27 December 2014
The al Qaeda-centric threat landscape has been eclipsed by an Islamic State (IS) insurgency. Today, an al Qaeda-IS hybrid influences and shapes the global threat landscape of political violence. IS will expand its international footprint in 2015.
The galaxy of threat groups inspired and instigated by al Qaeda present a growing challenge to global harmony. Despite the presence of the world’s finest standing armies in Afghanistan and Iraq, the insurgent, terrorist and extremist groups in the two most violent conflict zones survived. The unwillingness of Western and their Middle Eastern partners to deploy ground troops in Iraq, the pressure to pull out from Afghanistan, and the reluctance of more countries to join the fight perpetuate conflict. In a trajectory of growth, the ruthlessness and resilience of the violent actors threaten international security.
The international neglect of Iraq led to the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an episode likely to repeat itself in Afghanistan in 2015-6. Although the international coalition formed in September 2004 in Iraq and Syria offer hope, a greater commitment of its constituents to fight on the ground is needed. Unless there is greater will on the part of the community of nations to fight violent actors and commitment of capabilities to counter their vicious ideologies, the global threat of violence and extremism will spread in 2015.
…Rohan Gunaratna is Professor and Head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. He is also author of Inside al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror, Columbia University Press.
GPO / ICPVTR / Online
Last updated on 27/01/2016