Contemplating Realities and Paradoxes in the Global War on Terror

In: Other Topics

Submitted By oakkaoo
Words 28095
Pages 113
Contemplating Realities and Paradoxes in the Global War on Terror
John B. Alexander, Ph.D.


The approach of this monograph is to examine paradoxes encountered in the Global War on Terror (GWOT). The intent is to spark debate on disputatious issues. Clearly, many of the existing situations appear intractable given the emotional investment that has been made by the public, and exacerbated by political manipulation of elected officials. Also unavoidable are the fiscal constraints that are becoming increasingly binding.

Examined in Section One are problematic premises related to the four fundamental approaches to countering terrorism; increased security, eliminating the terrorists, attacking the support infrastructure, and altering conditions that breed discontent. Despite trite, albeit politically popular, commentary proposing those methods, execution of those concepts is extremely difficult, often controversial, and sometimes counterproductive.

Section Two of this monograph addresses several other policy decisions that generate problems that are difficult to resolve, but directly impact the forces involved. Among those topics are; roles of contractors, individual loyalties versus national interests, alliances of convenience, foreign response to our policy on preemption of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), the consequences of our stated objective of spreading democracy, the impact of U.S. presence in the Gulf region, and quandary associated with defining winning.

Section Three will offer a few solutions to extremely contentious, often emotional, issues that are strategic in scope. This includes the development of an organization that can predict threat objectives and evolution, thus reducing the probability of continued unanticipated consequences from U.S. actions. Additionally, means of extraction of information from prisoners without…...

Similar Documents

The Cold War and the War on Terror

...Eerily, it seems that during the Cold War and the War on Terror, many of the feelings that citizens felt were the same, but what America called the enemy was different. Following the September 11th attacks, there was a feeling of paranoia felt throughout America similar to the paranoia felt during the Cold War. Americans did not feel safe, and an attack could come at any time. The fight on the home front looked different during the Cold War and the War on Terrorism. During the Cold War there was more of a correlation between fighting Communism, and buying consumer goods. During the war on terrorism Americans were asked to give up some of their rights in order to maintain their safety. There is an abundance of similarities between the Cold War and the War and Terror. In Echoes of the Cold War, Elaine Tyler May says, “The war against terrorism, like the struggle against Communism, defines the enemy as a worldwide conspiracy…with operatives infiltrating the United States.” In both wars, America was not just fighting a group of people; America was also fighting an idea. In the Cold war, America was fighting of Communism. The USA believed they were truly free, and that in order for other countries to be truly free they had to embrace capitalism and consumerism. America tried to spread capitalism to Vietnam and Korea by fighting in those countries, similarly to how America tried to bring Democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan. In the War on Terrorism, the idea that America......

Words: 998 - Pages: 4

Cold War vs. War on Terror

...The Cold War period lasted for nearly 45 years, from 1945 to 1991. It began at the end of the Second World War and with the collapse of the Soviet Union. The war was the stage for the West's struggle against communist ideas and changes. This long wearing conflict brought to pass an increase in production and trade of arms and an appearance of a new world order formed by America. The main principle of the cold war can be seen as the East-West competition in ideas, arms and spheres of influence. (REF) After Afghan terrorists dramatically attacked the United States on September 11, 2001; America declared a war on terror and flew its troops into Afghanistan in pursuit of avenging their nation and capturing al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Again America found itself in opposition to the East, nevertheless this time a different region. And Again the East was fighting against this new world order and America's quest for world domination in a globalising world. The aim of the essay is to explore the relationship between the cold war and the ‘war on terror' in Afghanistan and to find similarities in political patterns and warfare, in order to answer the question Main Body - History Main question - Relationship The cold war marked the struggle between America and the USSR after the Second World War. The war influenced international affairs majorly. It influenced the way conflicts were handled, the way countries were divided up and the increasing growth in weaponry production...

