Last Updated 13 Apr 2020

Is the War on Terrorism a War Essay

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The Global War on Terrorism is a military run that began shortly after the terrorist onslaughts of September 11th 2001. First used by George W. Bush. the phrase ‘war on terror’ has become to be conceptualized as a term used to mean ‘global military. political. lawful. and conceptual battle aiming both organisations designated as terrorists and governments accused of back uping them. ” The war on panic chief focal point has been with Islamist activists and Al-Qaeda.

The war in Afghanistan and Iraq are both considered to be portion of the war on terrorist act. There is much guess on whether the war on panic is really a war. This essay will reason that both points of position are valid. There are grounds which validate the war on terrorist act as being considered an existent war such as the fact that an existent decelaration of war was waged by both the US and Al-Qaeda. it can be considered a new manner of war. and that finally like war. terrorist act is a mean to a political terminal.

On the other side of the spectrum. it may non be considered a war because it does non hold a clear terminal or possible triumph. it does non hold a confined conflict infinite as regular wars. and it is a ‘war’ against an immaterial construct such as the wars on poorness. drugs. and offense. There is an extended sum of literature on the topic of terrorist act and particularly the war on panic. Mia Bloom in ‘Dying to Kill: The Allure of Suicide Terror’ examines the usage schemes. successes. and failures of self-destruction bombardment in Asia. the Middle East. and Europe.

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She claims that in many cases the attempt of Israel. Russia. and the United States have failed to discourage terrorist act and suicide bombardments. Bloom besides contemplates how terrorist groups learn from one another. and therefore how they react and retaliate to counterterror tactics the funding of terrorist act. and the function of suicide onslaughts against the background of larger cultural and political struggles. Another current bookman authorship on terrorist act is Mark Juergensmeyer. Juergensmeyer surveies spiritual terrorist act more specifically. Bruce Hoffman gives a superb penetration to terrorist act and all its facets.

Hoffman describes its historical development and the mentality of the terrorist. He examines this unseeable enemy and his tactics and motive in a globalized universe. Hoffman argues that the 9/11 onslaughts on the Twin Towers radically altered the USA’s and the Wests position on terrorist act. When trying to reply the above inquiry it is of import to clear up and specify the footings. Terrorism has a huge figure of definitions and varies greatly depending on who is seeking to specify it and from what position it is being defined and at which range.

For illustration one definition of terrorist act is the FBI’s definition of it as ‘the improper usage of force or force against individuals or belongings to intimidate or hale a Government. the civilian population. or any section thereof. in farther political or societal objectives’ . Another definition is from the Department of Defense which states it to be as ‘the calculated usage of improper force or menace of improper force to instill fright ; intended to hale or to intimidate authoritiess or societies in the chase of ends that are by and large political. spiritual. or ideological aims.

A concluding illustration of one of the many definitions of terrorist act is that of the Department of homeland Security which states it as ‘any activity that involves an act that is unsafe to human life or potentially destructive of critic substructure or cardinal resources ; and…must besides appear to be intended ( I ) to intimidate or hale a civilian population ; ( two ) to act upon the policy of a authorities by bullying or coercion ; ( three ) to impact the behavior of a authorities by mass devastation. blackwash. or nobbling. ’ These definitions vary rather greatly from one to another.

Any definition of terrorist act suits a peculiar bureau and how they look at the act of force. whereas really few expression at the causes for it and what its kernel is. Notice the selected vocabulary for each definition will accommodate the type of agency’s profile. The job with specifying terrorist act is one that it is a subjective thing. and two that the parties seeking to specify it seek to include everything and nil in it. They try to set and assorted different events that happened and state of affairss every bit good to assist specify it so as to do certain that terrorist act encompasses a big figure of things.

For illustration the discotheque bombardment of Bali. It seems that the definitions need to include anything that attacks the West. With respects to the war on panic. is it the war on panic or terrorist act? Is there truly a war on terrorist act and if so harmonizing to whom? The USA? Al-Qaeda? And in which theaters and locations are we speaking about? The war on panic might be a war on panic in Afghanistan but non in other topographic points. Besides the rubric of the inquiry is rather equivocal because is terrorist act is an act of war. or is war is an act of terrorist act? Each one can be unfolded onto the other easy.

It is besides of import to see who is included in the war on panic. is it all terrorists groups including terrorist groups like the IRA? Or is it merely limited to Islamist hawkish terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda? It is non ever clear who are the terrorists and who are the terrorized… “All political relations is a battle for power. and the ultimate sort of power is force. ” Hoffman writes that terrorist act is where political relations and force intersect in the hope of presenting power. And that all terrorist act involves a pursuit for power. Power to make many things such as to rule. coerce. control but finally to ‘effect cardinal political alteration.

