The international Jihadism: A new type of threat and regional cooperation as a remedy

Tetsuya Sahara

Abstract


The capture of Mosul and the ensuing blitzkrieg of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) over the Sunni majority region of Syria and Iraq reminded the world of the seriousness of the threat posed by the Salafist-jihadists. By connecting the tactic of “the management of savagery” with external resources and links, ISIL seems to have succeeded in materializing the full potential that the new type of conflict can pose to the existing international order. The “New War”, as formulated by Mary Kaldor, is the product of the dual erosion of nation states that globalization has brought about. Due to the growing malfunctioning of nation states, it becomes more difficult to secure the governmental monopoly of organized violence and border control, while there is also the internationalization of criminal groups’ networks. So far, the U.S.-led coalition has waged war against ISIL, but the strategy based on older thinking about national security helps to proliferate ISIL-type threats rather than to contain them. One of the main reasons of the failure lies in the context that the U.S. administration has been supporting extremist networks as tools to subvert the regime it does not want. This is attested to by the fact that the ISIL is the end product of U.S. covert interventions in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Iraq and Syria. Therefore, a different type of remedy is necessary. The article assesses the effectiveness of concerted policing and the exchange of intelligence of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in its fight against the Islamic terrorism in Central Asia and concludes that a regional cooperation based on pragmatic and limited purposes, rather than a military alliance based on some shared values, is a better model to cope with the new type of threats as represented by ISIL. Such regional cooperation has the potential to bring about more stable administration and provides the ground of economic stability as it gives its member states more resilience to the outside political pressures that are detrimental to the fight against terrorism, in addition to giving them the grounds for economic development with the purpose of mutual benefits.


Keywords


ISIL, jihadism, salafi, new war, Middle East, Balkans, Central Asia, SCO

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