by Alex Wilner
Last Friday the UN Security Council put in place a ceasefire in the conflict pitting
Security Council resolutions by their very nature are vague at best and cravenly wishy-washy at worst. Friday’s Resolution, UNSCR 1701, is no different. It calls for “an end of violence” and emphasizes the “need to address urgently the causes that have given rise to the current crises.” Great ideas, but pious wishes rarely disarm terrorist organizations.
A practical UN action plan, for example, might identify those actors whose bad behaviour led to the current crisis, and lay out a reasoned and muscular plan to get them to change that behaviour. On this score, the Security Council has let us down. Badly.
Resolution 1701 calls on all UN Member States – none by name – to take measures to prevent the smuggling of weapons, supplies, finances, and other forms of support “to any entity” – read Hezbollah – in southern
While Hezbollah may have made a few of the 4,000 mortars and Katyusha Rockets it fired into Israeli cities since July, all of the long-range Fajr rockets, sophisticated anti-ship cruise missiles, shoulder-launched SAMs, and unmanned aerial vehicles it aimed at Israel were produced and delivered by Iran, shipped with the connivance of Damascus through Syria.
Already Western analysts report that
Unscathed will the sponsors go. As Mr. Rubin concludes, “in the terrorism sponsorship business it doesn’t get any better than that.”
The lessons for sponsors of terrorist groups are strikingly clear. Terrorism is easy to fund and equip, can be supported virtually in the open, and at a low material and diplomatic cost. In short, terrorism pays.
Tragically this lesson will bear its ugly fruit in repetitions of terrorist attacks and attempted, foiled attacks that have become unacceptably common, such as those in Canada, Afghanistan, Iraq, Europe, India, the United States, Israel, and most recently, over the skies of the Atlantic Ocean.
So long as sponsors of terrorism enjoy a free ride, as
All is not black. Some unified action has taken place to deter support for terrorism, and Canada has played an important role, especially with the continued counter-financing successes of The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) and with Ottawa’s decision to offer Toronto as a permanent host city to the Egmont Group, an international organization of over 100 of the world’s financial intelligence units.
These are both important and evolving steps and will likely assist in reversing the threatening tide of global terrorism. Yet these advances will remain muted, if the godfathers of terrorism –