Winning: A Victory Worth Denying


December 20, 2012: Pakistan has managed to successfully carry out terrorist attacks inside India. Alas, Pakistan cannot admit this and adamantly denies responsibility. It is a victory without honor or acknowledgement.

As a result of this dubious win, in the last decade India has become much closer to Israel when it comes to fighting Islamic terrorism. This is largely because both countries have become a major target for Islamic terrorists. Until recently this did not show up on international surveys of terrorist activity because Islamic terrorism in Indian Kashmir was usually classified as separatist activity. That has changed, as it became clear that the terrorism in Kashmir was largely of Pakistani origin. This came about when Pakistan adopted the use of Islamic terrorism over 30 years ago in a desperate attempt to get all of Kashmir away from India. The two countries have been fighting over ownership of Kashmir since 1947. While Pakistani sponsored Islamic terror activity in Kashmir has greatly declined in the last few years, the Pakistani terror operations have been more frequent in the rest of India, and these incidents do show up as Islamic terrorism on international surveys. The Kashmir activity is now shown as Islamic terrorism, and, as a result, last year India was one of the top four locations for Islamic terrorist violence (after Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan). Pakistan failed with its terrorism campaign in Kashmir, but it did succeed several times (especially 1999 and 2008) in nearly starting a war with nuclear armed India. This was often the result of making major terrorist attacks in Indian cities, not just Kashmir.

For the last five years Israel and India have become particularly cooperative in the fight against Islamic terrorism. India has been suffering from Islamic violence for centuries but Israel has been at the forefront in developing effective weapons, equipment, and tactics to deal with the problem. Five years ago Israeli counter-terror personnel showed up in Kashmir, sharing their knowledge of how to keep Islamic terrorists from sneaking across borders. Although the Israeli experience is largely related to desert and semi-tropical borders, it is applicable for the mountains and forests more typical of Kashmir as well. The Israeli methods are highly dependent on many types of sensors and computer software that can “learn” which combination of sensor readings indicate some guys with guns trying to move through an area.

Even before these visits, Israel had already sold India millions of dollars-worth of night vision devices, which the Indians have used with great success against the terrorist line crossers. The Israeli sensors were not always as successful as they should be, and the Israeli trainers and technical experts are now in Kashmir to work out the kinks and set the stage for some large new sensor sales.

India has been able to supply Israel with a lot of useful intelligence on al Qaeda activities and what Iran is up to. India has maintained good relations with Iran, which has been a trading partner for thousands of years. In this case, tradition and mutual-need trumps religious differences. India also has a good informant network in Pakistan and Afghanistan. This cooperation helped generate more evidence of Pakistani responsibility for the Kashmir violence. More dead or captured terrorists caught on the Pakistani border, and the documents or identities they provided, made it clear to all where the terrorism was coming from.




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