CONFLICT IN MIDDLE EAST
The worsening situation in Iraq due to the fall of Iraq’s second largest city to the terror group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), raises the possibility of major upheavals in the global oil market fuelled by speculations of severe threat to the critical energy infrastructures in Middle East.The rise of ISIS, once an offshoot of Al Qaida vindicate that the threat of terrorism in Middle East remain intact even as US prepares to quit Afghanistan.
The events of Iraq should not be looked in isolation but in conjunction to other related events happening elsewhere in Middle East, the Af-Pak region as well as Africa. While the situation in many Middle Eastern countries like Syria and Yemen continue to be grave, the massive attack orchestrated by Tehreek-e-Taliban (TeT) in Karachi, Pakistan, attacks on Indian consulate in Herat, Afghanistan, attacks by Al Shabaab in Kenya and abduction and killing in Nigeria by Boko Haram are indicators of the trend of radical Islamic groups targeting energy infrastructures which reflect the dangerous situation in Africa and Asia.
With US having already withdrawn from Iraq and is preparing to do the same from Afghanistan, the onus is now on individual countries to prepare for their upcoming war against non- state actors. The situation is more alarming in Africa and Asia than elsewhere where the onus lies on individual country to recalibrate and work on their internal security architecture. There is a strong correlation between the events of Africa and Asia as both face the threat of radical Islamic terrorism more than others and therefore there is a strong need for the two continents to collaborate in terms of sharing of knowledge and qualitative and quantitative augmentation of their internal security capabilities in order to thwart the emerging danger.
Therefore the need to invest in protection of critical energy infrastructure in both Asia and Africa has never been more profound as it is now. Further, there is no reason to believe that the threat of terrorism in Africa or Asia would only be restricted to the mere few countries mentioned and the threat is pertinently existent across the length and breadth of both continents. The spill over effect of Middle East and violence in parts of Africa have already started and now it is time for nations and companies to collaborate.