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War on terror refers to the ongoing military campaign led by U.S and U.K against organizations identified as terrorists. Terrorism can be defined as an unlawful violence or war deliberately targeted to civilians. It can also be defined as a systematic use of terror to coerce or violent acts intended to create fear. This threat is normally perpetrated for religious, political or ideological goals. The conflict as also called by other names. They include World War III, The Long War, War on Terrorism, Bush’s War on Terror, The Global War of Terror and War on Al-Qaeda, (Coaty, 2010).
Terrorism became popular in 1996 when Al- Qaeda network was formed by the late Osama Bin Laden. The network was formed by the World Islamic Front for Jihad against Jews and their Crusaders. They declared war on the West and Israel. Immediately after its formation, there were bombings in U.S embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. Osama then plotted for the 2000 millennium attacks. There was an attempt to bomb Los Angeles International Airport but it was stopped. In October 2000, USS Cole bombing occurred. This was immediately followed by the renowned September 11 2001 terror attack. This marked the genesis of war on terror.
The essay explores on the topic understanding the war on terror by Patrick Coaty. This is done by an elaborate discussion on the measures of preventing terror. An evaluation is also done on how terror can be fought giving facts in each case. The evidences provided are mostly from the reference given. Some of them are also from the current terror fighting activities that are seen in several parts of the globe led by the U.S. The writing is then concluded by a brief summary of the entire discussion as shown below.
Prevention Measures on Terror
The September 11 attack made the world to become alert on terror. U. S government and the world states put several controls in order to escape other attacks. Legislations were passed to deal with terror. These laws were meant to freeze assets of terrorist groups. For instance the wealth of Sadaam Hussein was frozen just before Iraq was invaded by the U.S. because he was a terrorist. The laws were also used to empower police and authorize soldiers to fight against terror. This can be evidenced by the presence of both U.K and U.S troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Surveillance and intelligence activities were increased. The international community and the U.S strengthened security measures in most sensitive places like ports, bus stations, beaches, supermarkets and learning institutions. Nations have spent a lot of time and money in order to evade a repeat of September 11 terror attack. The United States have terror intelligence in almost every nation of the world. This measure has proved to be effective because many terror attacks have been thwarted. They include 2006 Sears Tower and 2007 John Kennedy International Airport terror plots among others.
Deny support, sponsorship and sanctuary to terrorism. It was discovered that some personalities and states support terror. The strong nations like U.K and U.S then came in with the backing of United Nations to ensure that the terrorists are not supported in any way. International effort towards war on terror was then boosted. The administration of America worked with the willing nations, enabled weak nations as they compelled the unwilling ones. Material support for terrorists were disrupted and interdicted by the U.S forces and allies all over the world. Their havens and sanctuaries also got eliminated.
U.S decided to defend citizens and interests at home and abroad. America has large business network, aid programmes and embassy centers. Al- Qaeda network primarily targets the Americans, Jews and their friends. This is why the policy for National Strategy for Homeland Security was implemented. The Bush Administration developed it to improve on incident management capability to protect U.S citizens abroad. It was also meant to strengthen infrastructure at home and abroad so that the citizens can communicate and give feedback on their safety wherever they are.
Underlying conditions that terrorists seek to exploit were reduced. This was a measure that was used to reduce the chances of unlawful attacks on the globe. U.S partnered with the international community to empower weak states and prevent emergence of terrorism. To date, this can be seen in Libya, Cote Devore and Somalia where the states have no proper governments. The international troops have been deployed in the above states to ensure that terrorists do not utilize such loopholes to attack the citizens.
Fighting the War on Terror
War on terror is a global challenge. A number of ways have been put across to fight the problem led by the United States of America. Defeating terrorist has been found to be a very effective way of fighting this threat. It is achieved by identity, location and destruction of the terrorists along with their organizations. Once the unlawful activities are spotted, they are confirmed and relevant actions taken against them instantly. Evidence is the U.S bombing of Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan in pursuit of Al- Qaeda network which was successful because Osama was later found and killed.
Strategy of targeted killings is also a major way to fight terror. This is a method that focuses on the individuals who bear the greatest responsibility. The aim is to catch them alive or dead. It has indeed borne fruit over the years. Evidence is the demise of Sadaam, Fazul and the recent killing of Osama Bin Laden by the Americans. Currently, the Kenyan troops are in Somalia using this approach. They are in support of the East African Community and the U.S targeting a terror group called Al-Shabaab with a plan to wipe them away.
Ban on illegal dealings is a way of fighting terror. It has been proved that terrorists use black market to fund their violent activities. These include fake passports, smuggling of valuables, drug peddling and piracy. Terror activities require international traveling and huge funds. This can only be achieved through unlawful means. The U.S recently read names of the world most wanted drug dealers and instructed that the same people be sucked from government positions. Currently, there is war on piracy that has taken a lot of funds from shipping companies through hijacking ships on demand for ransom. Most of these funds are used by terrorism.
Terror culprits should be dealt with sternly. This is a forceful but effective way fighting terror. States that support terror could not only face sanctions but military actions if they are not willing to cooperate. Evidence is when U.S attacked a suspected terror plant in Sudan in 1998 after their embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed. Iraq was also invaded by America for manufacturing weapons of mass destruction in 2007. Those who have been caught should be arrested and prosecuted accordingly.
Border security must be intensified. This is key factor that can be used to fight terrorism. Every nation has the responsibility to make sure that the environments in the boundary are not accessed by terrorists. Unlawful entries must be blocked using all the means possible. The U.S recently intensified border security watch by putting in place Border Patrol Agents and ready military personnel. All states must therefore instruct their migration and registration ministries accordingly. This will minimize terror by lawful registration and passport issuance.
Emphasis on terror policy has greatly helped. The U.S and U.K encourages the international community to concentrate on the same in order not to be left behind in the fight. This will help the governments to allocate enough resources for fighting terror. Such resources include money, time and forces to combat the unlawful actions. U.S has put a lot of stress on terrorism because it is a major target. The department of defense under the command of Barack Obama changed its name from war on terror to Overseas Contingency Operation in 2009.This was to energize their effort on dealing with this threat.
Critically, the discussion above has given enough clues on the topic. Enough evidences have been highlighted to support the premises used in the essay. There are a few oppositions on the fight against terror. Some scholars purport that the participating giants like U.S can use war on terror to pursue their long- standing policy objectives. Also they allege that continuous and consistent war on terror may reduce civil liberties and infringe upon human rights. From the discussion, it is clear that terrorism is an enemy not only to the U.S but to all the states. It should therefore be fully fought.
In conclusion, understanding war the war on terror not only requires strategic measures to prevent it but also concrete ways to fight the war appropriately. This is a move towards a safe and peaceful world.