World Anti-terrorism Situation & Strategy in 2015

Source: China Military OnlineEditor: Yao Jianing
2015-12-25 14:24

BEIJING, December 25 (ChinaMil) -- Terrorist attacks targeting civilians have taken place one after another in 2015. Selfish motives and limited capacity are weakening the global united front against terrorism, and terrorist organizations have launched attacks in weak links and expanded whenever there is an opportunity.

The global war against terrorism requires courage, resolution, and more importantly, a responsible strategy that consolidates solidarity.

Situation: organized "loners"

There is no bastion of iron in front of terrorist attack in 2015.

"Terrorist organizations have displayed new changes in their thinking and strategic considerations and tend to be more opportunist," said a Swiss expert on anti-terrorism.

Opportunism means that when the original capability and scope of activity is limited, terrorist organizations tend to carry out more surprise attacks to disseminate terrorism.

In January this year, the office of Paris-based Charlie Hebdo magazine was attacked by terrorists, and ten months later, another group of extremists attacked Paris again by surprise and killed civilians randomly.

The attackers were organized "loners" who had been brainwashed with extremist ideas and had "cram courses" online on how to launch terrorist attacks.

They used articles of everyday use to create bombs, used social media to pass information and plan terrorist attacks, and lurked in target countries, so it's extremely difficult to guard against them.

Europe is on high alert under the shadow of terrorist attack.

In West Asia and North Africa, terrorist and extremist forces have "combined", and extremist organizations represented by IS have played havoc and killed innocent people in Iraq and Syria this year, while Al Qaeda has organized extremist organizations in West Asia, North Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia into a terrorist network.

At the east end of the African continent, Al-Shabbaab targeted premium hotels where a lot of diplomats stay, and in Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon, Boko Haram, which has pronounced loyalty to IS, has launched several suicidal bombings in downtown areas.

"In 2015, Al Qaeda and IS are competing more violently for the command of international terrorist activities. Whoever can create more influential and destructive events can attract more terrorist organizations and forces to join them and therefore obtain more capital," the comment by Li Wei, director of the Anti-terrorist Center of China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, is to the point.

Terrorist organizations around the world don't necessarily have any substantial connection in terms of structure, capital, training and conspiracy, but on the spiritual level, they all pose a challenge to the existing international system and laws, and their collusive-competitive relation is even more threatening and damaging to the world.

Terrorist attacks have left not only deaths, tears and ruined buildings, but also panic and hatred.

After the attacks, the ultra-right forces in the western world have risen with power, the fear of immigrants has spread and foreign immigrants and their beliefs have been attacked, which may aggravate the social conflicts in the western world.

Frontline: some harbor selfish motives while others unable to do much

The international community has formed the consensus that terrorism is the common enemy of humankind, all countries are faced with this threat and none of them can stay aloof.

However, a solid and consistent global frontline against terrorism hasn't been established yet because some countries harbor selfish motives while others are unable to do much.

According to a professor of politics from Iraq's University of Baghdad, the U.S. invaded Iraq and tried to impose its own values upon the Iraqis. "This unbalanced relation between the Islamic world and western world has resulted in the expansion of terrorist organizations".

America's extreme egoism in attacking "IS" is as clear as daylight.

The U.S. has armed itself to the teeth, so it has had no scruple in meddling in the Middle East because it believes "IS" is unable to attack its homeland, but despite its resounding statements, the U.S. has actually done very little.

Moreover, the U.S. is unsatisfied with the fact that Russia has made major headway in its combat against "IS", and has refused to change its initial plan of overthrowing the Bashar Assad administration even if it knows only too well the important role played by the Syrian government in fighting "IS". The result isn't hard to imagine. The U.S. has achieved little in fighting against "IS" in 2015, the alliance against "IS" comprised of over 50 countries has serious internal conflicts and divergences, and many of its members have taken this opportunity to eliminate their enemies.

Meanwhile, some developing countries have fallen prey to terrorism and become a weak link in the global anti-terrorist frontline because they are incapable of self-protection.

According to a political analyst from Cameroon, "the combat against terrorism requires tremendous financial input that the poor African countries are unable to bear. Because of short funding, the African united force against 'Boko Haram' hasn't been established yet; because of the loose border control between African countries, weapon trafficking is rampant and it is easy for terrorists to launch cross-border attacks; and because of the general backward economy and high unemployment rate in Africa, the people there, who have difficulty surviving, are extremely vulnerable to the delusion of terrorist organizations."

This means that the global war against terrorism will be a long journey.

Strategy: prevention and fight through joint efforts

The day after the 9•11 terrorist attack, Kofi Annan, then secretary-general of the United Nations, said "terrorist attack on one country is an attack against all humanity."

Chen Weixiong, deputy executive director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) under the United Nations Security Council, held that global anti-terrorist cooperation under the UN framework requires the UN, governments of different countries and private groups to learn from each other's good practices and coordinate and integrate their resources to form synergy, so as to tackle both the root cause and symptoms at the same time.

There are ways to cope with the ghost of terrorism. For instance, Britain attaches great importance to the legislation on preventing and fighting terrorism, regularly releases national anti-terrorist strategy, and specifies the anti-terrorist goals, principles and actions, so as to "justify its actions".

Germany, which has an anti-terrorism intelligence database, has established a joint defense center comprised of information analysis experts from different departments to integrate fragmented intelligence and optimize intelligence analysis in a bid to "be one step ahead".

The global war against terrorism is a "war of the people", so countries shall mobilize and rely on their people and work closely with communities and non-governmental groups to weave a social network that combines all against terrorism.

By participating in building the "line of defense" for their homeland, people will recover their confidence in and courage for fighting against terrorism.

On the internet, all countries shall monitor the movement of terrorist organizations and encourage the public to report information about cyber terrorism. Main social networks and technology providers shall also take their due responsibilities and develop more advanced ways to expose terrorists and apply more technologies to prevent them from drumming about their assertions.

To declare a war against terrorism, the international community shall make united efforts, shelf disputes and arguments, show their sincerity for cooperation, share anti-terrorism intelligence and abandon the zero-sum thinking and selfish motives.

They shall push to realize peace and stability in such countries as Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan at an early date, so as to unite with more forces to fight against terrorist organizations.

It must be pointed out that the anti-terrorist campaign should not be used as a political tool or an excuse to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries.

Fighting against terrorism with double standards is morally wrong, detrimental to forming a global synergy, and will leave a way out for the viper of terrorism and therefore give it the opportunity to make a comeback later.

In 2015, China, also facing terrorist threat, has actively carried out practical anti-terrorist cooperation with foreign countries to fight against the "three forces" of terrorism, extremism, separatism, and has done its best to help African countries that are weak in this endeavor.

Two weeks ago, the Chinese government announced that China supports African countries and regional organizations in enhancing their anti-terrorist capability, and will help them develop economy, eliminate the conditions for the growth of terrorism and safeguard regional security and stability.

70 years ago, people around the world who loved freedom and justice worked together and defeated the Fascist forces. In the global anti-terrorist campaign today, we shall carry on the wisdom of our ancestors, which is responsibility and solidarity.

Only by working side by side, fulfilling our own responsibilities and abandoning all selfish pursuits can we jointly defeat terrorism.

The author is Wang Zhao, a reporter from the Xinhuanet.com. The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and don't represent views of China Military Online website.

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