State-sponsored terrorism will not likely ever be completely eradicated. Oftentimes the nations supporting/harboring terrorists do not publicize this information. In fact, they often denounce the terrorist group(s). It’s like a secret co-dependent relationship. The sponsoring country uses the terrorist group to their benefit, as they see fit. In turn, the terrorist group(s) has a safe haven.
Of course, while I believe that state-sponsorship will continue, I don’t think it will remain as big a threat as it had been in the past. We are now seeing that more definitive philosophies are what gain support from others and are also the motivating factor behind terrorist acts. Religion is perhaps the best and most current example.
War is not the answer in even attempting to eradicate state-sponsored terrorism. Still, one might wonder if there is a way to at least curtail state sponsorship. I submit that the U.S. is already putting forth efforts to do just that without waging war. The State Department annually issues a list of countries that support terrorist activity. In it, is information pertaining to the previous year’s international terrorist activity.
By not providing aid (of any sort) to the country’s on the State Department’s terrorist list is probably the most obvious answer. Though, I also think that by somehow pitting the terrorist groups and their sponsoring country against each other is key. I wish I had an easy answer as to how this can be accomplished, but I don’t. Maybe this could be achieved by obtaining the aid of other nations to frame the terrorist group causing the sponsor country to feel that they have been compromised or wronged by the terrorists. I am sure this would require a great deal of intelligence and insider/spy activity. Nonetheless, I do feel that if it can be accomplished war (on our part) could potentially be avoided and as a result there would be far less casualties. More importantly, the sponsor country would ideally change their ways and renege on their end of the deal with the terrorist group.
With respect the U.S.’s war with Iraq, I do feel that there were other possible solutions to addressing the perceived terrorist threat. It is too dangerous to assume anything when it comes to war. With the level of intelligence resources this Nation has, we should hold our government to higher standards than accepting speculation as a means to declare war.
The U.N. could establish a task force, which handles the tracking of and investigations regarding the resources countries like Iraq have to obtain the means necessary for completing the nuclear weapons program. Handling the experts on an independent level might also help. Retrieving physicists and biologists in Iraq who aid the program should be brought to justice. If there is even the slightest suspicion that they are using their knowledge and expertise to educate/train terrorists or help to create weapons of mass destruction, then they should be tried by the U.N. for aiding and abetting war crimes and potential terrorist activity. By addressing the issue on an individual level, I would expect that fewer experts would be willing to aid terrorists for fear of losing their freedom and possibly their own life.
I wanted to add that despite our efforts to unveil any weapons of mass destruction, the United States government has told us that Hussein had chemical and biological weapons. In a 2003 address to the United Nations Security Council, then U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell stated that there was reason to believe there was still a nuclear weapons program in Iraq. This was largely due to the fact that there was nothing to prove otherwise. What does this matter? Well, it matters a whole bunch to a lot of people. On one hand, some Americans are unhappy that the U.S. attacked Iraq with too little evidence. On the other hand, had we not waged a war and set out to find the WMD, where might we be today?
While, based on what I know, I don’t think there was enough evidence to support a war based solely on the issue of WMD, I do agree that there was reason for great concern. Nevertheless, Colin Powell’s address to the U.N. pointed out that the United States had information that Iraq was harboring Al-Zarqawi, a terrorist linked to bin Laden. Zarqawi was of great importance in the terrorist world because it appears as though bin Laden himself essentially pledges allegiance to him. It’s almost as if he were the successor of bin Laden, but in a different country.
Ideally, by removing Hussein from power, someone would have given up Zarqawi to the U.S. That didn’t happen right away, of course. Monetary rewards for information pertaining to or the capture of Zarqawi weren’t working either. Perhaps the only way to handle this was to continue searching for him and infiltrate the network protecting him in order to get to him.
Here’s a breakdown of how the aforementioned issues with Iraq fall under the Hezbollah Umbrella. Saddam Hussein was President of his country and many would argue that his tenure did include legitimate political activity even though a great deal of it was questionable. Despite the end of the first war in Iraq, Hussein continued to partake in illegitimated activity, to wit, allowing the nuclear weapons program to continue. This was not done at a state level, but almost undercover enough to slip through the cracks. Though, the U.N. worked to ensure that Iraq was in compliance with what they required concerning disclosure of WMD there was an obvious disconnect. Something was going on, which the United States suspected, but inspectors were unable to uncover anything.
Essentially, by procuring and maintaining materials to produce WMD Iraq becomes a terrorist nation. Finally, outside of the state itself, terrorists groups were/are being harbored in Iraq. The aforementioned Zarqawi, a terrorist with Hezbollah ties, just happened to be one of the infamous terrorists in the world.