Terrorism for Policy Makers, Governments and the IGO’s in 21st Century
“The terrorists are masters of mind control. They kill very few people, but nevertheless manage to terrify billions and shake huge political structures such as the European Union or the United States”. With this panic, the state suffers economic instability due to panic among local businesses and international investors who are less likely to make transactions. And thus, the objective of spreading fear and panic becomes a top priority for these groups. It would be very unusual if you even imagine terrorists conducting secret operations or some other terrorist activity that doesn’t appear on mainstream media the very next hour. Their mission is to create drama and making the display of violence public. For instance, most of the public would still think about falling of twin towers by the crash of 2 planes on each, while remembering the 9/11 attacks, but very few would remember that pentagon was attacked at the same time with another plane crashing the pentagon. If not realizing that the pentagon attack was far greater deal than the destruction of twin towers because the terrorists were able to attack enemy headquarter, the public didn’t even remember this scenario in second place. It is since people tend to understand terrorism as an emotional threat or visual drama rather than material damage. The great responsibility lies on the shoulders of the state that how they deal with this drama. Usually, the states respond to a theater of terrorism with the theater of security, and combining both, we can see even more drama. A rational decision to respond to terrorism is that the state conducts secret operations without letting the terrorist attack news and the state retaliation news coming public. Media should be strictly constrained to publish such news. To spread fear and panic, the terrorist needs better media resources and unfortunately, the state media provides this facility for free.
For such decisions, we need people with strong emotions and better decision-making abilities to take over such offices. The nature of males is most of the time aggressive and there are greater chances of males to overreact with more aggressive force rather than handling such situations diplomatically. Looking at the nature of this issue, women should be given more chances to takeover such offices for their natural abilities to deal with such matters consciously. In a world where soft power is the top strategy of even superpowers, the offices should be filled with people with more concentration towards diplomacy
The fundamental objective of a country’s national security is to maintain peace and avoid any conflict through diplomacy in the first place so that any sort of armed conflict or violence could be avoided. The state is more likely to go to interstate war if they perceive that a terrorist organization is state-sponsored or being used as a proxy to achieve some objective. In this case, the state traces those terrorists, noticing that another state is not taking viable actions to eliminate those threats will automatically be considered as they are state-sponsored since their land has been used at first to conduct those activities which could turn counter-terrorism act to interstate war. Without making any ecological fallacy it’s rational to target the state population with economic severity rather than armed aggression, in such circumstances it also becomes the duty of citizens to rebel against the government for financing such organizations and the economic severity could motivate the rebellion as well. To deal with such threats in complex circumstances, policymakers try to avoid interstate conflict approaches such as conducting surgical strikes or doing a direct attack on such places which could be considered as an act of war. They usually act by imposing sanctions with a coalition of other states, on the state supporting terror groups whether they’ve got their moral or financial support. Same as we noticed in the case of Pakistan, the country faced sanctions including getting highlighted in the FATF grey list for massive terror financing. The US or some other country could’ve invaded Pakistan for this reason, but the consequences could have been much higher, not only for the US or Pakistan but for the global community. They decided to go to an economic war rather than armed conflict. Because in the 21st century, the advancement in military warfare would make the truce or armistice inevitable. Until the countries agree upon, there would be nothing left to save.
Dealing with local threat is easy for states, but for the groups based in some other state, dealing with them becomes a far sensitive deal. There are high chances of turning counter-terrorist act into interstate war. In such cases, it becomes very important for international organizations to play their role in arbitration as a matter of collective security. If the terror group is state-sponsored, these organizations should play their role in imposing economic sanctions. False information spreading against another state could also become a reason for turning a local group into volatile, the international organizations should play their role in regulating media with some international guidelines. Countries complying with these terms could be given the reward of economic benefits.
The United Nations has formed Sustainable development goals on which all UN member countries have agreed upon. The SDG goal no.10 “Reduced Inequalities” and goal no.16 “Peace, justice and strong institution” could play a major role in reducing the chance of such conflicts. Unless two countries are not engaged in conflict or unless they don't face terrorist extremism in the region, it doesn't represent that the conflict is inevitable for them. The UN should help terror victim countries through the developing countries that don’t face such situations and have large military expenditures, they should be treated with incentives to engage their militaries in UN peacekeeping missions to eliminate such threats around the globe. Keeping the powerful militaries busy in eliminating global terrorist threats would reduce the chances of getting those militaries engaged in interstate conflict.
“If war can be started by lies, they can be stopped by truth” — Julian Assange