The deliberate use of violence for political advantage is characterized as terrorism. Terrorism has been around for a long time, yet the term “terrorism” is relatively new. The term was coined in the 1970s and 1980s, and it rose to prominence following the 9/11 attacks in 2001. Terrorist acts have been more common in recent years, and many countries have made preventing terrorism and extremist ideology a top priority. Whether directly or indirectly, terrorism affects the entire globe. Millions have been spent on counter-terrorism policies and activities since 2001, but the world continues to be affected.
Direct military use was one of the most common counter-terrorism methods. This method was effective in some circumstances but fell short of its full potential. Military action against terrorists has been effective in some regions, such as Syria and Iraq, where ISIS was defeated by an international coalition led by the United States.
On the other side, there are times when a military approach is ineffective, such as in Afghanistan, where the US has been at war with the Taliban for 20 years! As a result, the US withdrew from Afghanistan. The difference in the nature of terrorism in these two places explained why the military strategy worked for the former but not for the latter.
ISIS’ philosophy was not one that was shared by the people of Syria and Iraq; rather, it was one that was exclusive to them. Syrians believed ISIS was an extremist organisation that had nothing to do with Islam and was just attempting to acquire power by using Islam as a cover, whereas the Taliban’s ideology was accepted by the majority of Afghanistan’s population. In short, the Taliban had the backing of the people, whereas ISIS did not. Military use is ineffective in societies like Afghanistan. Other effective counter-terrorism methods should be implemented.
People are recruited and join terrorist groups in a variety of methods depending on the situation. Many people are kidnapped, forced, brainwashed, and so on, while others may join terrorist groups because they share their ideas or believe they are performing a societal or religious commitment. However, economic vulnerability is one of the most important variables in terrorist recruiting.
Terrorist groups frequently target those (mainly adolescents) who are poor or in pursuit of money. When persons like these are given financial incentives, they are more likely to join terrorist organizations and carry out terrorist acts.
Counter-terrorism strategies should not be limited to the old ones; new ones should be introduced as well. Economic and developmental policies are effective strategies for reducing terrorism. As previously said, economic vulnerability is one of the key variables that contribute to terrorism recruiting. New economic policies aimed at preventing and combating terrorism are required. Economic policies that will improve people’s life (particularly youth’s) and foster integration, not only on a national but also on regional and global levels.
Education, health, and transportation are three of the most important advancements needed to combat terrorism. Terrorism and radical ideologies will have no place in a society where education, health, transportation, and economic freedom and opportunity are available.