Terror, geopolitics and new world order

The IS now controls territories as large as the Great Britain and comprising some 10 million people.

Long course of terror perpetrated upon innocents has always resulted into large-scale migrations of native population thereby raising refugees’ problem and also affe-cting geopolitics. And that may pave way for a new world order substituting the existing one.

Though the entire West Asia has been burning as terror-cauldron for the long past, thereby turning the region into a virtual war zone, almost a sudden spurt of Islamic State (IS) terror activities in Iraq and Syria has created a macabre dimension in the terror phenomenon heretofore unknown to the world.

Unfortunate innocents are being butchered or shot dead, burnt alive, hanged upside down for killing and many other unknown inhuman ways and these cruelties are posted on internet so that the entire world may watch to their utter dismay and horror. The continuing IS massacre in the region has resulted into mammoth flow of migrants from West Asia to Europe thereby raising the issue of geopolitics – a study which deals with relations between geographical factors and politics.

In fact, the IS, unlike Al-Qaida, has never been a jihadist group, as its leader Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi has had his political ambitions very clear since 2013, when he fought for territories in Syria and Iraq and steadily expanded its reach, capitalising on the power vacuum created in these two countries by the West and their regional allies’ sponsored wars.

The IS now controls territories as large as Great Britain and comprising some 10 million people. But under the counter-attack from different militia groups such the Peshmerga, Hezbollah and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the IS’ expansionary project has fallen under enormous pressure.

In fact, terrorism perpetrated upon innocents for long in the past had resulted into large scale displacement of communities all over the world as everybody wants safety and protection of one’s life and person.

But that raises many demographic as well as economic and political issues. Huge influx of refugees tends to change the composition of the existing native population as it happened in India’s Pak-occupied Kashmir (PoK) in Jammu and Kashmir immediately after independence. Thousands of Pakistani tribes, under instigation of Pakistan’s government, intruded into the valley and settled down there and that has fundamentally changed the demographic character of the valley today.

Earlier, the long course of World War II saw the division of Germany into East and West thereby weakening its position as a powerful nation. Even much earlier, the painful 30 years’ war causing ‘Balkanisation of Europe’ during 17th century, brought to close by the famous Peace Treaty of Westphalia of 1648, had traumatised the consolidated power of Europe.

That fear again looms large due to the continuing civil wars in Syria and Iraq which has now metastasised into Lebanon, Jordon, Turkey and now into Euro-pe. Thus, terrorism has its mark-ed impact upon geo-politics of a country or even a continent, destroying peace, order and security in the normal course of life.

A global Caliphate
Indeed, the IS has its hidden agenda of forming a global caliphate with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as supreme Caliph which shall reshape the political geography of the region and also impact the nature of politics therein. That will propel a fresh wave of terror in the name of Islam in the region as well as in the world which will adversely impact the ongoing course of democratisation of international politics in the present era of globalisation. It may also lead to creation of a new world order characterised by the predominance of non-state actors- terrorists and religious fundamentalists of all sorts.

In fact, mounting terrorism and counter-terror operations will result into excessive use of fire weapons, polluting the environment and endangering the human health and settlements which is exactly going on there. As the entire region is oil and gas-rich and dependence of the whole world upon these precious natural resources is not going to lessen in near future, the pre-eminence of the region will not decrease and it will remain a fierce battle-field, as had been in the past.

Obviously, the ongoing wave of terrorism and religious fundamentalism presents many unique challenges before huma-nity not only in the region but all over the world. The absence of a bi-polar world combined with increasing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction has given individual terrorists enormous ability to wreak havoc on an unprecedented scale. That will, obviously, destroy the prevailing liberal, progressive and democratic world order established since WW II.

The phenomenon of globalisation has increasingly tightened the connectivity of nations in the developed regions while at the same time widening the gulf between the developed and the developing nations. This division between them must be narrowed if the war on terror is to be won and the geopolitics is to be maintained for ensuring permanent peace and security in West Asia and the world. This is possible as nothing is beyond human endeavour.

(The writer is Associate Professor of Political Science, MDPG College, Pratapgarh, UP)

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