era. When terrorism came to be first employed as a strategy in the late 19th century, the targets were symbols of political authority—kings, emperors, viceroys, political leaders, government officials, etc. Further, these attacks were intended to serve as ‘propaganda by deed’, meaning advertisement for the cause. And these attacks were carried out only as the final resort and mainly against autocratic rulers and governments. In contrast, ‘there are no innocents’ is the motto of contemporary terrorists who moreover target democracies in the first resort. And, unlike 19th century terrorists who proudly proclaimed that they are indeed terrorists, terrorists today cloak themselves in the garb of freedom fighters and holy warriors.

    Be that as it may, both insurgents and terrorists engage in violence in order to attain certain political or increasingly politico-religious objectives-national liberation and independence, establishing a communist system of government or an Islamic form of government, restoration of the Caliphate, etc.

    The Conscription of Children as Ultras in Manipur

    The Government of India may perform a catalytic role to activate community-cum-family based endeavours with particular emphasis on sports-related and youth activities—areas in which the Manipuris naturally tend to excel.

    May 04, 2012

    Ganesh Pol asked: Well coordinated terror attacks in Iraq show substantial al Qaeda presence in the region. Has the nine year old US-led ‘global war against terror’ in Iraq failed?

    Prasanta K. Pradhan replies: Al Qaeda started its activities in Iraq after the American invasion in 2003. Throughout these years, al Qaeda has given a tough fight to the American as well as the Iraqi national forces in charge of the security. Though the US has withdrawn its forces from the country, it has not officially declared the war against terror in Iraq as over. Al Qaeda is far from being extinct in Iraq. It has lost many of its cadres and often looked weak, but has still managed to sustain itself and has undertaken terrorist attacks at frequent intervals. Thus, if one judges the success or failure of the war against terror in Iraq on the basis of sustenance of al Qaeda, and its ability to undertake high impact attacks, then clearly, the US-led war has not been successful so far. But one must understand that war against terror in Iraq is only part of a bigger geo-political canvas and it would take a long time for this war to end.

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