Clausewitz’s definition of war was ‘war is the continuance of Politick by other means’ . In this context terrorist act tantrums in conformity to his definition as terrorist act excessively can be considered portion of war. Terrorism can be considered a tactic or act of war. or war a tactic or act of terrorist act. For illustration the Gallic used anguish during the Battle of Algiers. the US uses panic tactics itself such as Abu Ghraib. It is really hard to divide war from terrorist act neatly. Bing a terrorist is a stepping-stone to going a politician.

Therefore because of the really equivocal relationship and line between war and terrorist act. terrorist act can be considered as a new manner. or military maneuver of contending war. Therefore anything that tries to counter onslaught it can besides be considered a war. Therefore riping the war on terrorist act a war. Terrorism is ‘a complex phenomena in which force is used to obtain political power to readdress grudges ’ In order for one to see the war on terrorist act as an existent war. an existent statement of engaging war has had to been made. This is the instance with the war on terrorist act. Al-Qaeda did declare war on the USA in 1998.

The bush disposal created the term of the ‘axis of evil’ and the USA did contend a conventional war in Iraq in 2003. The war on terrorist act might non be a war in itself but it could be made up and composed by several on traveling wars such as Chechnya. the authorities of Sri Lanka versus the Tumult Tigers ( which was really the first state to successfully get the better of terrorist act ) . and Mali. There have been clear aims set out and enemies to get the better of. Although this enemy is unseeable. and the manner of contending the conflicts are different ( due to the asymmetrical facet of the war on panic ) it does non intend this is non a war.

The regulations have changed. the conflict infinite as good. the manner of thought of the enemy and war has changed drastically. But it is still war. It is merely a new face of war. However. the war on terrorist act is difficult to specify as an existent ‘war’ for several grounds. One. because it seems the US and the West are merely patroling and prosecuting in state edifice to advance broad democracy. Hoffman mentions the 2nd factor. which is immensely of import in discrediting the war on terrorist act as a war saying that ‘unlike traditional wars. the war on panic does non hold a clear end’ . This is because the triumph seems unachievable.

Terrorism won’t dice along with the terrorist leaders. Not even when the most wanted terrorist has been killed. DCIA Leon E. Panetta stated that “I don’t think there’s any inquiry that when you get the figure one terrorist in the universe. that we’re a small safer today than we were when he was alive. But I besides don’t think we ought to pull the leg of ourselves that killing Usama Bin Ladin kills al-Qa’ida. Al-Qa’ida still remains a menace. they’re still traveling to seek to assail our state. and I think we have to go on to be argus-eyed and go on the attempt to finally get the better of these cats.

We damaged them. but we still have to get the better of them. ” In order for a war to be a war. shouldn’t it hold a clear terminal? Or at least a possible one? The war on terrorist act besides is discredited as being an existent war because it does non take topographic point on a clear conflict infinite. The manager of public prosecutions. Sir Ken Macdonald quoted “London is non a battleground. Those inexperienced persons who were murdered on July 7 2005 were non victims of war. And the work forces who killed them were non. as in their amour propre they claimed on their farcical pictures. ‘soldiers’ .

They were deluded. egotistic inadequates. They were felons. They were fantasists. We need to be really clear about this. On the streets of London. there is no such thing as a ‘war on terror’ . merely as there can be no such thing as a ‘war on drugs’ He continues by saying that ‘the battle against terrorist act on the streets of Britain is non a war. It is the bar of offense. the enforcement of our Torahs and the winning of justness for those damaged by their violation. ” The war on panic could merely be a war against a ‘thing’ such as the war on poorness. drugs. offense tc… There is no existent manner to get the better of. destroy and free the planet of such immaterial constructs. The war on terrorist act looked under these facets becomes more hard to truly accept as a war. It is hard to reply the inquiry if whether the war on terrorist act is an existent war. It appears that there is a battle between Al-Qaeda contending secularism. consumerism. and immorality and the US and the West is contending against retardation and against groups of people who reject western values and globalisation. Is this what the existent war being fought is about? Is this the existent war that is traveling on?

There are both facets crediting the war on terrorist act as a war and others discrediting it. This inquiry nevertheless is extremely relevant and intertwines to other facets of IR305 such as the altering nature of war ( is the war on panic the new type of war? ) . the different types of warfare ( is the war on panic the new western manner of warfare and terrorist act the Arab manner of warfare? ) . and the subject of hazard societies ( are we engendering more terrorist act by contending the war on panic. therefore making more hazard ) . All of these assorted facets of IR305 are relevant to the subject of the war on terrorist act.

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