The Mumbai attacks underscore the importance of rooting out institutional support for terror.
The recent Mumbai terrorist assaults underscore the imperative for a major change in American policy on Pakistan – a shift that holds the key to the successful outcome of both the war in Afghanistan and the wider international fight against transnational terror.
First, if the US does not insist on getting to the bottom of who sponsored and executed the attacks in India's commercial and cultural capital, the Mumbai attacks will probably be repeated in the West. After all, India has served as a laboratory for transnational terrorists, who try out new techniques against Indian targets before seeking to replicate them in other pluralistic states.
Novel strikes first carried out against Indian targets and then perpetrated in the West include attacks on symbols of state authority, the midair bombing of a commercial jetliner, and coordinated strikes on a city transportation system.
By carrying out a series of simultaneous murderous rampages after innovatively arriving by sea, the Mumbai attackers have set up a model for use against other jihadist targets. The manner in which the world was riveted as a band of 10 young terrorists – nearly all from Punjab Province in Pakistan – held India hostage for three days is something jihadists would love to replicate elsewhere.
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