The War on Terror and Military Strategies of States
Training Workshop on Strategic Studies, Department of International Relations, University of Karachi and Hanns Seidel Foundation, Karachi
May 6-8, 2009
The War on Terror, as it has been waged since the terrorist events of September 11, 2001 in the United States, has had serious impact on military strategies of states. Given the distinctive nature of terrorism as a politically-motivated violence, especially its international character, traditional military strategies to wage inter-state warfare or fight intra-state conflict have lost much of their relevance. Yet counter-terrorism strategies employed by the United States and its allies to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have until recently been largely grounded in the traditional modes of war based on a reckless use of ground and air force, which is why the War on Terror has proved counter-productive: Instead of diminishing terrorism, it has fuelled terrorism. Pakistan Army faces a similar dilemma in combating Taliban-led terrorism in tribal areas. Given that, the military strategies employed by states to combat terrorism and accompanying wave of urban guerrilla warfare need to be readjusted in accordance with the changed nature of warfare resulting from the emergence of international terrorism. From prevention to pre-emption to counter-insurgency, and the adoption of a host of other counter-terrorism specific measures, military strategies of states must adapt to the radically transformed international security climate in the age of terror. Full Text