Will Democracies Combat Terror? by Jagdish N. Singh

  • Many extremist Islamic groups are still shielded by states such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran. These countries have so far not severed their links, overt or covert, with these outfits.

  • The United States and other members of the free world need to take corrective measures not only against terrorist groups but also against the states that sponsor them.
  • Washington, in its relationship with Tehran and Islamabad, among others, is on the wrong track. Its approach towards a rogue Iran is not likely to “bring it in from the cold,” but to embolden it even further in its various terror activities the world over.

Sadly, major world powers, including the United Nations, have not appeared serious about fighting terrorism or the Islamic State (ISIS, IS) or similar terrorist groups.

UN Security Council Resolution 2170 (August 15, 2014) called on member-states to take “national measures to prevent fighters from traveling from their soil to join the IS and deny it any arms or financial support. The resolution also “expressed readiness to consider putting on the sanctions list those who facilitated the recruitment and travel of foreign fighters.”

The continued growth of the Islamic State, however, shows that the UN’s member states have done little to fight it. According to an intelligence estimate more than 20,000 fighters have arrived in Syria and Iraq to fight for the IS. Of these, about a quarter hail from North America, Australia and Europe. Clearly, such a movement of IS fighters would not have been possible if the member states had been conscientious about implementing the UN resolution.

Sadly, the conduct of the UN Security Council does not seem any different today. Of late, four of the five permanent members of the Security Council — the United States, France, Russia and Britain — have been bombing IS locations, but the major powers seem to have divergent objectives in their war on ISIS.

Washington’s policy in the Middle East has been among the major reasons for the rise of the Islamic State. But today it is not clear what the United States wants, except for the next president to clean up the mess being made by this one.

Beijing, for its part, continues to back Syrian President Bashar As

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