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Non-Western responses to terrorism$
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Michael J. Boyle

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526105813

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526105813.001.0001

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India: Counterterrorism in India: An ad hoc response to an enduring and variable threat

India: Counterterrorism in India: An ad hoc response to an enduring and variable threat

6 India: Counterterrorism in India: An ad hoc response to an enduring and variable threat
Non-Western responses to terrorism

Rashmi Singh

Manchester University Press

The unprecedented overlap between terrorism and insurgency in India represents a key challenge to formulating an understanding of terrorism and counter-terrorism (CT) in this region. This chapter discusses the emergence and evolution of key terrorist threats in the country to illustrate how terrorism in the subcontinent falls into two distinct categories, i.e. ‘pure terrorism’ as practiced by what are best described as ‘incorrigible terrorist groups’ and ‘hybrid threats’, a complex amalgamation of insurgency and terrorism utilised by what are essentially ‘corrigible’ groups. I then discuss how India’s inability to distinguish between these two very different threats results in what tends towards a lethal, kinetic response characteristic of counter-terrorism even as its language remains within a population-centric ‘hearts and minds’ framework more obviously associated with traditional counter-insurgency (COIN). This tendency to ‘act CT but speak COIN’ is a key reason both India’s CT and COIN strategies remain short-sighted, muddled and under-developed. However, newly emergent threats make it imperative that India urgently recalibrate and reconsider these responses.

Keywords:    India, national security, terrorism, counter-terrorism, insurgency, counter-insurgency

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