It was the U.S. along with Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan which set up these terror groups, aided, armed them and unleashed on the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War.
It is 20 years since the 9/11 attack when the so-called war on terror started in the right earnest. The U.S. spent more than 585 crores rupees on the movement to crush terror. More than 85,000 extremists were killed. Scores of civilians were also killed in the process, something which is often brushed aside as collateral damage. Still, Al Qaeda has proliferated into 10 other subsidiaries and has today a pan-global presence across 17 new nations.
More than 136 nations also joined this war on terror and raids were conducted in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Egypt. 76 nations including Pakistan allowed their bases to be used by the U.S. military and Air Force. 89 nations opened their air space to be used in operations against Al Qaeda and other terror groups. 23 nations sent their troops for operations against the war on terror. Still, terror groups have only consolidated their strength and are today and have in its ranks more trained and highly motivated cadres.
The Al-Qaeda Family Tree And More Of It
More than 10 splinter groups have formed from the original Al Qaeda. These include Ansar-Al-Sharia in Libya which has over 6000 members. More than 16000 members were active under ISIS and controlled vast swathes of land in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon before they were crushed by combined forces led by Iran, Syria, and Kurdistan and also to some extent by the U.S and Russia. Some of the most horrible human rights excesses were committed by ISIL including beheading and burning alive prisoners.
Large portions of Somalia are being controlled by Al-Shabab which also specialized in sea piracy. Boko Haram which is also affiliated with Al-Qaeda is active in Nigeria and has also carried out bloody terror acts in Kenya and Tanzania. The Abu –Salem group is active in the Muslim majority in the Philippines and Indonesia also has terror groups carrying out attacks under the banner of Al Islamia.
Pakistan remains the hub for terror organizations which include the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Harkat–ul-Ansar and Jaish-e-Mohammad. The Taliban has already established its governance in Afghanistan while the world can just watch their spectacular exploits.
Why did the U.S. fail in its war on terror?
This brings us to the important question- Why did the U.S. fail in its war on terror even after the 9/11 attack? For this, we have to go back in history. It was the U.S. along with Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan which set up these terror groups, aided, armed them and unleashed on the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War. After the fall of the Soviet Union, these terror groups were never integrated into society.
They were used by individual nations for their own geopolitical ends. Pakistan used them in its proxy war against India; Saudis used them to control and check the spreading influence of Iran. America also turned a blind eye towards these terror groups. It was only when these terror groups started attacking American interests that Uncle Sam finally woke up to their danger. It culminated with the WTC terror attack of 9/11. The rest as they say is history.