The world is changing every day and every moment. The twentieth century is not the replica of the nineteenth century. The twenty first century is quite different. This century has witnessed a revolution in the development of science and technology. However, words like justice, equity, equality, liberty, love, compassion, tolerance, morality, human rights etc. cannot be explained in terms of science and technology. The present century is passing through lots of crises, of which economic and debt crises and now pandemic Covid-19 have engulfed the overall situation of the whole world affairs even in developed countries like the USA, European countries and also Asia & African countries are suffering. Covit-19 has become a real problem in the globe.
The present day world in facing a new problem - Terrorism. Terrorism that occurs throughout the globe is known as global terrorism. It is probably the worst type of crime that ever existed. The results of terrorism are almost always catastrophic as we see in Syria and Afghanistan now. There were about 174 or more terrorist organizations all over the world. For certain reasons those grew up and in certain time vanished from history. But now a new phenomenon has developed like religious terrorism. Some of them are so strong like Taliban, which has come to power in Afghanistan. Al-Qaida, most recently powerful terrorist groups are IS & Boko Haram.
The Taliban which have taken over Afghanistan is a Sunni Islamist nationalist and pro-Pashtun movement founded in the early 1990s that ruled most of Afghanistan from 1996 until October 2001. The movement's founding nucleus - the word "Taliban" is Pashto for "students"- was composed of peasant farmers and men studying Islam in Afghan and Pakistani madrasas, or religious schools.
The radical forces in Bangladesh were delighted to see Taliban capture power in Afghanistan. Taliban militants grabbed power in Afghanistan right after the departure of United States troops and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) forces from Afghanistan. The fanatical groups in Bangladesh expressed their joy on social media, particularly on Facebook, over the return of Taliban.
Hefazat-E-Islam, Jamaat, Islami Chhatra Shibir, Harkatul Jihad and some other religious extremists want to establish a theocratic state in Bangladesh on the basis of Islamic Shariah. These parties do not recognize manmade laws. Allegations show that the Qawmi madrassas which are run by Hefazat-E-Islam do not show proper respect to Bangladesh's national anthem and national flag. Hefazat-E-Islam vandalized Bangabandhu's sculptures and burned government offices in some parts of Bangladesh while demonstrating against the visit of Indian Premier Narendra Modi to Bangladesh to celebrate Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's birth centenary and golden jubilee of Bangladesh's independence. The assassins of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman launched a political party named Freedom Party in Bangladesh during 1980s and some of them were elected to Parliament as well while far-right political fronts clutched power in Bangladesh in the wake of the murder of Bangabandhu.
India and Soviet Union comprehensively cooperated with Bangladesh during the Liberation War of 1971. However, there is a sharp anti-Indian and anti-Russian sentiment in Bangladesh among some people who believe in religious extremism and harbour a communal attitude to religious minorities. For this reason we often see attacks breaking out on religious minorities in some parts of Bangladesh.
If we look back to the terrorist act throughout the globe, we will find the United States’ involvement in each and every terrorist group. From Taliban to IS, US is behind them initially. Recently three world leaders including Barak Obama and Tony Blair agreed that Saddam Hossain of Iraq was falsely implicated and the Middle East crises were created by Bush and Blair and western powers. It is now an open secret that like Taliban, Al-Qaida and IS were created with American patronization, petro dollars from Middle East and arms and Israeli training, Saudi Arabia wanted to destroy their Shiite enemy in Syria, Iraq and Iran.
The US war against terrorism which began in Afghanistan in 2001 quickly ran aground because of changed priorities. Consequently, it became a wrong war in the wrong place instigated by an unreliable ally. With no popular support on the ground, no amount of aerial attacks was going to provide the ability to clear and hold territory so essential in a counter insurgency campaign. Inexplicably, US policies have been more of the same; a paucity of ideas that believes in funneling more funds to Pakistan either as a reward for services in the hope that they will render. In the process, Pakistan has acquired a veto power over US policies in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Since the US considered Pakistan to be part of the solution rather than the problem, Pakistan became an indispensible ally even as it pursued a course directly contradictory to US and NATO - even global - goals in the region. If there has to be any attribution to reasons of failure, this American inability or unwillingness to understand Pakistan's strategic ambitions and attitudes would be the most crucial factor responsible for the present U.S. position after Taliban take over in Afghanistan.
The predicament is that the US cannot permanently maintain the present force level, the casualty rate or the cost of the war. It also does not thus have the luxury of time to put together a viable local alternative. This is not unique in recent history. We have seen over and over again how occupying forces have failed to win the heart and minds of people. The same thing happened in Afghanistan. What we are looking at is a very unstable and turbulent region U.S. understands the folly of its aggression in Afghanistan, so they have withdrawn its army from Afghanistan.
Interestingly, Richard Clarks, a NATO watcher and director of the Royal United Services Institute in Britain, said ‘the US still need NATO as political conduit to Europe- but admitted the alliance is struggling militarily. There is no doubt that militarily, NATO is approaching something of a cross-roads- its been approaching this cross-roads for some time.’
We have seen the creation of CENTO, SEATO, BAGDAD PACT & WARSAW in the middle of twentieth century but these pacts had natural death by the end of twentieth century. The world situation has reached such a stage that NATO has reached at the crossroads. Now the question has arisen why NATO should exist? In the twenty first century the days of NATO’s existence are numbered. Now America is trying to form new military pacts or alliances like AUKUS and QUAD. But they will face the semilar fate like NATO & other pacts.
The writer is the Director General, Bangladesh Foundation for Development Research.