Words: 3840 - Pages: 16

Terrorism vs War of Terror

...that the wars inAfghanistan and Iraq are strikingly similar to the Vietnam war and thus will affect the generation the same way as the Cold War. The war in Vietnam lasted from 1961-1973 and the War on Terror has lasted from 2001-today in 2012. It is still going on. At the time,Vietnam was the longest war in history but it will soon be surpassed by the War on Terror. When the Cold War began, younger children and teenagers who were receiving information about the war had an undying hatred for the Russians. They felt the Russians were at fault for the war butdidn't see the flaws of their own country. For example, when the U.S. went into Iran in 1953 because a revolution and new leader would cut off American access to their oil. As a result, the CIA paid people $100 to have a revolution to overthrow the leader so we could access the oil. Then the U.S. put a dictator into power in Iran. Most people were unaware of these actions and therefore hated the opposing side. Today, many youths feel the same way about Afghanistan and Iraq. They have asense of hatred for these people for the Twin Towers incidents and the attacks on the Pentagon. However, not all of these people are terrorists which people like to assume. As in the Cold War wherepeople thought everybody in a communist country was communist, we see the same scenario with terrorists. A lot of people hate these people because they want the troops to come home. If they randomly come home and don't resolve this war......

Words: 474 - Pages: 2

War on Terror

...June 29). Primer: Guantanamo detainees’ rights. National Public Radio. Retrieved from http://www.npr/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11600605 Habeas corpus was used as a reference to a judge’s order to expedite a detainee before the court to see whether or not the detainee deserves to be in prison. While these detainees were restrained to Guantanamo Bay prison, their rights had become abolished by the Supreme Court in 2006. It was not till October of 2006 when Congress stepped in and designed the new Military Commission Act, so that detainees may receive a fair trial. During that time the Federal court was using the Detainee Treatment Act, which was only being used if an detainee felt that they were being categorized as a criminal in a war crime even though they done no such thing and have proof to back up their claim. Our Congress had to jump in and derail any hope for the detainees’ at Guantanamo Bay to be able to use Habeas corpus. All of the problems the detainees’ are having are caused by the Bush Administration and the Republicans; because they feel that the detainees’ have no constitutional rights in the United States since they are not citizens. The Democrats feel that taking away Habeas corpus from the detainees. From Guantanamo Bay is very much unconstitutional. Question: What does the word “Combatant” means? Thesis Statement: The United States has certain laws protecting both civilians and prisoners. There is one certain law that was given the name......

Words: 331 - Pages: 2

Tools in America's War Terror

...America's War on Terror America is at war with a transnational terrorist movement fueled by a radical ideology of hatred oppression, and murder (Executive Office of the President 2003). On October 12, 2000, members of the al Qaida terrorist group attacked the USS Cole (DDG 67) in the port of Aden, Yemen.  This attack demonstrated our enemies’ ability to identify areas of vulnerability within our defense apparatus and exploit them in an effective and lethal manner. As with any event, the attack on the USS Cole resulted in an investigation which reviewed the events leading up to the attacks and provided mitigation strategies to prevent, or deter, such an attack from taking place again, altering the way the U.S. military thinks and operates while in-transit. The report organized the findings into national and operational levels and further separated these into the five functional areas of organization, antiterrorism/force protection, intelligence, logistics and training. The report found that a unity of effort across US Government agencies and development of host nations’ security capabilities was critical in impeding a terrorist’s ability to hit transit forces. It also recommended the allocation of additional intelligence gathering resources for the collection and analysis of data related the terrorist organizations’ capability and intent within the region as well as increasing counterintelligence assets to combat terrorism and develop counterintelligence assessments for......

