- The international community altered its focussed viewpoints for good soon after the disaster struck when terrorist organization Al Qaeda brought down the iconic Twin Towers in the United States of America two decades back. A generational change has befallen since the daring terrorist strike on the supposedly invincible superpower of a nation known to lead the global community from the front. Befitting retaliatory move expected from the hurt pride of the superpower ensued as the United States started a global war on terrorism which led to the eventual hunting down of the Al Qaeda mastermind holed up in Pakistan.
- Of course, the war on the Taliban also paved way for the US-led military occupation in war-ravaged Afghanistan for nearly two decades before its recent hasty and chaotic exit. What followed soon after the US military departure is well documented as the fundamentalist and jihadist Taliban has completely taken the country under its control yet again. Now, the Taliban has announced an interim government to rule the landlocked country as well. Did the American clarion call to subdue terrorism footprint yield tangible and desirable results after all these years? Has there been considerable reigning in off terror groups from several pockets known to foster them like the middle east and African countries?
- Let us delve deep to understand how the gamut of global terrorism is playing out post-2001 in right earnest. Staying on the subject, the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies estimated in 2018 that the number of active terrorist groups was 67, the most since 1980. A new report emerging from the Costs of War project at Brown University mentioned that the US spent nearly $8 trillion during its two-decade-long war on terror since 2001 that also took mind-boggling 9 lakh lives. Does it mean terrorists have won hands down? Far from it as you would understand in the subsequent paras.
PC: Stephen Stirling
- Despite the Taliban’s return in Afghanistan, the multiple terror groups in Africa, and the persistence of the Islamic State outfit, democracies have not been thrown off track. Simply put, no terrorist movement nor any state that sponsors terrorism has been able to provide a better life for those they claim to represent. Though ISIS did briefly control few parts of Iraq and Syria trying to establish its so-called caliphate, it was not only short-lived failing to sustain for long obviously. Of course, terror groups can disturb democracies largely owing to measures such as increasing globalization and the advent of new technologies providing them nuisance value to perpetrate abhorrent acts. Some tweaking here and there ensued.
- Consequently, the once liberal democracies were forced to dilute some of their core principles by introducing privacy laws, draconian laws, boosting surveillance, and arming security agencies with powers overriding legal checks. India is no exception to this trend either. It is amply clear that mollycoddling terrorists as a state policy has disastrous consequences. One need not look far from our perennially troubled neighbour like Pakistan struggling to stay afloat courtesy ill-advised and counterproductive backing to terrorism. Thus, it can be safely construed that terrorist organizations did not and will not succeed in throwing democracy off track. Democracy will thrive and flourish as vibrantly as ever.