War on Terror

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War Against Terror

The September 11 2001 (9/11), terrorist attacks on the United States changed the perspective of the world towards terrorism especially the Al Qaeda. The world, in particular the major powers came to realize that the greatest threat they had in the 21st centaury was global terrorism and President Bush once said, “Al Qaeda is to terror what the Mafia is to crime” (George Bush, 2001,p.2). Just few days after September 11 2001, President Bush delivered a speech in which he declared that America was at war, a war to “find stop and defeat” every terror group of global reach (George Bush, 2001, p.5).

On October 7 2001, the USA and UK launched a joint attack on Afghanistan, to overthrow the oppressive Taliban government and to destroy the Al Qaeda’s stronghold in the nation, and by 2011, 49 nations, including Australia had sent more than 140,000 soldiers into Afghanistan (Rogers Simon and Lisa Evans, 2009). The second phase of the ‘War on Terror” took the USA and its allies to Iraq, where they had suspected the Saddam Hussein led government was creating weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and was cooperating with the Al Qaeda to launch attacks on USA and its allies. On March 20 2003, the USA, UK and their allies launched an invasion of Iraq without the consent of the UN (Ewen MacAskill, and Julian Borger, 2004). The invasion eventually led to the capture and execution of Saddam Hussein. However, no evidence was found of the Saddam regime creating WMD or collaborating with the Al Qaeda to cause damage to the West (Pincus Walter and Dana Milbank, 2004). The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have come at great costs with over 13,009 civilians loosing their lives in Afghanistan and over $ 1.7 trillion being spent by the USA alone in Afghanistan over the past decade fighting the Taliban and the Al Qaeda (Amy Bingham, 2012). In Iraq over 106,348 civilian people have lost their lives and over $ 800 billion have been spent. Further, thousands of soldiers have either been killed or fatally wounded (Amy Bingham, 2012). Currently, all foreign troops have been withdrawn form Iraq and the same is expected to happen in Afghanistan by the end of 2014. However, the scars of war still remain in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, Iraq is a torn nation with Iraqi citizens fighting amongst each other. The Iraqi Al Qaeda, which was established after the invasion in 2003 to fight foreign armies, has grown in size and stature. Just last week the Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for bomb attacks, which swept through Bagdad, in which more than 50 people were killed (BBC, 2013). The Prime Minister of Iraq later stated that the Al Qaeda were “trying to provoke a sectarian civil war,” between Shia and Sunni Muslims to destabilize the country and establish themselves as the major force in the country (BBC, 2013). Afghanistan too is in a fragile position, the once defeated Taliban has regained its confidence and has started to gain some of the power and land it lost during the USA led invasion in 2001. Across the boarder form Afghanistan; Pakistan has become a state with great uncertainty as terrorist groups linked with the Al Qaeda have caused great social and political unrest (Sohail Ahmed, 2010). At the 11th memorial service of 9/11, President Obama stated that “Al Qaeda’s leadership has been devastated, and Osama bin Laden will never threaten us again. (Mary Bruce, 2012) ” Yet on the same day, the Al Qaeda, attacked the American Embassy in Libya, in which four people including the US Ambassador Christopher Stevens were killed (ALAN McLEAN, SERGIO PEÇANHA, ARCHIE TSE and LISA WAANANEN, 2012). Simon Jenkins, a writer for the Guardian, in the UK states that the response to the 9/11 attacks was just what Osama Bin Laden was dreaming about, because it gave him the opportunity to show case his belief. That the West is against the Muslim world and that the USA is the “the great Satan” (Simon Jenkins, 2011). This belief is also reiterated by...
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