The War on Terror
Afghanistan and Iraq
• To understand the concept of the ‘War on Terror’.
• To analyse speeches given by former President Bush and Prime Minister Blair.
• To evaluate America role in the post-Cold War era.
Who is America’s Enemy?
• By yourself, create a list of nations you think are considered enemies of the United States of America in the post-Cold War era (1991-2004).
Who are terrorists?
• In pairs/small groups draw your idea of what a terrorist looks like.
• British Soldiers shot 26 unarmed Irish civilians in 1972 during a protest. 14 were killed.
• The IRA (Irish Republican Army) bombed numerous locations across the British Isles for the best part of the 1970s and 1980s.
• Crimes committed against Irish citizens.
• Ku Klux Klan have committed countless acts of terrorist activities against minorities in America.
• In pairs, discuss those two speeches
• What did you think of them?
• Was there anything you disagreed/agreed with?
So what is the War on Terror?
• It relates to the international military campaigns that occur after 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks.
• Spearheaded by the United States it also included both NATO and non-NATO nations in actions to destroy al-Qaeda and other militant extremists organisations.
• The particular focus has been on Muslim countries associated with Islamic terrorism organisations
• (As of 2013, President Obama has announced that the USA is no longer pursuing a War on Terror).
The USA and the UN
• The invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003 were not agreed upon through the United Nations.
• America is aggressively pursuing its own national interests without acting through co-operation with the international community and specifically the United Nations.
• Initially Britain is America’s only ally in the conflicts.
• The strategic position of the Bush administration that allowed for preemptive strikes against those it deemed as immediate threats towards the security of the Unite States.
• To what extent was the USA’s response to international aggression based solely on protecting its own national interests in the years 1991 to 2004?
• At the end of the Cold War the USA needed to preserve its position as a global superpower (much like Britain wanted to at the end of WW2 – difference is America is financially stable). It needed to be a superpower to guarantee its national interests.
• The USA acted outside of the UN’s authority. Intervention in Iraq (2003) is one example as the US needed to ensure its own interests were secure over the interests of the UN.
• US response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 could be seen as it acting in its own interests. The US needed to protect its ally Israel and it needed stability in the Middle East because of the importance of the region’s economic and strategic power.
• The USA did cooperate with the United Nations in 1990 by participating in the economic sanctions strategy developed by the UN to put pressure on Iraq
• The USA was willing to allow Saddam Hussein’s regime to contine after Iraq had been defeated in the Gulf War. This suggests the USA was prepared to limit direct intervention in the Middle East. No indication that US presence was necessary and that Iraq should decide on its own governance.
• President George H. W. Bush referred to the actions in the Gulf War as part of a “new world order”. Perhaps suggesting that the US was willing to work with other nations and not manipulate events in terms of their own interests.
Other things to consider:
• Emergence of international terrorism and its direct impact of US policy making, particularly in terms of 9/11
• The commitment to democracy in both Iraq and Afghanistan and the huge costs to the USA in terms of...
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