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Global Challenges: Terrorists and Migrants

July 23, 2015
Plain English Version

Policemen walk past the scene of an explosion near the presidential palace in Somalia's capital Mogadishu

The world of terrorism changed with the modern suicide bombing. There were very few suicide attacks during most of the cold war.  In the 1983, such attacks began with a truck driven into a U.S. Marine base in Lebanon. It caused the deaths of 241 people.

Bombs — in trucks, on bodies or in improvised explosive devices (IEDs) — are the staple of terrorism. They are hard to spot and stop.

Last Monday, suicide bombers struck in the Turkish town of Surac, near Syria. They killed at least 28 people. A Turkish official said it was an act against the Turkish government. It happened because Turkey is fighting terrorism.

Military activity and terrorism are the causes of migration in countries such as Syria and Iraq. There are now said to be 60 million migrants worldwide. Most of them come from the Middle East and Africa.

There are many stories of people losing their lives at sea. They are making their way to Europe from Africa and the Middle East. Many are trying to reach Italy and Greece. Many are now going to the Balkans. They are headed to Bulgaria, Hungary and Serbia.

All of Europe is tightening border security. Countries are changing their visa and passport laws. They are building fences. Migrants are desperate to flee their home countries. They will try anything, even at the risk of their lives.

Experts say we are living in a world of failed states. Many states have no legal systems. Or, if they have such systems, they do not enforce the laws. That has left many religious, cultural and sectarian groups to defend themselves.

During the cold war, Russia and the U.S. backed governments that took their side. These nations had been freed from the rule of colonial powers. Among the colonial powers were Britain, France and Belgium. Leaders sold their brand new countries to the highest bidder. The leaders, supported by the U.S. and Russia were given the power to keep order.

Along with the cold war, those days are over.

There are no big powers to keep order. Countries comprised of tribes, and religious sects are no longer loyal to the mother country. The differences within such countries are greater than the similarities.

At some time, the world will sort out its differences. Until then, there will be terrorism and migration.

Source: The New York Times July 18, 2015


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