Terrorism is a spectacle which is part of the quintessential Political Contest which rages on between the State and the non-state actors globally. ‘The tragedy of the circumstance’ is such that the localized notion of the spawning of terror modules and terror profligacies is still a notion which is bandied about both surreptitiously and in broad public glare. It is still considered intellectually satisfying and stiff upper lip naiveté to damn and indict the propounders of the theorization that the menace of terrorism is a global phenomenon which does not augur well for the nom de plume of intellectual global relations study. The idea of GWOT and the nomenclature of “Enemy combatants” and “Long War” is derided about as being American in origins expansiveness and rationale.  The recent report in guardian informed the audiences that the US establishment is going to reveal the actual Drone attack counts for the first instance since 2009. The report further contends that the US release will assiduously report on the casualty toll in undeclared battle stations such as Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, Somalia rather than the active battle stations and attrition quagmires in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. The Council on Foreign Relations has been presented with the “legitimacy rationale” of the US executive which posits and aims to win back the “correctness” and the transparency rights of the Counter Terrorism (CT) stance of Washington.

Still, the International Law nay sayers and the critical media lament the utility and the usage of the Drone strikes in the American interventions in West Asia and North Africa in particular. It is part of the RMA (Revolutions in Military Affairs) and the notion of “SMART warfare” as it was ditheringly extended by the likes of Donald Rumsfield during the “challenged” phases of the American war machinery in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. The issue of “collateral damage” has been the bone of contention and global opprobrium but the pledge to report the Drone induced damage comes in the light of the maiming of the 150 odd Al Shabab militants in the “ Black hawk Down” referenced Somalia where-in, both manned aircraft and unmanned MQ-9 Reaper Drones” wreaked havoc and ravaged a Al Shabab training camp 120 miles off Mogadishu in Somalia.

The Time magazine declared one year back in January, 2015 that the American Counter Terrorism Policy is failing in the context of the rise of ISIS/ Daesh and the running sore of Syria with even the likes of Steffan Misruta, the United Nations interlocutor and Peace Pontiff unable to give a finishing touch to the Syrian quagmire then. Still, the negotiation of a Peace solution has led the likes of US Secretary of state such as John Kerry to highlight the chances of a solution between the myriad West Asian nations along with the volatile and vituperative equations involving Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iran. David Sedney wrote in the Time that, “The current Light Footprint CT approach poses that combination of precise Drone strikes, US special forces raids, and training and strengthening small, smart and elite forces in the local scenario can maim the ‘core’ of the terror leadership to render these groups incapable and impotent in the longer run.” It can be argued that limited success can be attained through these CT instrumentalities but a longer run degradation of the terror scare cannot materialize. The danger lies in the dreaded rise in the numbers and the ideological quality of the terror mongers who belong to a novae dedicated ilk as the randomized and knee jerk larger CT stratagem does not lead to a mass based annihilation scenario of terrorists and their superstructure. This the one skeptic’s perceptions of the entire take on CT management as it exists in the American establishment. It harks us back to the quintessential American idea of the Bush Doctrine which is also amply reflected in the Memoirs written by President George Bush, where-in, he contends that, “ Both the terrorists, their groups and the nations which harbor the terror modules have to be held accountable for the catastrophe of terrorism. The ideals of Liberty hope which are the hallmarks of the populations fighting the menace have to be re-invented and revisited as against the depraved notions of fear and repression.” Though the Bush Doctrine, initialized by the likes of Charles Krauthammer, remains embedded as another extension of the much tom tommed, Project on New American Century (PNAC), still, the terror threat cannot perceived as a straitjacketed back and white apparition but as a perennial bugbear emboldened by the ides of a twilight zone and an unmarked ambiguity of the grey.

The current American threat in 2016 is to curb violent extremism and radicalization at home and abroad. The US CT policy in 2016 earmarks the a new tilt where-in the American establishment has vouched for the core refrain for a battle of ideas and ideology as a mere gun battle and firefighting approaching in the battlefield cannot emasculate the terror organizations such as ISIS. This is nothing g but a harking back to the Bush Doctrine.


Author: Dr. Manan Dwiedi

About the Author: Dr. Manan Dwivedi, Faculty, International Relations and International organizations, IIPA (Indian Institute of Public Administration)