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The War on Terror - Essay Example

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It has been argued that 9/11 terrorist attacks gave impetus to what we call the "War on Terror." To what extent this US-led campaign against global terrorism would reflect the "opportunity and willingness" of president Obama to invest more resources from his "menu" of choices available?…
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Blackboard Discussion It has been argued that 9/11 terrorist attacks gave impetus to what we call the "War on Terror." To what extent this US-ledcampaign against global terrorism would reflect the "opportunity and willingness" of president Obama to invest more resources from his "menu" of choices available? The “War on Terror” is a blanket cause that allows the United States to intervene on any activities it considers to be terrorism. The war is fighting a faceless enemy, therefore it could be anyone. President Obama has chosen to withdrawal troops as well as focus on humanitarian aid. What started out as the liberation of Iraq from Sadaam Hussein has developed into the United States being a peace keeping force in the Middle East. This includes both military and humanitarian efforts. The United States has been increasing the amount of troops being sent to Afghanistan in order to drive the enemy out of populated sectors. The United States increased the troop count by 30,000 in 2010 alone (Keyes, 2011). This increased military presence costs a lot of money as well as American lives in order to fight this invisible enemy. Obama has also been trying to recreate democracy in Iraq. The goal of President Obama was to bring peace and end conflict in the Middle East between the factions of Islam as well as eliminate the terrorist threat. As a result this would create a foothold for economic and stability to the region even though fighting has persisted in that region for thousands of years. In addition, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton went over to visit and talked about how by keeping and drawing attention to Iraq, it makes the world more interested in its neighbor Iran (Dougherty, 2011). This allows the United States to have support should it decide to take action against Iran besides passive sanctions. 2) George Kennan had asserted that ..."There there is not total victory short of genocide, unless it be a victory over the minds of men.....Victory is probably something not to be achieved by military means or indeed in any short space of time at all; and perhaps that is the source of our confusion (Vasquez, p. 31). How do you assess or reconcile Kennan's views with that of Brig. Gen. Donald Alston, then the military spokesman in Iraq in 2005 when he commented that "this insurgency is not going to be settled, the terrorists and terrorism in Iraq is not going to be settled, through military operations. It could only be settled through political agreement." (Middle east Policy, vol XII, No.3, Fall 2005). The conflict in the Middle East is not only a military one, but also a cultural one. We are trying to impose Western ideals on a culture that has lived a way of life for thousands of years. The first thing to notice is that the Middle East is Muslim. The values and ways of life are completely different of the Christian influenced values that Westerners bring. The main conflict is between the Shiites and the Sunni sects of the Muslim religion. Each of these sects has a different religious practice and view on Islam such as for the Sunni ‘there is no god but God and Mohammad is the Prophet of God.’ The Shittes believe in the use of visual symbols (Oler 2008). The religion and culture are woven into the government so, the United States would be fighting to try to put one of these groups in power and not the other which poses a conflict of interest. Ghandi puts it best when he says “Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is.” Another key factor in this struggle that many people in the Middle East do not want the interference of westerner’s in their affairs. This leads to more conflict. There is conflict among the individual counties; there is conflict among differing Muslim groups; there is conflict among the United States forces and terrorist. The effects of globalization are also at play as the world begins to become more intertwined in economy, policy, etc (Barker & Muck 2004). With the US fighting a war on “terror” against Muslim extremists, it seems that the US is trying to influence policy on Middle Eastern views. This would go in concordance with Brig. Gen. Donald Alston in that this conflict will be settled on political terms. Military tactics will not work when the root of the problem is cultural and religion based. There has already been fighting there for centuries. The only way that the fighting will be able to end is if a political agreement can be reached. Although tough, the political agreement would have to be beneficial to both parties and that could explain why a solution like this has not been reached yet. References Keyes, C. (2011, January 13). Military chief: u.s. gaining, but hard road ahead. Retrieved from http://afghanistan.blogs.cnn.com/2011/01/13/military-chief-u-s-gaining-but-hard-road-ahead/?iref=obinsite Dougherty, J. (2011, January 12). Clinton aims to bolster support for iraq's government on gulf trip. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/01/12/oman.clinton.interview/index.html?iref =allsearch Oler, A. (2008). A Brief Introduction to the Sunni-Shiite Struggle: Six Key Points. Reporter, 35(2), 2-9. Retrieved from EBSCOhost. Barker, P. W. and Muck, W. J. , 2004-04-15 "Holy War for the 21st Century: Globalization, U.S. Foreign Policy, and the Development of Islamic Identity" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Midwest Political Science Association, Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, Illinois Online . 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p84324_index.html Read More
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