The Future Of The War Against Extremists; The Arrival Of Stage III


01-06-2015_Arrival of Stage III of GWOT

By Arif Ansar

In earlier articles different facets and phases of the ‘war against terror’ since it got underway, have been discussed. The terminology has almost become defunct as the balance of power in Middle East stands at a tipping point. Why that has happened is instrumental towards understanding the present status of the campaign against extremists.

For all intents and purposes, the first phase can be classified as the time frame between 9/11 and the demise of Osama bin Laden. The period between Operation Geronimo to the ignition of Yemen conflict can be termed as the second phase. While Yemen has been in the limelight for a while as a strong seat for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the departure of US Special Forces in March this year represented a turning point. The eruption of Yemen conflict in its current form, and the growing Saudi and Gulf involvement there, marks the beginning of the third phase.

Each period of the campaign was accompanied by its own sets of assumptions and characteristics that have been previously discussed. They are being summarized to recollect and help us understand the Stage III. Obviously, each one these patterns pose unique implications.

Phase III of the campaign against terror may see more direct interstate conflict which risks involving one or the other global power. And this will fundamentally change the nature of the conflict that was initially deemed as the war against Islamic extremists.

Mitigating far-flung security threats is one thing, risks that can imperil influence in the home sphere and economic lifeline of an aspiring or an established global power, is a different matter altogether.

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