Terrorism is ‘new world war’

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Terrorism, a growing issue worldwide, is reported to have been responsible for killing 130,000 innocent people from a total of 90,000 terrorist attacks between 2006 and 2013 alone. Everyday we read, hear and watch of terror attacks and killing of innocent people in corner of the world. No country or continent is immune to this new threat that has endangered the existence of the world as we have known it for centuries.

There are many who believe that the next round of third World War has already started. An analysis of the casualty statistics of global terrorism shows they follow the pattern previously observed for conventional conflicts ranging from small local skirmishes to the Second World War. Recent public attention to the concept of terrorism created a popular perception of heightened vulnerability of the State.

“We have entered the Fourth World War,” said Cardinal Renato Martino, who had served for many years as Pope John Paul’s ambassador to the United Nations.  “I believe that we are in the midst of another world war,” he said in comments published in Italian newspapers. “And it involves absolutely everyone because we don’t know what will happen when we leave a hotel, when we get on a bus, when we go into a coffee bar. War itself is sitting down right next to each and every one of us,” he said.

So-called “international terror” is arguably no more than a type of asymmetric warfare.  The aims of “terrorists” typically are not the physical destruction of a military installation or the reduction in the capabilities of the military force to wage a decisive battle, but rather the exertion of influence on the domestic population of the target country in order to alter the external behavior of the target country’s government.

There is no commonly accepted definition of “terrorism.” But it is often described as the wrongful use of violence in order to intimidate people for ideological, religious, or political reasons with no regard for public safety.  It is a multifaceted phenomenon arising from a myriad of social, economic, and political factors. Focusing for present purposes on terrorists of most contemporary international concern, what is clear above all here that we are dealing with a very complex phenomenon, with quite different levels of organization and group identity and objectives.

In recent years, the countries with maximum terrorist attacks were Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Libya, and Afghanistan. Altogether, the number of terrorist attacks in these countries amounted to around 7,400 attacks.  The acts of indiscriminate violence by a State that necessitate the use of the unconventional tactic of “terrorism” usually inspire a limited reaction. Compare the events of the “Arab Spring” to events in Libya and Syria.

Terrorism continues to inflict pain and suffering on people all over the world. There are acts of terrorism taking place somewhere in the world, indiscriminately affecting innocent people, who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Countering this scourge is in the interest of all nations and the issue has been on the agenda of every progressive nation. Education and training and the role of religious mentors are significant factors in waning these individuals and groups. Vigilance is the need of the hour. International cooperation among nations and organizations to fight terrorism need to be conducted in conformity with international law and safeguarding the lives of every human being who is a law abiding citizen. Concerted and coordinated efforts by all nations for the greater good of humanity is the only way to eliminate and win the war against terrorism.

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