The Bush inspired invasion of Iraq has proved to be among the most significant actions in modern Arab history with the unintended consequences of that disastrous action still reverberating throughout the world. Senator McCain insists we are “winning in Iraq” but he apparently does not have a clue that as violence declines in Iraq it is spreading to other parts of the world. A few years ago, the Algerian government had finally come close to completely crushing Islamic militants who had been fighting the government for years. One of the Algerian leaders, Mourad Khettab said, “we didn’t have enough money. the people didn’t want to join.” But, Algerian militants contacted al-Qaeda and soon not only money, but trained personnel were headed in the direction of Algeria.
The newly named Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb is now a powerful threat. It has conducted bombings, suicide bomb attacks, kidnapping or killing European tourists and a host of other actions to once again challenge the Algerian military. Its leaders note that Bush placed their organization on the terrorist list despite warnings from many diplomats the Algerian conflict was a nationalist one, and was not part of any international terrorist organization.
The United States will be living with the Bush legacy years after the man from Texas is back home on his ranch. Terrorism has grown, not lessened as a result of Iraq.
The government of India is proceeding with efforts to reach agreemnts with Pakistan despite recent terror incidents such as the recent bombing in Jaipur. A source in the Indian government said: “such elements, whoever they are, should not be given a chance to succeed in their designs by stopping the dialogue process whenever a terror incidnt take place.” There is hope in India the accession to power of the Pakistan Peoples Party and its coalition have created th basis for achieving successful compromise agreements on issues such as Kashmir.
The American government continues focusing only on its concerns about terrorism and ignores that such incidents have done more to damage Pakistan-India relations than any other souce. If both nations can reach common accords about the basis of peace, it will go far in making it possible for other agreements that eventually will dramatically reduce the level of violence in both nations.
A conference in London was told NATO now regards the threat of cybe warfare s among the greatest risks societies are facing. Online esionage and Internet-based terrorism now represent some of the most important componenents of present and future wars. Suleyman Anil, who heads NATO’s program to deal with cyberwar, says “we have seen more of these attacks and we don’t think this problem will disappear soon.” An important factor in cyber terrorism are attempts to shut down online communication networks or use the Internet to attack official institutions He warned there are rogue nations which are fostering cyber terrorism. Last year, a gang of hackers, believed to be from China, infiltrated computer systems at the Pentagon and launched attacks on government networks in Britain, Germany, and Australia.
The United States government has currently allocated $6 billion to combat cyber terrorism. Of course, we are still in the infant stage of cyber terrorism and few can grasp what lies in the future. Could cyber terrorists foster a star wars type campaign by gaining control of computers?