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The Pragmatic Approach to Counter International Terrorism

Context:

Recent incidents in the Red Sea, including the targeting of an Israeli ship by Iran-backed Houthi groups, followed by retaliatory actions from Israel and airstrikes by the UK and US on Houthi locations in Yemen, have escalated tensions in the region. The support extended by Hamas and Hezbollah to the Houthi group raises concerns about a potential significant terrorist threat.

Relevance:

GS- 2

  • India and its Neighbourhood
  • Effect of Policies and Politics of Countries on India’s Interests

GS- 3

Challenges to Internal Security Through Communication Networks

Mains Question:

In the context of recent incidents in the Red Sea, discuss the expansion of international terrorism into sea routes, waterways, international trade, logistics, and economies of targeted nations and suggest a way forward strategy to effectively deal with it. (15 Marks, 250 Words).

Recent Incidents:

  • Abdul-Malik al-Houthi’s endeavors to secure support have resulted in a notable rise in the frequency of attacks.
  • The twin explosions in Karman, Southern Iran, on January 3, 2024, causing over 85 casualties and 290 injuries, have further intensified the precarious situation.
  • Violence is spreading to Lebanon and Syria, exemplified by incidents such as the use of Sana, the capital of Yemen, for planting explosive devices at airports in Dubai and Midlands a few years ago.

Analysis of the Events:

  • These recent occurrences yield two crucial insights. Firstly, there is a potential surge in transnational terrorist incidents with extensive repercussions. Secondly, international terrorism is extending its influence into sea routes, waterways, international trade, logistics, and the economies of targeted nations.
  • The global landscape underscores the capacity of modern terrorists to strike precisely at chosen times and locations, indicating the growing impact of terrorism on the global political scenario.
  • Despite heightened government efforts, terrorism, both domestically and internationally, persists.

Dealing with Transnational Terrorism:

  • Addressing the West Asia issue necessitates collaborative efforts among nations, with the establishment of a robust international mechanism for handling transnational terrorism.
  • Media plays a pivotal role, as irresponsible and exaggerated coverage can fuel terrorism and diminish moral opposition to counter-terrorism measures.
  • Effective preparedness programs at the governmental level are imperative. Understanding the motivations of individuals involved in terrorism, coupled with a thoughtful approach to managing incidents and their consequences, is crucial.
  • Strong intelligence, police work, and cooperation with individuals and groups can significantly enhance security.
  • A high-level intelligence network is essential to anticipate and counter threats, particularly given the growing connection between drug smugglers and terrorists.
  • The notion of one man’s terrorist being another man’s freedom fighter should be discarded. Local cooperation with law enforcement, even at personal costs, is indispensable.
  • Swift and decisive actions by nations are necessary for psychological control over terrorists.

Conclusion:

In an evolving environment, security apparatuses and police must diversify activities, integrating technical and professional expertise. The focus should be on anticipating security needs through specialized courses. Addressing the roots of terrorism and fostering general awareness, along with garnering public support against terrorist acts, are crucial steps. However, the government’s endeavor to delegate judgment to the police and armed forces must strike a balance to avoid diluting benefits and impeding peace and negotiation.


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