"Terrorized Region Index"
By Erick San Juan
Maplecroft, an international global risk advisory firm that rated the Philippines as No. 8 in terms of countries that are under extreme risk for terrorist attacks, is the same firm that rated RP at no. 6 last 2008-2009 Terrorism Risk Index. A report that was disputed by the Philippine military as baseless and had to be validated further to improve the situation in our country.
What is TRI anyway?
The Terrorism Risk Index (TRI) is developed by global risks advisory firm, Maplecroft, to enable organizations to identify and monitor terrorism risks to human security and international assets. The index uses data from June 2009 to June 2010 to assess the frequency of terrorist incidents and the intensity of attacks, which includes the number of victims per attack and the chances of mass casualties occurring. It also includes a historical component assessing the number of attacks between 2007 and 2009 and looks at whether a country is at risk from a long-standing militant group operating there.
Sixteen countries are rated as ‘extreme risk’ with Somalia (1), Pakistan (2), Iraq (3), Afghanistan (4), Palestinian Occupied Territory (5), Colombia (6), Thailand (7), Philippines (8), Yemen (9) and Russia (10) at the bottom of the ranking. (Source:Maplecroft website)
Sounds convincing if one will just take such report hook, line and sinker and not consider the most important element i.e. geopolitics.
The following are the definitions of geopolitics (for the information of our readers) :
For Oyvind Osterud, “In the abstract, geopolitics traditionally indicates the links and causal relationships between political power and geographic space; in concrete terms it is often seen as a body of thought assaying specific strategic prescriptions based on the relative importance of land power and sea power in world history... The geopolitical tradition had some consistent concerns, like the geopolitical correlates of power in world politics, the identification of international core areas, and the relationships between naval and terrestrial capabilities.”
For Henry Kissinger, “Geopolitics is studying geopolitical systems. The geopolitical system is, in my opinion, the ensemble of relations between the interests of international political actors, interests focused to an area, space, geographical element or ways.
From the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia: The study of geographic influences on power relationships in international politics. Geopolitical theorists have sought to demonstrate the importance in the determination of foreign policies of considerations such as the acquisition of natural boundaries, access to important sea routes, and the control of strategically important land areas. The term was first employed in the early 20th century by the Swedish political scientist Rudolph Kjellén (1864 – 1922).
The cited definitions clearly denote the importance of an “international interest” in certain areas, may it be water, land or terrestrial space. Maplecroft actually identified the regions that are being terrorized for reasons that benefits the “international political actors” as defined by Kissinger.
Obviously this is not something new especially to our blog followers and to our daily radio show listeners (over dzXQ 1350khz 4:30-5:30p.m.), we wrote several articles about the global war on terror (GWOT) and how countries are terrorized by some “bogeyman” or such “brand name” as al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden who were exposed by several American patriots as state sponsored "Frankenstein" . In this way, unwiiting and witting US troops together with the "coalition" with the pretext to restore democracy and uphold human rights can come into the picture with ease.
We will notice that majority of the countries that are rated in the “extreme risk” category are located in the middle east region and situated within the very important water ways. Somalia and Yemen are strategically situated along the Gulf of Aden, a major water way exit from the Red Sea towards the Indian Ocean. Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan are the immediate casualties of Dubya Bush’s "war on terror" for obvious reason that they are somehow “related” to bin Laden and his al-Qaeda terror group. And, are located in the “heartland” together with Russia as what Sir Halford Mackinder in England, in his formulation of the Heartland Theory in 1904. That is why the AQAP – al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was created.
Unfortunately, our country ranked at No. 8, will have to stay in the top ten list together with Thailand because geographically speaking we are tactically and strategically positioned in the South China Sea where tensions are gradually building up between the two giants – US and China. Both nations (Philippines and Thailand) have insurgency problems along their borders. Mischief between Christians and Muslims occur once in a while. Mindanao is on the verge of balkanization due to intervention and conflicting interests of some foreign governments. The region is very near to another major waterway – the Strait of Malacca.
As for Colombia, the neighbor of Venezuela (another terrorized nation as per Dubya Bush and the chicken hawks), is hugging the coastline of the Caribbean Sea, another major body of water.
Lastly, the Palestinian Occupied Territory where a “perpetual war” seems to be convenient to the “international political actors” to justify their presence in the region through an “ally”.
To conclude, the release of this so called TRI study is in line with their Atlas that would be made available in the market next month. What a PR work!
It will be best for our government to go back to basic. Address the terror myth by regulating the so called "security experts" who are used to parrot a spin. Reactivate our National Intelligence Board and maximize the coordination with no foreign observers. We have to protect and secure our national interests this time. Need we say more?