U S Approach to Terrorism Post 2001 Term Paper

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U.S. Approach to Terrorism

U.S Approach to Terrorism Post 2001

The incidence of September 11, 2001 led to an anti-terrorism campaign by the government of U.S. And was called the war or terror. Since 2001, U.S. government has taken several steps to maintain security and counter terrorism by implementing certain strategies at national and international level. These approaches and steps, whether useful or not have been discussed in this paper.

President Bush's Justifications For Invading Iraq Post 9/11

After the September 11, attack in 2001, the Bush government declared "war on terror" which was intended to counter terrorism. Bush also declared in his address on 20th September 2001 that, the "war on terror" will begin from dealing with al Qaeda but it will stop only when terrorism is dealt with properly. According to Bush doctrine, whichever country contained weapon of mass destruction (WMD) is a threat for U.S. And therefore in order to counter that threat, he commanded invasion of U.S. military forces in Iraq. Although it was not confirmed from a reliable source that Iraq had WMD. It was also assumed by Bush government that Iraq would use such weapon against United States. He firmly believed that Iraq contained and concealed the most lethal weapons and thus U.S. had the right to invade Iraq on the basis of self-defense (Hixson, 27-29).

President Obama was opposed To the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but Actually Increased U.S. Military Presence There: Obama's Shift in His Strategy

As the Bush administration failed to achieve its goals in Afghanistan, that burden of responsibility was left to the Obama administration, which came into office in January of 2009. The Obama administration launched new strategy to end the insurgent threat purportedly by addressing the issues that were not attended to by the previous administration: restoring political stability in Afghanistan and pulling out the U.S./NATO troops. As a presidential candidate, Obama was very critical of the war taking place in Iraq (Huntington, 121).

However, he supported the war in Afghanistan, calling it a war of necessity, based on the fact that the Al Qaeda terrorists who attacked the U.S. were protected by the Taliban government in Afghanistan. On July 15, 2008 in a speech delivered in Washington, D.C., Obama declared the war in Iraq a failed policy that distracted from the growing terrorist threat from Afghanistan and proves the need to withdraw from Iraq (McClellan, 156).

He pointed out that if he was elected President, he would end the war in Iraq by withdrawing nearly all U.S. troops within 16 months and that he would follow a nationalized security strategy with five goals:

1. End the battle in Iraq maturely;

2. Finish the clash against Al Qaeda;

3. Secure the world from all kinds of weapon of mass destruction and from terrorists;

4. Achieve security; and

5. Rebuild America's relations with other countries.

By the time Obama assumed the office in January, the Taliban terrorist attacks were on the rise, spreading operations to areas close to the capital, Kabul, and by 2008 in Kabul itself, where they did not previously exist (McClellan, 156).

To deal with the escalating violence being committed by the Taliban insurgents, in late 2008, the NATO/ISAF U.S. commander Gen. David McKienan requested the Bush administration provide 30,000 additional troops, beyond the 35,000 troops already operating in Afghanistan. That request went unfulfilled. The Obama administration gave Afghanistan a high priority, and responded to the recommendations of the inter-agency review of strategy headed by South Asia specialist named Bruce Riedel (Sitaraman, 1745).

In March 2009, Obama announced a "comprehensive strategy" for Afghanistan by ordering employment of an extra 21,000 U.S. personnel, including 4,000 additional instructors to train the ANA, as requested by Gen. McKienan. In June 2009, to signal innovation and a new strategy, the administration changed leadership by replacing Gen, McKienan with Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal who had served as head of U.S. Special Operations in Iraq from 2003-2008. Gen. McChrystal submitted his "initial assessment" of the security situation in Afghanistan to the administration in which, among others (Sitaraman, 1746). The general called for an abundantly resourced and complete counter strategy so as to avert a potential "mission failure." He asked for another 44,000 troops to deal with the rising Taliban insurgency. President Obama announced his new strategy, which included sending 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. On December 1, in his address President Obama articulated his administration's goals and strategy for Afghanistan. The goal was to defeat al Qaeda present in Afghanistan and Pakistan so that they cannot threat America anymore in future (Sitaraman, 1746).

The Afghan war has been the longest one the U.S. has ever fought. Despite the engagement of close to 150,000 troops, excluding Afghan security forces, the ISAF have not been able to defeat the Taliban and the Haqqani network, or compel them to engage in a serious and genuine reconciliation and reintegration talks with the Karzai regime and the Obama Administration so as to be able to restore stability and leave the country honorably by 2014 (Sitaraman, 1746). As a consequence of the serious campaign launched in 2009 by the U.S.-led forces, as of early June 2011 the Taliban has been forced to cede ground in the south -- the Helmond and Kandahar provinces -- the epicenter of the Taliban stronghold.

The Reason President Bush Supported A War in Afghanistan

After the attack of September 11, the government of Bush declared war on terror, and the basic objective behind this war was to defeat and stop the terrorists especially al Qaeda. It was then, that U.S. began bombing Afghanistan which started on 7th October, 2001 with a motive of invading by land. The purpose of invading Afghanistan was to get hold of Osama Bin Ladin and then completely destroy al Qaeda. It was also planned to put an end to system of Taliban who had allowed unregulated operation of Osama Bin Ladin and al Qaeda in Afghanistan (Woodward, 49).

The Reason Obama Increased U.S. Military Presence the Use of Drones in Yemen, Pakistan, and Elsewhere

To combat the threat of infiltration and to safeguard the sea-lanes through the Red Sea and the port of Aden, the U.S. identified Yemen as a crucial ally in the 'war on terror' in the post-September 11 period. Although the U.S. is understood to have executed a number of strike missions in Yemen using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), reports in late 2011 claimed that it was also secretly developing a series of UAV bases in Yemen and in the region. The implied potential increase in frequency and swiftness of UAV deployments is likely to have a significant impact on Yemen's security environment. The move, reported in the Washington Post, also highlights the U.S.' interest and involvement in the trajectory of Yemen's political transition. Despite improved bilateral co-operation between Yemen and the U.S., downside risks to relations remain (Hastings, 113). There is strong domestic opposition to the continuing detention of Yemeni prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

Yemen, no less than Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan or Pakistan, is an important part of al-Qaeda's global network and will remain high on Washington's list of security priorities. Obama has increased military forces and attack on Yemen, Pakistan and other regions by drones in order to finish the al Qaeda who are spread all over Asia and this can be achieved only through attacks using drones (Hastings, 119). Since, drones can exactly pin point the location of a specific target and at the same time risk of killings of U.S. military personnel is also reduced.

United States' "Wisdom" In Its "War on Terror" Since 2001

According+ to the definition of terrorism (which is) "as premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience," we are no closer to understanding the geographical limits of a global war against terror and terrorism (Marc, 546). The problem is much broader than a definition of terrorism or terrorists. Definitions of who enemy combatants are, when force can be used, and what defines counterterrorism policy abound. Definitions are frequent in the legal, political, economic, and sociological literature. The problem with articulating a place for this war is not that definitions are infrequent or not usually applied, but definitions often create trouble. If the war on terror is conceived to be necessary, then there must be a place for it to be prosecuted. There is danger in defining geopolitical boundaries, as these boundaries are often contested, especially as they relate too many of the countries in which the global war on terror may be placed, because discourse is often silenced with respect to this war.

The death of Osama bin Laden was applauded by many as a significant victory in the war on terror, yet still the United States faces a difficult time in law, international relations, and the pursuit of national security. The problem is implicit in the phrase the "global war on terror." This phrase is continually uttered, yet its meaning is imprecise. Language…

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