Terrorism- A 4th Generation Warfare

A series of eight devastating bomb blasts ripped through high-end hotels and churches holding Easter services in Sri Lanka on Sunday, killing at least 207 people. These were the first major attacks since the end of the civil war 10 years ago. According to local reports, the blasts in hotels and churches in different parts of the country occurred at around 8.45 am (local time) as the Easter Sunday masses were in progress in churches.

Sri Lanka declared curfew after an eighth blast was reported by police in Colombo today.

This attack brings up the question, “Why has terrorist activities significantly increased in the last decade?”

Terrorism is one of the biggest stains on humanity. It remains our number one global enemy.

From 2002 through 2014, worldwide terrorist attacks increased by 12 times and terrorist fatalities increased by more than eight times. Especially hard hit were Iraq and Afghanistan in the Middle East, India and Pakistan in South Asia, and Nigeria in sub-Saharan Africa. In the peak year of 2014, five countries – Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Ukraine and Somalia – accounted for 57.2 percent of the world’s total terrorist attacks and more than half of the worldwide terrorism-related fatalities.

The number of attacks in 2017 is 27.9 percent higher than in 2012, and deaths 70.6 percent higher.

I believe terrorism has now become a 4th generation warfare.

Let’s go back little in history to understand it:

What America did to counter the USSR in Afghanistan?

US created rebels in Afghanistan, which later took the form of Al-Qaeda and it kept on growing and ultimately lead to a major terrorist group.

What Pakistan is doing to counter India?

Pakistan is funding and training terrorists in PoK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) to carry out bomb blasts, unrest in India. Terrorism has now become an alternative for front-to-front war. Best thing is a terrorism supporter can keep up a very high level of deniability.

Why is terrorism growing?

You can never end terrorism by weapons. See what happened in Afghanistan, NATO forces are moving out of there without achieving their declared aim of wiping out the Taliban. But the Taliban is still there. NATO is moving out. When the forces like NATO failed, it is quite clear something is very wrong with the counter-terrorism strategy. Terrorism has a record of non-ending war even when most powerful forces are trying to destroy it. Governments across the world understood this never-ending war. Now the governments themselves are using terrorism against their rivals as a tool to achieve geopolitical objective. China is funding left-wing extremism in India. Pakistan is sponsoring LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiyba), TeT (Tehreek-e-Taliban), IM (Indian Mujaheedin). Bangladesh is supporting insurgencies in India. The oil lobby is funding ISIS.

So, if I have to put it in this way, almost every country has created an idea of good-terror and bad-terror. When Taliban was creating unrest in Afghanistan, it was good for America. When it did 9/11, it became bad.

When terrorists were killing people in India, it was good for Pakistan. When they start hitting Pakistani schools, they become bad.

When terrorism is secretly supported by almost every major power in the world.

How can you expect it to decline?

P.S. One thing is certain, the number of terrorist attacks in a particular region of the world will eventually peak and then decline. Few people prefer living endlessly in chaos and violence. I hope that we have reached the tipping point in terrorism and the chaos and disorder that follow in the wake of terrorist attacks, will now give strong incentives to government and societies to adopt effective strategies for countering them.

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