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The Twin Drone Attacks: Need for Strategic analysis  
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Dr Sudhir Hindwan | Date:01 Jul , 2021 1 Comment
Dr Sudhir Hindwan
is Chandigarh based professor of Political Science and an expert on strategic affairs.

The recent twin drone  attacks within a span of five minutes  on Air Force  station in Jammu and the ongoing skirmishes created by the  insurgents once again exposes the trend of   ongoing low intensity insurgency perpetuated from across the border and  has reaffirmed the conspiracy to hit India where it matters the most by creating socio-religious and security quagmire. The intelligence inputs may see the very likely role of Lashkar- e-Taiba (LeT). As in the  past the LeT has  used drones quite frequently to carry on their missions. Analysts view the latest attacks as a part of seeking the media attention and to send out message  that despite Covid 19 the terrorists would continue unleashing their play of terrorising  and  destruction. This type of drone attacks have been vital part of the tactics very often used by Hamas in its terror plans against Israel and Islamic State in Iraq.During last few years or so there has been desperate attempts by the terrorists to attack on sensitive public areas and places of worships across the globe.  The modus operandi and particularly the use of Drone, IED, battery operated improvised explosive  device  suggest that the most recent terrorist plans have been a part of the earlier pattern though with an element of surprise as they have been updating and shifting their strategies quite swiftly. The recent incident has demonstrated the audacity and level of coordination among the present day terrorists. The use of automatic weapons, grenades and low-intensity bombs showed the well thought out plan which was effectively executed. For the first time, terrorists dared not to hide their identity and openly sprayed bullets across the street as if they were making mockery of the entire security establishment. Constant strikes by the terrorists also brings out the deep penchant of these distraught people  to create a state of extreme fear among general public about the insufficiency of security apparatus control their ability to ratchet up terrorist violence. This is a game which either an individual or group cannot carry out alone unless it has outside support. Such involvement in aiding and abetting intruders by setting up training camps in POK has been exposed a number of times. The strategy to ignite religious sentiments through raising the question of identity by harping on the issue of numerical preponderance has helped certain terrorist organizations in creating base for their claims and fighting proxy war for quite some time . The major question now arises is whether the anti-terrorist operations are merely a work of simple Police and Paramilitary network or that of a special force trained for counter-terrorist activities? The deployment of special forces in countering terrorist activities has become a reality in many countries. In this regard, the experience of different countries can help. For Example the way the West German Police defeated terrorist faction, the way the French Army took measures to improve their anti-terrorist capabilities. The Italian Police too had to combat large-scale terrorist violence from new-fascist groups and the left wing challenges of the Red Brigades. It is commendable that the US security and intelligence  network could control any further terrorist attack after September 11, 2001. We have  developed a high level intelligence network to anticipate any such threats  the talk of combating strategies yet the militants are continuously changing their tactics . There is a need for truly effective preparedness programme  at the government level. First of all we must know about the people involved in terrorist activities and their motivation. The relationship dealing with terrorist incident  and mitigating its consequences need to be carefully thought out. Sufficient data about the area within which the event is unfolding could be of immense use. This is simple work of good intelligence and police.The intelligence should be able to provide the information about terrorist’s targets, timings and sites in advance. But government alone cannot do much to stop it. Individuals and groups can make a significant contribution towards improving the general security environment.

On the other hand, there is a need for the sophisticated security procedures which can go all the way from airport screening and coast monitoring to the border area. We have to learn certain anti- terrorist strategies from the western world for example the United States Patriot Act 2001 empowered  the security agencies to get the  information about the communication network and properties of the suspects in terrorist related incidents.Besides, the immigration officials in the US got sanction to either detain or deport the illegal immigrants. The British Prevention of Terrorism Act 1984 authorised the security agencies to deal with terrorists firmly. Under this Act suspects of  any terrorist act can be detained and imprisoned  for even one and a half month without having charges framed. In India many attempts were made to ensure serious implementation of laws against terrorism. But due opposition in one account or other these Acts were allowed to lapse. The period of Terrorism And Disruptive Activities Act 1987 ( TADA ) got over in 1995. Similarly, The Prevention of Terrorism ( POTA ) 2002 could  not be given any further extension beyond 2004. Nevertheless, various states such as Maharashtra and Gujarat have made attempts to enact separate criminal acts. The creation of NIA and a number of new a welcome steps have strengthened us  for encountering terrorism in any form but at times it becomes extremely difficult to predict the surprise attacks .We  need to be always prepared and  develop mechanism that can come down heavily on terrorists.

In addition to strict anti terrorist acts some kind of parallel strategy can prove effective. India has been trying all that is needed to promote open institutions, including amicable peace and conflict resolution process through dialogue and opening institution to absorb the ethnic, religious and political pressure to allow them (the terrorists) to vent their feelings in a proper way. Recently the Government has made all round efforts to sensitizing people who are misled to  change their mind and thus encourage them to settle their differences in some peaceful way yet the ideological and political interests of these terror groups always create a state of extreme fear and anxiety among general masses .Many efforts have been made by a number of nations to control state-sponsored terrorism, such as through economic sanctions, but so far they have not reached a consensus either at the national or international level. During the last two decades, the increasing drug smuggling and the obnoxious nexus between drug smugglers and terrorists have posed a serious problem to the internal state-security networks and compelled various nations to organise themselves and wage a relentless war against such a nexus. But mere implementation of vigorous drug laws cannot become effective unless the judicial procedure is modified for ensuring speedy trials.

The concept that one man’s terrorist can be another man’s freedom fighter must be done away with; local populace should cooperate with law enforcement machinery even at the cost of personal misery; prompt and strict decisions should be undertaken by various nations for controlling terrorist psychologically.

  • In changing environment the security apparatus and police need to diversify its activities by bringing together technical and professional expertise based on many decades of experience in maintaining internal security. In this regard the most crucial thing is to develop capability to anticipate security needs. This is possible by conducting specialized courses for monitoring security situations. One word of caution …the sudden influx in new social media narratives looming large owing its birth to mushrooming of a number of clichés such as clashes of civilization, end of history, paradigm shift , post modernism post-post development and recently post truth has created a vulnerable situation for state to deal with emergence of varied challenges .The recent influx of debates on various news channels has all of a sudden led to emergence of a number of experts on  pluralism, secularism and even nationalism. There appeared to be a some kind of competition going on in proving one’ s worth for political parties.It is time of an essence and high time we realized that concepts such as nationalism and patriotism are highly sacred and to be given at most importance in nation’s life above everything but constraints should be followed while discussing such vital issues of national security in public forum. In order to run 24-7 debates many times difference of opinion is expressed on sensitive security issues by the so called self-claimed experts . There should not be any diversion in views on public forum as it would only expose lack of clarity. Over the years a great deal of literature has appeared on India’s strategic planning. Along with military experts many scholars have also made contributions to the research on the modernization of our defence programme. These studies have been carried out from various perspectives and aren’t devoid of specific ideologies, including prejudices and distortions. One rarely comes across a balanced and dispassionate assessment of the security. We need to carry out a very passionate and focused policy formulation with regard to strategic policy.  This may create a web of highly sensitive dual security system to withstand new challenges of terrorism.Needless to say that a sophisticated anti-drone mechanism which can anticipate, locate, and dismantle drone before strike is the need the hour.
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