Global terrorism and post-modern geopolitics.
The deployment of terror by states and non-state actors is not a new phenomenon. What has changed in recent years, however, is that terrorism has grown and left local audiences and has attained a global scale (Dodds and Pippard 199). A terrorist network such as Al Qaeda had grown its network globally and poses a challenge in understanding its geopolitics. Unlike traditional threats faced by countries which arose from defined entities such as the Soviet Union to the United States, global terror networks are more diffused and do not have a centre. A state cannot therefore claim to have eradicated a grouping that has no real centre and whose membership cuts across geographic borders and which used 21st century technologies to change rapidly and unpredictably. Indeed it was expected that the sect would die when its centres were attacked by American forces, something which did not happen (Dodds and Pippard 200).
Post-modernism has played a part in the spread of global terror networks. As science triumphed over nature, secular values triumphed over sacred vales, affluence over poverty (Luke 220). The United States started many with the idea that they were helping introduce democracy to the aristocratic ruling governments. This inevitably led to the rise of militant groups across the Middle East, Congo and the Horn of Africa when the U.S left the countries without stable governments (Dodds and Pippard 206). Many terrorist sects draw their motivation from the fight against the westernization of the Middle East and disdain of Islam values by the U.S. They believe the United States is eroding their values and replacing them with Western values (Luke 223).
Post-modern technical gains can be used by terror groups to advance their agenda. Defending against terror attacks is complex when the generic assumptions held by liberals of progress that enhances life and rationalism easily become irrelevant outside the intended utility. The technological gains can become a threat when used for harm or havoc rather than for profit or generating power (Luke 222). A culture war, consequence of the terror attack on the World Trade Centre, still looms across the world. It can be connected to the fact that theological devotion and secularism are incommensurable in many aspects of everyday life (Luke 226).
The Cold War in part contributed to the spread and globalisation of terror. Many of the proxy wars fought by the United States and The Soviet Union left behind militarized campaign groups that now had no backing or political incentive. They then proceeded to form terror groups and terrorize the citizens. In many places around the world, people still live in non-territorial areas due to the presence of ‘post-modern’ militia groups. The groups filled the political vacuum left after they either toppled the leader or after the U.S did it for them and proceeded to claim quasi-sovereign powers in their new found territory (Luke 220).
With the growth of newer technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and its applications in war, the scales of global state-funded terrorism is bound to grow. Robot warriors with AI are being developed that are meant to replace human soldiers in the battle field, something that will change the dynamics of geopolitical power. The United States, for example, is creating itself as an imperium of robotic autonomy: an unconcerned empire fought for by robot soldiers (Shaw 460).