A B Sosa,Air Vice Marshal(Retd) NDC,PSC
INTELLIGENCE– This subject is currently very much in vogue and discussed and opinions expressed by a wide cross section ranging from experts to well-meaning persons. These views are quite interesting but sometimes misses the wood for the trees. Most of the theories are at a micro level and not encompassing a broader scenario. In such a situation I venture into seemingly uncharted territory.
The aim of a terrorist organization is to attempt to destabilize their target by resorting to direct violence or by psychological warfare. This could be achieved in different ways such as Funding organizations that are desirous of destabilizing a country in which they live, Assassination of key persons in Government. Destroying the economy, Taking over and dominating the print, visual and electronic media or creating general chaos in the targeted country. The persons who cause the mayhem are really the indoctrinated elements of a chain/sequence of handlers who may not be aware of the ultimate aim of the originators.
In this context, fairly recent military history is replete with instances a powerful country had gone about its objective. In the mid twentieth century the USA came to the conclusion that Vietnam was leaning towards the ambit of their big power rival viz USSR. They hence engineered the ouster of Ho Chi Minh particularly because France who had colonized Vietnam was being ousted by the Vietcong. This operation which lasted a couple of years and caused the loss of life and limb of not only the Vietnamese combatants and civilians but also thousands of American troops.
It is not my intention of going into the details of this war but to mention that the Americans took over the hostilities but were ultimately routed.
In around the 1970s the Russians invaded Afghanistan. The Americans visualized this as a threat to their ambitions in South Asia. Instead of showing their hand they formed the Taliban which consisted of Afghans with some other Nationals who were sympathetic to fighting the Russians. Of course the USA ensured that these troops were well armed and trained.
With this unexpected resistance, the Russians gradually retreated from Afghanistan. The victorious Taliban then decided to rule this country on their own. This was not anticipated by the Americans. They hence formed Al Qaeda led by Osama Bin Laden a Saudi national to eliminate the Taliban. The desired result was not achieved and Osama Bin Laden decided to go ahead with his despicable objective to flatten the WTC in New York and the Pentagon and either the Capitol or White House in Washington. Thus the USA was hoisted by their own petard.
In the meanwhile Saddam Hussain the ruler of Iraq with his immense stocks of oil was a thorn in the flesh of USA. With a view to subjugating him they spread a totally false story that Saddam had a large stock of “Weapons of Mass destruction” [WMD] which was a threat to world peace. In spite of Saddam’s vociferous claims that he did not possess WMD the USA together with its ally the UK invaded Iraq. This country was devastated and there were no signs of WMD. The outcome of this onslaught was that Saddam was brutally killed.
They next turned their attention to Libya. This very oil rich country led by Muammar Gadaffi decided to declare their currency “International”. This was a direct threat to the U S dollar. Hence, they engineered a mass uprising in Libya and had Gadaffi slaughtered in cold blood. They next turned their attention to Syria as they considered it to be moving towards the ambit of Russia. However, they considered it imprudent to attack Assad directly and hence formed the ISIS and gave it all the assistance to fight the Syrians. They were not successful as the ISIS was compelled to withdraw in the face of strong counter attacks by the Syrians with Russian support.
The USA now realizes that the Chinese with their “belt and road” concept with the cooperation of countries abutting the Indian Ocean whose harbors it straddle will be a threat to US ambitions in the region. Consequent to their debacles in Asia the USA is making strenuous efforts to woo Sri Lanka which a distinguished Indian referred to as an” Aircraft carrier”. Hence they are endeavoring to attempt to twist the arms of Sri Lanka to sign the much spoken of agreements such as ACTA, SOFA MCC. They realize that there is much vociferous opposition here to these agreements being signed. They even got their Ambassador in Sri Lanka to pay obeisance to the Maha Sangha to attempt to get their assent. She does not seem to have succeeded in this venture.
We are now aware that the Easter Sunday catastrophe here was planned by the American founded ISIS. My reading of the situation is that there could be another spate of bombings planned and executed by the lackeys of the ISIS. Apart from the cadres killed in the recent bombings there will be many more who have been brain washed to undertake Jihad. Cognizance must be taken of the fact that this organization has spread its wings all over the country and not confined itself to the Batticaloa District.
Another relevant aspect that must be kept in focus is that the LTTE had indoctrinated some of its cadres to undertake suicidal missions. Their cause was the forming of EELAM. With the elimination of the LTTE this concept is not relevant. However, persons with a pliable mind may be induced to undertake suicidal operations for a multitude of mundane causes such as dowries, economic benefits or their kith and kin and a myriad other reasons. The surviving members of these bombers’ families will be gifted adequate rewards given surreptitiously by the ISIS front of the USA.
There is no doubt that the US Embassy here will vehemently deny such a course of action. Their denial may be genuine because in the broad field of Intelligence the categories are Must Know, Should Know, Could Know and Not Know. The embassy here may be in the fourth category and only carrying out instructions without analyzing and questioning the reasons.
Thus our intelligence agencies must keep these complex possibilities in focus. It is emphasized that the USA will not invade Sri Lanka. The bombers will be a Sri Lankans whose handlers up the chain would be somewhere abroad. In such a situation our Government will be helpless. It >will seek International assistance. The USA will present the “face” of a reliable friend and establish themselves here as per the SOFA and Millenium Corporation that would have been signed some time ago but remained dormant.
In such circumstances, our intelligence agencies must be alert to preempt such a situation by closely monitoring and unearthing the potential Sri Lankan bombers who will be the proverbial “Cat’s paws”. In this context note must be taken that the CIA has already been deployed in Sri Lanka on the pretext of assisting us to “strengthen our borders” to preclude any foreign offensives. This of course is a red herring. Their obvious role would be collecting intelligence for a future operation.