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shift of terrorism to the international level. It defines terrorism, the reasons it is carried out, and the parties involved in terrorist acts. It also discusses the reasons due to which, certain states are covertly sponsoring terrorism to fight against their rival states without starting a conventional full scale war, and saving huge costs. It highlights how the military actions involved in the global war against terrorism are fuelling the terrorist movements and strengthening their numbers.
War and Terrorism
War can be defined as an armed conflict between two states, where both the states' main focus is to impose their own will on the rival state. During the last two centuries, the conventional ways of fighting a war have changed immensely due to technological advancements, but the reasons to initiate and fight a war remains the same. A war is fought in order to occupy and control a piece of foreign land due to its strategic or any other importance. Similarly, it can involve several other geographical, political or economical interests and benefits for a state.
In the modern world, states cannot be considered as the only stake holders in a war. Due to rapid change in the political and societal arena, several non-state actors can also be either a stake holder, or a direct party to war. The emergence of global terrorism and international terrorist organizations can be regarded as an excellent example of it. The global war on terror involves several countries in the United Nations fighting a war against non-state terrorist organizations, which don't represent any particular country or a state of origin. The ideology of such organization encompasses the usage of terrorist acts like bomb explosions, to manipulate governments' decisions. Terrorist organizations generally include people who have grievances from their society. As a result of which, they are very devoted to a political or religious cause they are fighting for. They are very loyal to each other but are known to deal with disloyal fellow members more harshly than their real enemies.
These terrorist organizations work internationally employing people belonging to different professional and educational backgrounds. Although, the common and a salient threat to the modern world is "Religious Fundamentalism," but inequalities prevailing in the global financial system and societies throughout the world are paving the grounds for further growth of international terrorism.
The Oklahoma bombings in 1995, the chemical weapons attack on a Tokyo subway in 1995, 9/11 bombings and so forth are the classical examples of modern terrorism, which can involve simple bombings, usage of biological weaponry, and even the hijacking of commercial flights to use them as flying missile. (Morgan, 2004)
International terrorist organizations like Al-Qaida are funded not only by normal people and organizations who believe in their cause, and also by several countries. The U.S. led coalition forces campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq have minimized the state sponsored terrorist organizations; still many states are covertly sponsoring such organizations. Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia has been continuously blamed for its financial support and provision of manpower to several organizations like Al-Qaida, domestically and internationally. Similarly, Iran is supporting Anti-Israeli military groups like Hezbollah, which is involved in several terrorist attacks in Israel. Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI is not only blamed for providing support to militant organizations in Kashmir but also to support the terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan. Similarly intelligence agencies of these Muslim countries are also perpetuating religious sectarian violence by providing financial and military support to the opponent terrorist factions. These are but few highlighted examples of states sponsoring terrorism. (Morgan, 2004)
Today in the era of globalization, a terrorist born in Pakistan can be trained in a terrorist camp located somewhere in Waziristan agency. He can fight in Kashmir, and from there he can travel to Afghanistan where he can fight against the U.S. led coalition forces. Due to ease of border controls and government covert sponsorship, he can go to Iran, Iraq and many other countries. It is not wrong to infer that in the modern world; most of the wars are fought on street using terrorists without directly attacking another country by starting a full fledge war and mobilizing huge armies. Despite of neglecting the blames, rival countries are using terrorist organizations to create hazard and chaos.
Using terrorists to complete the dirty work of the governments instead fighting a direct war is an economical alternative. It not only saves the government and militaries huge costs, but it also saves a government from the criticism faced in the case of a direct attack on another sovereign nation. However, most of the terrorist organizations like Tamil Tigers and Al-Qaida believe themselves to be change makers, who are fighting against a corrupt economic and political system. (Morgan, 2004)
The cause of terrorism cannot be linked to the need of a terrorist to conduct an act of violence in order to satisfy his psychotic need of killing or hurting people. One cannot consider terrorism as a phenomenon without any cause. Terrorism can be regarded as a means to a desired political or a social goal. In Pakistan, the insurgent terrorists constantly bomb movies and music shops. They believe music and movies to be a societal evil and bombing these shops will discourage others to do this business. Similarly, a person is never born with an ideology in his mind. These are the environmental factors which influence people to leave the diplomatic way and start an armed revolution using terrorism as the only tool.
Some of the scholars have considered universities and religious educational institutes as breeding grounds for the initial mental development of a terrorist. In case of the religious schools known as "Madrassas," which were used in the Soviet Afghan war to recruit and train freedom fighters then known as "Mujahideen," pre-mature minds of the young children are brain washed and filled with religious violence. They are trained to become suicide bombers and revolutionists. Similarly, in the case of modern universities, students studying Marxist-Leninist ideologies are too much carried away and get involved in radical groups. For achieving a radical change in the political system, these people start an armed revolution against their own governments. (Hudson, 1999)
Media is also considered responsible for aiding the promotion of terrorism indirectly through their contradictory coverage. The violent images shown, and the theme used to highlight the news encourages many other potential terrorists to commit similar violence. Similarly, media promotes uncertainty and the young minds find an armed revolution the only way to bring a better change. In the domain of cyber terrorism, terrorist are still able to promote their message and legalize their struggle by launching websites and promoting their thoughts using websites, manipulating facts and reaching masses. As a result of which, not only the new minds are attracted towards this literature but also, it helps in raising the morale of different independent religious terrorist factions operating in several countries.
Shortly after 9/11 bombings of the World Trade Center, President Bush announced a global war against terrorism. In the wake of this war, U.S. led coalition forces attacked and occupied Afghanistan. Due to which, heavy collateral damages were faced by the Afghan people. Similarly, the drone strikes carried out in the Tribal Areas of Pakistan and Yemen are fuelling the anger and despair in the victim families. The tribal system works on some basic principles. One of which is "Badal" meaning Vendetta. This feeling of revenge for the loss of a family member drives one to join hands with the terrorist fighters, who call themselves to be the soldiers of God. In Pakistan, most of the terrorist attacks like Marriot Hotel attack in Islamabad, the Pearl Continental Hotel attacks in Peshawar and so forth are committed by the family members of the dead tribal people mistakenly killed in the drone…[continue]
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