International Terrorism Essay
During the last decades, the entire world has experienced effects of globalization. In addition to the undeniable benefits, this process generates many social and political crises, contradictions, and conflicts, with one of the ways to solve them becoming terrorism. The modern study of terrorism and its causes is in close contact with the study of the process of globalization. Indeed, globalization has spread to all spheres of public life, from economics and philosophy to culture and sports, and there is no area of life that would not have felt its impact. Moreover, both positive and negative phenomena have also become of a global nature, including terrorism. In particular, terrorism has evolved into a global problem in the late XIX – early XX centuries (Coolsaet 24). It has become a weapon and a force of destruction and intimidation in the eternal and irreconcilable antagonism between different worlds, cultures, ideologies, religions, and philosophies. Terrorism has become number one problem of the modernity by being a dangerous, complex, and unpredictable threat to the humanity, which contributes to the relevance of the topic of the essay. Therefore, the following work is dedicated to the study of the phenomenon of terrorism on a global scale and discussion of ways to combat it.
In the era of globalization, fears of many countries, as well as religious and social groups are caused by the erasure of mental, social, religious, economic, and political boundaries between nations. People may organize extremist groups of a terrorist nature with anti-globalization and anti-Western orientation. The same effect can be achieved by the sense of danger of the destruction of religion, culture, language, and development of the axes of confrontation between developed countries of the West, such as America, and the Third World. Therefore, the international terrorist activity has several trends.
First of all, terrorism becomes a dangerous obstacle to the solution of social, ethnic, religious, and international conflicts. It negates all political and legal guarantees and paralyzes relations between states, nations, religions, social groups, political parties, and non-governmental organizations. By being combined with the organized crime and with such kinds of illegal and immoral acts like drug trafficking, prostitution, slavery, and organization of extremist armed groups, terrorist crimes are becoming more sophisticated and brutal (Coolsaet 36). In turn, the humanity becomes more vulnerable. For example, terrorist organizations that are related to the drug trade are “The Shining Path” in Peru (Lutz and Lutz 321) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party in Turkey (Shanty 106).
A distinctive feature of modern terrorism as a global issue is blurring of boundaries between domestic and international terrorism. In particular, terrorists are increasingly penetrating into regions of other countries. For example, in Chechnya there was observed presence of citizens from other countries who were providing assistance to rebels (Medina and Hepner 132). Many militants involved in terrorist activities in any state are trained in their criminal activities in camps and bases of a foreign state or group of states. They also get necessary material and technical assistance and policy direction from there, as well as spiritual support of extremist religious educational institutions. Often, they are supported by government structures of such unfriendly countries, which have a desire to implement their geopolitical interests (for example, to create a pan-Islamic state) (Medina and Hepner 210). They use tactics of provocation of interethnic and interreligious conflict, a revolutionary sentiment to overthrow unwanted authorities primarily by ideological and information processing, which sometimes develops into an information war. Ideological and information processing is based on the principles of the “restoration of historical justice.” It sensitizes people on the immoral behavior of representatives of other nations and gives domestic conflicts and disasters that occur due to violation of safety rules the motif of ethnic struggle, hatred, or enmity.
Besides, terrorists cooperate with international extremist sectarian groups and associations. They conduct extensive propaganda and deploy an information war with the use of various media against representatives of traditional faiths, undermining people’s trust in them (Medina and Hepner 102). Therefore, a man who has lost confidence in his traditional religion, but without losing faith in God begins to seek intercession and spiritual support from sectarians. However, he may simply support them without becoming a member of the sect. Such people become “blind instruments” in the hands of extremists. By rejecting everything that is associated with their previous outlook and actively absorbing a new, in their opinion, faith and views, people do not notice that they become puppets in the hands of terrorists and extremists (Lutz and Lutz269).
In order to commit their criminal acts on both international and regional levels, terrorists are becoming better equipped in terms of resources, as well as tactical, organizational, technical, and informational aspects. Nowadays, terrorist groups rarely take responsibility for attacks, which are becoming more widespread, cruel, inhuman, and bloody (Medina and Hepner 32). As a result, both persons and society as a whole feel being increasingly exposed to the danger as there is a feeling of fear and anxiety even in situations when nothing portends tragedy. However, terrorists are becoming increasingly unscrupulous, choosing for their crimes places that many consider sacred: in different parts of the world explosions occur in churches of various denominations, burial sites, and memorials. Despising life of the people of a certain nation, denomination, and social group, terrorists seek to show their hatred of religion, culture, history, and everything that is treated with reverence and respect. The cult of violence develops, resulting in devaluing of human life and growth of cruelty, cynicism, and mutual hatred (Coolsaet 35). Victims of violence often want revenge and retaliation, which are sometimes no less inhuman, thus endangering innocent people. In this case, political, legal, and social guarantees are often sidelined and conflicts are resolved by violent means. Moreover, response of the state is not always appropriate in terms of the world standards of humanism and democracy.
Judging by the provided facts, it is possible to say that the problem of combating international terrorism is multifaceted and has no simple solutions. First of all, it is clear that terrorists have created a powerful and extensive network of criminal organizations around the world. In this regard, the fight against terrorism requires organized and coordinated efforts of all members of the international community. Second, terrorist networks and organizations do not arise without a reason. Communication channels to smuggle people and weapons across borders that are at the disposal of organized criminal groups who are not engaged in extremist activities are often used by terrorists (Nesi 203). Moreover, such groups often use techniques of organizations involved in drug trafficking in their work. This fact indicates that the problem of international terrorism cannot be solved in isolation from addressing issues of drug and human trafficking as well as of the organized crime in general (Nesi 209). Therefore, a single country cannot fully address these problems. As noted above, it is necessary to combine efforts of members of the global society to identify causes of terrorism and minimize their effect. Elimination of reasons that push people to aid terrorist organizations is a complex task that will require joint efforts of all members of the international community. In particular, it is required to narrow the social soil of terrorism: unemployment, poverty, illiteracy, and various forms of discrimination (Nesi 175). Moreover, development of international programs aimed at changing people’s perceptions of violence as a means to solve problems and change the unfair, in their opinion, world order is important.
In conclusion, it is possible to say that the international terrorism has become one of the most dangerous threats to modern civilization. It has its own specificity, which distinguishes it from other issues. However, the problem of terrorism is closely linked to the majority of global problems of modern international relations. Recent terrorist acts, especially the tragic events of September 11, 2001 in New York, have become unprecedented in their scope and impact on the future course of the world politics. By the beginning of the XXI century, the number of victims, as well as size and nature of destruction caused by attacks have become comparable to the effects of armed conflicts and local wars. Responses caused by these attacks have led to the creation of an international coalition against terrorism with dozens of states as its members (Nesi 248). Such events have previously occurred only in case of major armed conflicts and wars. Responsive antiterrorist military operations have also acquired a global scale, but the most efficient ways of eradication of this phenomenon are still being determined by the international community although a significant amount of work on resolving this problem has been done. However, it should be noted that the extent of the spread of terrorism has taken such a nature that no country in the world has full protection from the commission of terrorist acts on its territory. In this regard, along with the most efficient domestic measures aimed at preventing terrorist activities, it is necessary to consider the problem on a global scale and thus develop a strategy to combat it. Without close international cooperation between all subjects of international life, the future of the humanity is unlikely to be safe and peaceful.