[Editorial Analysis] The Triumph of the nation-state

Mains Paper 1: History
Prelims level: 9/11 terror attacks
Mains level: Important events in World history



• On 11th September 2001, terrorists attacked America resulted in the killing of 3,000 people.

• Osama Bin Laden, the head of Islamist terror group al-Qaeda, was identified as the man behind the attacks.

• The Taliban, radical Islamists who ran Afghanistan back then, protected Bin Laden and refused to hand him over.

• Eventually, after 9/11, the US launched airstrikes against Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom).

• After the attacks, the NATO coalition troops declared war on Afghanistan thus dislodging the Taliban regime and established a transitional government in Afghanistan.

After 20 years:

• The September 11, 2001 terror attack on America changed the entire course of world politics and the future of the Middle East.

• Major inference of the attack:
1. It demonstrated the power of non-state actors on the world’s superpower and showcased the weakening of the state system and the arrival of the borderless world in the background of economic globalization and the internet.
2. The 9/11 attack is not accidental but designed to strike at the very heart of the USA’s capitalism and military power.

Twenty Years after the attack: USA and others:

• Even with enduring challenges from international terrorism, the system of nation-state looks robust.

• At the same time, the jihadist’s ambition to destroy America, overcome the Arab regimes and unleash war with Israel remains elusive as ever.

• However, terrorist organizations and religious extremism continue to be a concern. But the sectarian schisms and ideological cleavages have cooled the revolutionary ardour.

• After the attack, many states have accumulated extraordinary power and curtailed individual liberty in the name of greater security against terrorism which led to abuse of state power.

• The state system quickly adapted to the disruptions and succeeded in keeping nuclear weapons and material away from terrorists.

• Many states have passed sweeping laws for relentless tracking of the growing digital footprint of the citizens.
• With better-improved border controls and greater international cooperation on law enforcement, transnational terror groups were countered.

The Other-Side:

• To mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attack, the USA has completely withdrawn from the Afghan, however, exist was humiliating to the USA pride and showcases the ending of America’s unipolar moment.

• The Washington’s own follies that humbled the USA more:

• Its greatest threat to capitalism was meet in the form of the 2008 financial crisis, not the 2001 attack which was triggred by reckless deregulation ideology.

• Because of its over-determination to end terror threat that put away political common sense has resulted in the humiliating defeat of the USA in Afghan and Middle East.

• The USA’s obsession to end terrorism in Afghan has resulted in rewarding Pakistan with billions of dollars as an aid which was eventually used by Pak for nurturing the Taliban.

• This Taliban were the reason for the USA’s current humiliating exit in Afghan.

• This middle east crusade has taken valuable resources away from America’s internal needs.

• It also blinded the US to an emerging challenger China on the horizon.

• It also gave China two decades to consolidate its rise without any hindrance.

The Jihadist Middle East Agenda:

• The Arab monarchs have quickly cracked down on the jihadi groups that aimed to destroy Gulf kingdoms.

• However, for many Arab nations today the terrorist organizations are no longer existential threats but they worry more about Islamist countries like Turkey and Iran which seek to leverage Islam for geopolitical purposes.

• This fear led to pushing Gulf kingdoms towards Israel that shattered jihadi hopes to destroy the Jewish state.

Other developments:

• The developments in China and Pak have reinforced that nation-state politics are more significant than the transcendental religious power.
• China is on a mission to Sinicise Islam to subordinate religion to China’s ideology.


• The violent religious extremism thrives under state patronage alone. The solutions to the challenges presented by the Taliban and jihadi terrorism resurgence are in the geopolitical calculus of Pak’s deep state.

• Although the USAs unipolar may ended, the US will remain as the most powerful nation in the world to shape the international system with its great capacity.

• It is a matter of time, that picks up the 9/11 pieces and move on to consolidate its power.


Prelims Questions:

Q.1) With reference to the Ladakh Apricots, consider the following statements:

1. Ladakh Apricots have a unique soothing taste and texture with high sugar contents and total soluble solids.

2. UT of Ladakh produces only one variety of Apricots.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: A

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