Words: 1399 - Pages: 6

Habeus Corpus and the War on Terror

...what role it plays in our country, and the action that is currently being taken regarding it. I will also be delving into the way that the Bush administration dealt with the writ of habeas corpus. Since the U.S. Constitution was written, the writ of Habeas corpus has been considered one of the most basic and fundamental guarantees of civil liberty that we as American citizens have enjoyed. Even so, many questions have been raised regarding the proper use of this writ. Many of these questions have come to light over the past decade. In the years following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States government hundreds of people as part of the war on terror. Most of these people face imprisonment indefinitely without having been charged with a crime or even given the status of prisoner of war. The purpose of Habeas corpus is to protect American citizens against such things as wrongful/unlawful imprisonment and torture. It is a civil liberty that our Constitution guarantees cannot be taken from us. The precise origin of Habeas Corpus is unknown but it is believed to have originated from Anglo-Saxon common law. The principal use of Habeas Corpus comes from the middle ages, when similar laws were used. The sum of these laws have aided in molding our current use of habeas corpus. Habeas Corpus has been used to compel jailors to bring a person in custody before a court of law. Habeas Corpus was virtually unknown to various European systems of law. ......

Words: 496 - Pages: 2

Habeus Corpus and the War on Terror

...Habeas Corpus and the War on Terror POL 201 American National Government The recent War on Terror has caused quite a stir. Many patriotic Americans are now on guard even though the main character in the War on Terror, Osama Bin Laden, has been caught and executed. Many other “terrorists” have been arrested and detained at a prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. This raises the question of whether they are being detained legally or not. One issue is the concept of habeus corpus. This essay will briefly outline the war on terror and demonstrate the concept of habeus corpus and what it means for detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The War on Terror may have begun with the bombings of two US embassies in East Africa in the countries of Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. At the time, it was uncertain who caused the attack or why it happened. “Two bombs with a single message: don't forget the world's superpower still has enemies, secret, violent and determined. America is ever a target, its embassies and installations abroad inviting symbols of its power See, say the bombers, despite your enormous wealth and strength, we can still inflict a great hurt” (McGreary, 1998). This message suggested that there was more terror on the horizon. The author remembers this well as he went to Kenya in 1998 and returned from his trip two days before the US Embassy was bombed there. Many Americans may have forgotten about these attacks when, three years later, the United States was attacked on its...

Words: 1822 - Pages: 8

War on Terror

...War on Terror On September 11, 2001, two planes ultimately hijacked by members of Al-Qaeda crashed into the World Trade Towers, New York City, New York. Many different generations became glued to the television in awe as news stations showed live video of New Yorkers running for their lives while down came the “Twins Towers”. Declaring war on whomever was behind this became emanate as Americans wanted revenge for the wrongful deaths of many innocent lives. It was not until May 2, 2011, that the man behind the attacks, Osama bin Laden, finally got what he deserved…death. Two years later, American troops are still fighting in Afghanistan, dying every day. The mission President Bush set out to accomplish had been completed, so it is time to bring the troops home and stop dying for the sake of other countries. The fight against terrorism will forever be an ongoing process, that much is understood. It is the goal of Presidents to come to keep the fight off American soil, something which can be checked off the list for the past 12 years. Like previously stated, war on whomever committed the 9/11 attacks was at the top of many American’s agenda, but who is to say that after 12 long years priorities have not changed. Once the death of bin Laden had been confirmed, the process of sending American troops home should have gone into effect immediately. Granted many troops have already landed safely on American soil, one troop still in Afghanistan is one too many. According to......

