Joint Efforts Needed to Counter Terrorism Globally
The successive terrorist attacks in Turkey and Germany on Monday have spurred worldwide condemnation of the violent acts of terrorism. Once again, people have realized the necessity to join hands to fight terrorism.
So far, the motivations behind the incidents are not quite clear, but the occurrence of such cases does reflect the changed situation in international anti-terrorism work.
With 2016 coming to an end, terrorism has shown signs of globalization, localization, fragmentation and online operation. The two major terrorist groups, ISIS and Al Quaeda, compete with each other in terrorist attacks, resulting in an increase in worldwide terrorist attacks.
Meanwhile, the international anti-terrorism work is held back by power politics by major countries, especially the disagreement between the US and Russia, thus preventing the formation of a joint force to crack down on terrorism.
The assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey reminded people of the terrorist attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, which caused the death of the US ambassador.
The US and Russia have huge differences on several regional agendas since the turmoil broke out in West Asia and North Africa, but both of them have had to deal with this common challenge. It was regrettable that over the past years, the common challenge didn’t encourage their anti-terrorism cooperation.
Not long ago, the Middle East witnessed two major battles: One was the Mosul attack started by Iraqi government, and the other was the Aleppo battle participated by Syrian government forces with the support of Russia. Both of them have something to do with counter-terrorism.
Both ISIS in Mosul and al-Nusra Front occupying Aleppo are terrorist groups listed by the UN, but the Western countries have adopted different attitudes toward the two wars. On the one hand, they supported the Mosul battle and sent reinforcements to crack down on terrorism in a hope to make up for their “reputation damage” caused by the Iraq war; on the other hand, they tried to stop Aleppo battle by defending the al-Nusra Front. They even accused Russia and Syria of undermining humanitarianism.
Though many Western governments condemned the attack soon after the assassination of the Russian Ambassador, some media still showed their bias against Russia by emphasizing in their reports that “the incident was related to Russia’s support for Assad government and bombing of Syrian civilians.”
Terrorism is a common threat to all human beings, which means it is the common task for each country to fight against terrorism. But in fact, some countries have adopted double-standards toward anti-terrorism, or even mixed their hidden agendas in the process. They sometimes even pocketed “extra benefits” by using “counter-terrorism” as a tool.
It will lead to catastrophic consequences if each country only focuses on their petty schemes in facing this global threat. Both Russia and Western countries are victims of the two attacks.
The Western countries and Russia have divergences on a series of issues in Syria and Middle East, but the terrorists have launched “indiscriminate attacks” on them. It proves that no one alone can win against extremism and terrorism. It is imperative and necessary for all the stakeholders to put aside their differences and join hands to maintain world stability.
Historian Niall Ferguson, when talking about the fear of terrorism, wrote that the “demons” described by Dostoevsky would return to the world after the short peace. Looking into the future, the key to global counter-terrorism cooperation lies in the Syrian and Iraqi crisis since one priority is to stop the terrorists from rebuilding bases in the two states.
At the same time, the world has to curb the spread of terrorism mindset, stay alert against the “lonely wolf” attacks, and increase efforts to solve religious confrontations and geopolitical competition that tend to be manipulated by terrorist groups. In order to prevent “demons”, all of the nations should come together to fight against terrorism.