European anti-terrorism likely has long way to go as terrorist threat risks escalating

China Military Online
Li Jiayao
2020-11-13 16:45:37

By Fang Xiaozhi

Terrorist attacks in Europe have occurred frequently in recent times. Following the knife attack in Paris and Nice of France last month, a series of shootings occurred near a church in the center of Vienna, Austria,on the evening of November 2, killing at least seven people, including a police officer. The next day, the British Home Office announced that it would raise terrorist threats from the third-highest level to thesecond-highestlevel. Terrorism is on the rise in Europe.

The frequent occurrence of terrorist attacks in Europe has both external factors and internal reasons.

From an external perspective, after the Islamic State terrorist organization suffered a massiveblow in the Middle East battlefield, terrorist forces have continued to spill over. The establishment of the Islamic State has been disbanded, and it is showing a "cellular" trend. The members of the organization are taking the opportunity of refugee influx into Europe.

From an internal perspective, the frequent terrorist attacks in Europe is closely related to the long-term accumulation of social problems in European countries. Due to the complex population and ethnic composition in Europe, coupled with related immigration policy factors, governments of various countries have failed to handle the refugee problem properly. This has provided the ground for the growth and spread of extremism, leading to the localization and internalization of the anti-terrorism situation in Europe.

Overall, Europe faces both the external risks of terrorists sneaking in, as well as the internal risks caused by issues such as race and religion. With the adjustment of the US global strategic focus, its leadingsecurity threat judgment was changed from the original international terrorism to the competition among major powers. The status of the Middle East's counter-terrorism has continued to declinein the US global strategy, making Europe gradually one of the key targets of terrorism.

Besides, the frequent occurrence of terrorist attacks in Europe also highlights that non-traditional security threats represented by terrorism are seriously affecting world peace and stability. Since international terrorist activities are spreading rapidly and are intertwined with international political and economic games, even if a single country implements severe anti-terrorism measures, it will be difficult to achieve resultsif anti-terrorism cooperation between countries on a global scale is not strengthened.

At present, the anti-terrorism efforts of European countries are not the same. Each country "minds its own business,"which makes it easy for terrorists to find opportunities. Therefore, European countries must strengthen anti-terrorism cooperation, incorporate it into the framework of the European defense integration process, strengthen intelligence sharing, and form a complete anti-terrorism mechanism to curb the rise of terrorism in the region gradually.

Of course, the internal forces of Europe alone cannot fundamentally solve the problem of terrorism. The international community needs to truly unite and make concerted efforts to promote anti-terrorism cooperation to ensure that terrorism truly has no hiding place, and world peace and stability are achieved.

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