Has the nature of war and/or terrorism changed into the 21st century?
Are there ethical/moral/legal differences in the use of force between state and non-state actors?
Arguably, the world we live is rapidly changing, globalization, cross-cultural business, technological invention, and innovation, security issues, but above all terrorism has become the prioritized global concern. In the 21st century, acts of violence carried out by terrorism has become complicated by their change in nature o predict, counter and track. The events in the past have totally proven the lethality of terrorism.
War and Terrorism, is not something new in the world, it has been there in the past century, and the only difference is that it has changed its nature, making it relatively difficult to define. Regardless of its complexity terrorism is described as a strategy and tactic, holy duty and crime, inexcusable abomination as well as a justified retaliation to oppression. Terrorism and war is currently a contest between states and nations, carried out by force for revenge, redressing wrong doing as well as defense (Neuman 2008).
Perhaps, the nature of secular and political terrorism can at least be foreseen by the global security service, but in the case of religious terrorism, it is hard to predict and prepare to counter. Since the attack, on World Trade Center on September 11, and the relentless attack on Iraq, the security, peace and development in the world has been threatened. The nature of war and terrorism has changed tremendously, since we entered the 21st century. Most of the countries go to war to fight a common enemy; most of the conflicts among different nations are solved by use of diplomacy (Lake 2002).
In the 21st century, terrorism has become something that is mobile. Terrorism executes their attacks anywhere at any time they want, regardless of economic class, race, or political affiliation. Anti-terrorism forces, determines different hiding places of terrorists, but in the real sense, they are everywhere.
In the world today, individuals, nations, and states, belief that peace is necessary and natural tool to prosperity. This belief has made war and terrorism attacks unnecessary. In the 21st century, enemies have established other ways of hiding making them less visible. International terrorism has become the focus of war, security and other defense policies.
The nature of war in the 21st century is mostly just. It is always waged to be the last resort in solving conflict. The ultimate goal of war is to re-establish peace, and redress a wrong doing. In fact, wars in the recent past are legitimately carried out. The unique war is terrorism; they target people who are innocent, additionally. Its proportionality of attack if not justified at all.
Terrorism and war has cost the world billions of money. Since the 9/11 attack leaders of the world have changed their language, they speak of terror instead of focusing on development and social progress. Arguably, the trend of war and terrorism is believed to affect many conflicts in the future, unless significant economic and geo-political changes are carried out internationally (Jenkins 2001).
Conceivably, the nature of war and terrorism has changed in numerous ways. It includes motivations, tactics, aims actors, as well as actions. Nevertheless, war and terrorism in this century, has led to modern counter-terrorism measures. Terrorism and war has been pointed to the prominence of religious groups, especially radical Islamic groups. In the last century, the nature of terrorism was attributed to secular inspiration and orientation, in the 21st century terrorism is linked to the religious Islamic fanatics (Roberts 2002).
Terrorism has increasingly used excessive force indiscriminately during its attacks. This implies that its main intention is to destruct society as well as eliminating a large number of innocent populations. According to Neuman (2008), the threat of mass destruction of property and people is a fundamental part of nature of current terrorism. War and terrorism is motivated by extreme violence to obtain chemical, biological, nuclear, and radiological weapons of destroying masses.
The change in nature of war and terrorism in 21st century is witnessed through lack of state backers. Due to its extreme violence and destruction, wars and terrorism do not have state sponsor or organizations to offer protection. Therefore, they destroy a wide range of area as they expect any backlash. Hence, the financing of illegal wars and terrorism, is based on resources and money received from drug trafficking, charities, donations from wealthy people, credit card fraud and video piracy (Byman 2008).
Terrorism in the 21st century, are predominantly armatures that work together, on a part time basis to carry out their action and separate. In fact, some of the terrorists do not receive logistical support or training; they rely on modern technologies such as internet to exchange information.
With improved technology, wars and terrorism has is carried out at the highest degree of technological knowhow and operational competence. Certainly, the nature of communication is so advanced; communication is carried out through satellite phones, emails, websites, as well as mobile to plan and execute attacks (Samuel 2003). In the 21st century, terrorists exploit the poor customs, insecure immigration controls, and intercontinental flights to go around the globe.
The fight against terrorism and other wars in the world have loosened hierarchical organizational structures and network. Most of the leaders have been killed since the beginning of this century. Despite all this efforts, it is difficult to penetrate and identify how their structures operate (Jenkins 2001). Terrorism and other wars in the world still operate in spite of lose of organization leadership. For example, terrorism still operates in the world even after the death of Osama bin Laden and Fazul Abdullah.
The wars and terrorism, have been demilitarized this implies that wars are fought partly by soldiers, and longer directed alongside military targets. The nature of war is accentuated by confusion over the applicability of humanitarian rules, which accompanies transitional conflicts. As a matter of fact, wars have been characterized by increased commercialization and privatization of conflicts (Byman 2008). The September 11 attack led to conflict privatization between international actors and the state.
