2021 GS3 Answer

Q. Analyse the complexity and intensity of terrorism, its causes, linkages and obnoxious nexus. Also suggest measures required to be taken to eradicate the menace of terrorism.

Question from UPSC Mains 2021 GS3 Paper

Model Answer: 

Terrorism is a complex and multifaceted problem that has plagued the world for decades. It is a global phenomenon that affects people of all races, religions, and nationalities. Terrorism is not only a threat to peace and security but also a violation of human rights. In this answer, we will analyze the complexity and intensity of terrorism, its causes, linkages, and obnoxious nexus, and suggest measures required to eradicate this menace.

Complexity and Intensity of Terrorism:

Terrorism is a complex and ever-changing phenomenon that has evolved over time. It is not a static concept, and the definition of terrorism varies from country to country. The complexity and intensity of terrorism can be seen in the following ways:

  • Terrorist groups have access to advanced weaponry and technology that makes their attacks more lethal and devastating.
  • Terrorist attacks are becoming more frequent and widespread, targeting not just governments and military installations but also civilians and soft targets.
  • The rise of terrorist organizations that have a global reach, such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban, has made terrorism a transnational threat.
  • The use of social media and the internet by terrorist organizations to spread their propaganda and recruit new members has made it easier for them to expand their reach and influence.

Causes of Terrorism:

There are several underlying causes of terrorism, including:

  • Political and social grievances such as discrimination, marginalization, and injustice
  • Economic deprivation and poverty
  • Ideological and religious extremism
  • Foreign interventions and occupation
  • Failure of governments to address the root causes of terrorism and provide adequate governance and security.

Linkages and Obnoxious Nexus:

Terrorist organizations often have linkages and networks with other groups, criminal organizations, and state actors. The linkages and obnoxious nexus can be seen in the following ways:

  • The use of terrorism by state actors to further their geopolitical goals, such as Pakistan’s support for terrorist organizations operating in India.
  • The collaboration between terrorist organizations and criminal networks for financial gain, such as drug trafficking and money laundering.
  • The support provided by some countries to terrorist organizations for strategic purposes, such as Iran’s support for Hezbollah and Hamas.
  • The use of terrorism by extremist groups to promote their ideological agenda, such as the ISIS’s use of terrorism to establish a caliphate in the Middle East.

Measures to Eradicate Terrorism:

To eradicate terrorism, a multi-pronged approach is required that addresses the underlying causes and disrupts the linkages and obnoxious nexus of terrorist organizations. The measures required to eradicate terrorism include:

  • Addressing the root causes of terrorism by addressing political, social, and economic grievances and providing adequate governance and security.
  • Developing effective intelligence-gathering and sharing mechanisms to identify and neutralize terrorist threats before they manifest.
  • Combating terrorist financing through stringent financial regulations and international cooperation.
  • Building partnerships and alliances with like-minded countries to counter external threats and promote regional stability.
  • Developing indigenous capabilities in areas such as cybersecurity, military technology, and defense manufacturing to reduce dependence on foreign entities.
  • Creating public awareness and education campaigns to promote tolerance, human rights, and peaceful coexistence.


Terrorism is a complex and multifaceted problem that requires a comprehensive approach to eradicate. It is not just a security issue but also a political, social, and economic issue that needs to be addressed. To eradicate terrorism, it is essential to address the underlying causes and disrupt the linkages and obnoxious nexus of terrorist organizations. This requires cooperation and collaboration between governments, civil society, and the private sector to create a secure and stable environment that promotes peace, prosperity, and human rights.

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