- October 22, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject :International Relations
- The German Chancellor says Russia is using ‘scorched-earth tactics’.
What are scorched earth tactics?
- Scorched earth tactics form part of a military strategy which seeks to destroy anything that could be of use to the enemy, including energy supplies, bridges, provision stores, agricultural fields, road and railway links, etc.
- The destruction could be carried out by the enemy, or by the retreating army of a country which does not want invaders to use its resources.
- Harming civilians as part of this strategy has been banned under the 1977 Geneva Convention.
- According to the Oxford Reference, the term was first used in English in 1937 in a report of the Sino-Japanese conflict.
- The strategy seeks to deplete the enemy’s resources to sustain warfare, and also break their morale by inflicting heavy hardships on combatants and non-combatants alike.
- Over the past week, Russia has rained missiles on Ukraine’s cities, destroying civilian infrastructure, including power and water supply lines. As winter approaches, lack of electricity is likely to cause serious suffering.
- Experts have commented that the tactic is being used by Russia as on the actual battlefield, its military is experiencing setbacks.
Some past instances of scorched earth tactics:
- Scorched earth policy has been part of warfare since ancient times, with the nomad Scythians using the tactics in their war against the Persian Achaemenid Empire led by King Darius the Great (who ruled 522 BCE to 486 BCE).
- The nomadic herders Scythians would hide in the steppes after destroying food supplies and poisoning wells.
- A notable example of the use of this tactic came during the American civil war in 1864, when Union General William Tecumseh Sherman and his soldiers burnt everything in sight as they marched through Confederate areas.
- Russia itself has used scorched-earth tactics before, including in the World Wars. In 1915, the Imperial Russian Army, when retreating from the Imperial German Army, destroyed anything that could serve the invaders for more than 600 miles, including crops, railway lines, and dwellings.
- During the Second World War, in 1941, the Russian army again destroyed telegraph networks and electrical and industrial resources when invaded by Germany.
In Indian history:
- In India, the armies of Maratha leader Chhatrapati Shivaji were known for their scorched earth tactics.
- Some historians have said that while the Maratha leaders looted and burnt enemy towns, they were under orders to not harm civilians or desecrate religious sites.
Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
Why in the news?
Pakistan is off the ‘grey list’ of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) after four years,
Grey-listing negatively impacts the relationship of the concerned countries with international funders including banks and financial institutions that take note of FATF rankings, as well as existing and potential overseas investors in those countries.
- Pakistan is no longer subject to FATF’s increased monitoring process;
- No longer need to work with APG (Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering)
- No further need to improve its AML/CFT system
- The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is commonly referred to as the world’s “terrorism financing watchdog”.
- It is an inter-governmental body that set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
- “AML/CFT” is FATF jargon for “Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism”.
- It was established at the G7 Summit of 1989 in Paris to address loopholes in the global financial system
- In the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attack on the U.S., FATF also added terror financing as a main focus area
- Later broadened to include restricting the funding of weapons of mass destruction.
- The FATF currently has 39 members.
- The decision-making body of the FATF, known as its plenary, meets thrice a year
- It sets standards or recommendations for countries to achieve in order to plug the holes in their financial systems and make them less vulnerable to illegal financial activities
- It conducts regular peer-reviewed evaluations called Mutual Evaluations (ME) of countries to check their performance on standards prescribed by it
- The reviews are carried out by FATF and FATF-Style Regional Bodies (FSRBs), which then release Mutual Evaluation Reports (MERs).
- For the countries that don’t perform well on certain standards, time-bound action plans are drawn up
- What are FATF’s ‘grey’ and ‘black’ lists?
- While the words ‘grey’ and ‘black’ list do not exist in the official FATF lexicon, they designate countries that need to work on complying with FATF directives and those who are non-compliant, respectively
- Grey lists:
- It includes countries that have, in the assessment of the FATF, failed to prevent international money laundering and terrorist financing, and are, therefore, on a global watchlist for bad behaviour.
- The grey countries are designated as jurisdictions under increased monitoring.
- These countries have to comply with certain conditions laid down by the FATF, failing which they run the risk of being “black listed” by the watchdog. Their compliance is periodically reviewed by the FATF.
- Currently, 23 countries are on the grey list–Among these countries are the Philippines, Syria, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Morocco, Jamaica, Cambodia, Burkina Faso, and South Sudan, and the tax havens of Barbados, Cayman Islands, and Panama.
- Black lists:
- It means countries designated as high-risk jurisdictions subject to call for action. In the most serious cases, members are told to apply counter-measures such as sanctions on the listed countries.
- Currently, North Korea and Iran are on the black list
- What is the impact of the countries that are in the FATF lists?
- It makes it hard for countries to get aid from organisations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the European Union.
- It may also affect capital inflows, foreign direct investments, and portfolio flows