Nature of war and terrorism is always dynamic. In the 21st century, the nature of objectives and goals of terrorism has profoundly changed. They are motivated by significant interests of a specific group. Additionally, their behaviors keep on changing depending on geographical setting, individual intelligence, organizational reach, as well as ideological commitment.
Arguably, typical nature of terrorists in 21st century, have changed and diversified their objectives. Their objectives include draw attention from the public to the grievances of the group, make obvious the weakness of the state to provide security, demonstrate illegitimacy of state departments, as well as encouraging empathy for their cause and unjust situation.
Furthermore, they terrorize innocent people so as to cause economic imbalance, attract global attention, and polarize the public and coercing the public into putting more pressure to the state into compromising outcomes. Scholars believe that terrorists and wars are meant to make people watch but not die. It is a dubious method of communicating grievances.
Until the year 2006, Abu al-Zwaqawi profoundly rejected traditional separation of government targets or military from civilians present during the attack. In order to instill fear and terror terrorists and other stakeholders of war employ brutal tactics such as beheading people in front of a video. Since the beginning of this century terrorism has looked appealing to many people (Lake 2002). Those who join the group look social, physical, and emotional rewards. Emotionally, it could be rewarding through power, sense of belonging and notoriety.
The effects of war and terrorism are in most cases not aimed at the victims. In this century, terrorism and other war intend to explore media, a way of gaining attention or passing information wars and attacks are carried out. Victims are always the objects used to pass information to the third party. The presence of media warfare has made the passage of information easy and transparent.
The tactics of war and terrorism has also changed in the 21st century. The changes are at all times taking place due to globalization. Some of the tactics include taking hostages, assassination of leaders, suicide bombing, bombing military and political targets, and increasingly targeting innocent civilians. As a matter of fact, terrorism and issues of war is more global currently than in the past. Their access to more sophisticated biological weapons promotes their intention of killing masses. Additionally, advancement in aviation technology has led to a new and complex form of terrorism (Lake 2002).
In the 21st century, no-state and state actors always seek to legitimize their use of force and violence. In fact, they translate this into justified and meaningful force, seeking support for their cause. They do so by demonstrating moral superiority over the state representatives, supplant state functions at confined level, as well as spreading persuasive messages.
There are moral, ethical, legal differences in the use of force between non-state and state actors. From terrorism to mercenaries, from volunteers to pirates, changing character programs traces the utilization of non-state actors and the use of force in the war. Perhaps, September 11 attack, signified immorality, unethical practice and illegal act by the terrorists. Today’s terrorists have clearly demonstrated inhuman behaviors, to destroy their own life and the life of innocent civilians (Jenkins 2001).
The difference in the use of force by state actors is nowadays viewed to be mortally worse than the way non-state actors execute their force. This is because modern state use of force claims a lot of life and resources than terrorism by non-state actors in the globe (Bellamy, 2002). Furthermore, state force is compounded by act of hypocrisy, deception, and secrecy; on the other hand, non-state actors publicly profess their brutality.
Morally, state actors justify their use of force through the sighing of conventions against terrorism and international laws. Therefore, when the state actors use a lot of force in committing terrorism actions, it is a breach of their own commitments to international law (Shelton 2001). In real sense, the modern state actors are less justified to committing acts of terrorism.
Powerful nations in the world have over utilized its legitimacy to war in the 21st century. For example, United States is believed to have over utilized its legitimate powers in Iraq. In fact, there are provisions that define war in the international arena, these provisions can be put into practice without resorting to use of inflammatory terms (Roberts 2002).
Ethical the use of terrorism in irresponsibly, but in this century states have resolved to using the term in case of an attack. State actors use a lot of force in war against terrorism, even if the suspected groups are not terrorists. In most cases, Muslims have suffered these attacks unfairly. In the 21st century, we should accept that state actors use their powers unlawfully, especially when eliminating non-state actors. The way in which state actors respond to attacks from non-state actors is questionable (Bellamy 2002).
In the perused of terrorists, state actors have neglected the sovereignty of other nations. For example, in the 21st century war has been declared on terrorist’s organization, without approval of state leaders in the foreign nation. In fact, invasion of state actors has led to spread of terrorism to other peaceful nations (Shelton 2001).
Despite the fact, which nature of war and terrorism has changed in the 21st century, it still poses a threat to social, political, and economic sectors in the globe. Some of the consequences include loss of life, weakens the economy, psychological effects on people, as well as influencing outcome of elections and leadership. In order to win the fight against terrorism and reduce war in the globe, security stakeholders should emphasize on the root cause of terror. These causes include nationalism, ethnicity, globalization, poverty, economic disadvantage, non-democracy, religion, and dehumanization.
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