Words: 967 - Pages: 4

U.S. Involvement in the War on Terror

...U.S. Involvement in the War on Terror The War on Terror is tough to define. It is considered a war, but not in the traditional sense. When one thinks of war they think of enemies, a battlefield, weapons, and death. However, the war on terror is slightly different. The lines that define enemies and allies are blurred, there is no battlefield, and the weapons come in all shapes and sizes. Nonetheless, there has still been death. Starting on September 11, 2001, the War on Terror has been waged for many years and has included many groups of people. On September 11, 2001, hijacked planes crashed in to the World Trade Center in New York City. Known as the Twin Towers, the World Trade Center is symbolic of the United State’s “economic power and military might” (Rahman). Immediately following the attacks, President Bush named Osama Bin Laden at fault and declared the War Against Terrorism. United States Congress had allocated billions of dollars and authorized President Bush to take any measures necessary (Moore). This war, however, is different from a typical war. President Bush told people to “go about their daily lives” unlike during World War II where 90% of Americans helped the war effort in some way. The war on terror is a war “without boundaries…directed against multiple enemies, not just one adversary” (Raz). The United States government has defined the war on terrorism against those who are declared “terrorists” or anyone accused of “harboring terrorists” (Rahman). ...

Words: 2054 - Pages: 9

War on Terror

...Since September 11, 2001, Americans have faced a new enemy that is not distinguishable by conventional terms of the law of war. As a result of this fact, the detention of these enemy forces has brought about a large debate among, mostly, the Executive branch and the Supreme Court. At the center of the debate is the rights of the enemy detainees. The Supreme Court argues that because their detention is at a location that is under the complete control of the United States, their rights are blanketed under the Suspension Clause of the Constitution and as such, they should be granted the right to seek Habeas Corpus. The Executives maintain that unlawful enemy combatants have no rights under the Constitution of the United States and that the President retains full control over their detention. This paper will look at the English and American background of Habeas Corpus and how it plays into the landscape of war today. I will also briefly look at past suspensions of the writ, as well as the perspectives of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches and how the writ applies to alien enemy combatants. I will also offer my own perspective on the same. Quite simply put, an unlawful enemy combatant caught fighting against the United States oversees and brought to a location that the U.S. does not have sovereignty over, should not be afforded the same rights as the citizens and alien residents of our great nation that they fight against. The ‘Great Writ’ of Habeas Corpus has its’......

Words: 317 - Pages: 2

War on Terror

...War on Terror      When we think about major threats to our national security, what comes first to our mind? Nuclear Proliferation, Rogue States (a term applied by some international theorists to states considered threatening to the world's peace.), and most importantly Global Terrorism.      Terrorism can be defined as attempts to scare people into taking certain actions. By threatening to kill innocent people, terrorists hope national leaders will meet their demands. When they kill or cause destruction, terrorists want people to be afraid of future violence. Terrorists want to use this fear in order to achieve their goals.      War on Terror refers to the words used by Former President George W. Bush on September 20 2001 after a deadly terrorist attack on the United States. This attack left a scar on the minds of people around the world.  Today, I am going to talk to you about certain things regarding the War on Terrorism that you might not have heard of.      We know that a terrorist group called Al-Qaeda caused the attacks on 9/11 and the mastermind behind this event was a person named Osama Bin Laden. But what do we know about this mastermind? Why did he plan the attack on the United States?  First I will start by telling you about Osama and certain events that occurred in the Middle East.       Osama Bin Laden was born in Saudi Arabia and he grew up with hatred towards The United States and Western Culture. He hated the United States for several reasons.......

Words: 769 - Pages: 4

War on Terror

...War has always been evident throughout time exploiting measures and counter measures in order to gain power and fear with no mercy to terror. The fact is terrorist activities have been lingering throughout history, leaving mass amounts of victims to suffer from an imaginable loss. From the destruction of 9/11 and the massive genocide from the Jewish population, the anarchy in which these men of fear exert is beyond reason, which is why this is aimed primarily as a concern for not only Americans but citizens from different and all ethnicities around the world. Many precautions could be taken to prevent an attack on U.S. soil; however it is important that the steps are to be planned out thoroughly. Also, I believe that in order to keep ourselves safe from possible future encounters with terrorists, the government must construct a swift justice among these terrorist sleeper cells to cause of suppress enemy activity. This is the result the government has to improve national security on a global scale, in order to improve aggressively on a military standpoint and obtain reliable intelligence of their activities on a broader spectrum. Despite the fact that basic steps are easier said than done, they convey a vital resource in preserving the idea of our society as a protected and powerful force as much as possible. The general public has the right to feel safe and protected by their country; therefore, the task lays in hand that the powers in hand such as the government should take......

Words: 272 - Pages: 2

Habeas Corpus and the War on Terror

...HABEAS CORPUS AND THE WAR ON TERROR Renita Redding Instructor: Cindy Campbell POL 201 April 27, 2015 A writ of habeas corpus is a judicially enforceable order issued by a court of law, this orders that is given to a prison officer, that orders a prisoner to brought to court to determine if the prisoner has been justly imprisoned and should the prisoner be released from prison. This order takes place by a prisoner petitioning the courts for a hearing about his imprisonment. According to The Constitution of the United States of America, it is the right of a prisoner to show evidence to prove that they have been unjustly imprisoned. The sole purpose of the habeas corpus was to ensure that the government from holding a prisoner indefinitely without being charged or taken before a judge. Our forefathers believed that habeas corpus was so important that they made provisions for it in the first article of the United States Constitution. This paper will explore habeas corpus and the war on terror. Historians believe that the first time the term “habeas corpus” was known was around 1305 in England. It is thought to have been a part of the Magna Carta, signed into law by King John. The original wording of Article 39 of the Magna Carta, stated, “No freeman shall be taken, or imprisoned, or disseized, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any way harmed- nor will we go upon him- save by the lawful judgement of his peers or by the law”, Mcelroy, W. (2009). The Magna Carta was rewritten......

Words: 1631 - Pages: 7

War and Terror

...Short Essay on War and Terror The United States is known as a Super Power in the world today for two particular reasons and they are one, the outcome of World War II and two, how the President at that time, Franklin Delano Roosevelt handled conflicts at home as well as conflicts overseas. During that time the United States was going through some challenges dealing with the Great Depression and the difficulties of Germany beginning to start conflicts in Europe where there was nothing being done about it. World War II was a situation America had stayed out of for about three years, but when the U.S. finally did get involved the balance was then tipped in the favor of the allies due to the U.S. involvement. Also, as it was shown in World War I, when the United States gets involved with conflicts dealing with issues overseas we are very effective and are resolute on becoming triumphant. This resolve continued with a Reaganite point of view, it was president Regan who responded to the Soviet proxies with a proxy war built on the Nixon doctrine of preparing to wage low-intensity conflicts against military nationalist regimes in the Third World. Although by 9/11 the methods changed drastically from low-intensity proxy war to high-intensity direct warfare. [1] No different than the conflict the U.S. has dealt with and continues to deal with today in Iraq and Afghanistan. The era of proxy wars began with America’s defeat in Vietnam and closed with the invasion of......

Words: 1707 - Pages: 7

War on Terror

...War on Terror and its impact on Development in Pakistan Over the years Pakistan has fallen victim to the affects of war on terrorism. Slowly but surely Pakistan’s social structure, economic development and political systems are being eroded. Due to its geo-strategic position, Pakistan has faced adverse affects because of the invasions in Afghanistan by the USSR and U.S. The country also faces internal threats by religious and linguistic groups that help increase terrorism in Pakistan. Terrorism is destroying Pakistan infrastructure by reducing human capital, diverting foreign direct investments and redirecting public investment funds to national security. Terrorism can be defined as “the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political or social goal” (). Terrorism has now become a global problem and Pakistan is among one of the countries that has been highly affected by it. After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, the Taliban surfaced as a resistance movement aspiring to eject the Soviet troops from Afghanistan. The United States and Pakistan provided considerable financial and military support to the Afghan Mujahedeen who were able to impose heavy losses on the Soviet troops. Following the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. declared a war against Afghanistan. at this point the U.S. recognized the seeds they had sown. Taliban was a creation of the Pakistani intelligence agency (the ISI) but was funded by the U.S. The U.S.......

Words: 990 - Pages: 4