â€œCommon Senseâ€ A Rationale for the War on Terrorism Preface On September 11, 2001, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. On this day, our nation united, determined to obliterate the evil force of terrorism from the planet Earth. Now, just eight years later, these same people wish to pardon the acts of evil, disregarding the 2,995 deaths that they united to avenge just a few years before.
So the question lies before us; do we hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts, or do we ignorantly allow terrorist to revenge the freedoms our founding fathers worked so hard for? Because of the threat caused by terrorist on the United States of America, her citizens should continue to thwart the terroristsâ€™ threats both at home and abroad. Some may wonder why the United States should continue fighting the War on Terror. It must be fought for the safety for our citizens, insurance of our posterity, and preservation of liberty.
The ignorance of the American public must not destroy the future of a country that was founded on freedom. The America we live in is a country that has endured much. Ever since the Revolutionary War, our ancestors have defended this country with all their might, so that their descendants may reach the dream we like to call â€œThe American Dreamâ€. Now it is our turn. The veterans of World War Two fought to defend our country after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Are their sacrifices not made for the same reasons as troopsâ€™ today- defending the United States of America?
It will take America united to win the war, not just the republicans or democrats. Public Perception of the War In the past century, the American public has become more increasingly active in their government than ever before. In some cases, such as the Watergate Scandal, this is a good thing. In some cases, it isnâ€™t. People never want to admit they are wrong, so therefore they give their opinions on topics they havenâ€™t the slightest knowledge about. The founding fathers foresaw this, and created the Electoral College in attempt to prevent it.
The founding fathers did overlook the fact that the peoplesâ€™ ignorance could p further than presidential elections. The people of America will never abstain from making a decision, uninformed or not. The people show a lack of understanding of the War on Terror, yet still protest it. They see it as a conspiracy, or an attempt to rejuvenate American Imperialism. They are blind to the fact that every war this country has fought was caused by aggravation of another state. They fail to realize terrorism as the state that can destroy our way of life if not dealt with.
The War on Terror is in no way, shape, or form a takeover; it is liberation. It is a liberation years in the making, but starting only now. Foreshadowing the War One thing people tend unable to grasp is that the United States has faced multiple terrorist acts carried out by al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda became active in 1992 with the coordinated bombings of two hotels in Aden, Yemen. Since then it has expanded greatly. It was responsible for the 1993 bombings of the World Trade Center and attacks on U. S. troops in Mogadishu.
It was also responsible for the 1995 bombing of the National Guard Training Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia. Al-Qaeda was directly involved in coordinating the 1998 United States embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, along with the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen, and the September 11 attacks. Actions were taken to search for Osama bin Laden (the leader of al-Qaeda) during the Clinton presidency, but were never a priority. So why attack the U. S.?
Al-Qaedaâ€™s ideology includes â€œridding the Muslim world of any non-Muslim influences. â€ On February 23, 1998, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, a leader of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, along with three other Islamist leaders, co-signed and issued a fatwa (binding religious edict) calling on Muslims to kill Americans and their allies where they can, when they can. Neither bin Laden nor al-Zawahiri met the traditional qualifications to issue a fatwa of any kind, but their hatred of the United States led them to do so anyway.
Before the launch of the War on Terror, al-Qaeda had already killed 3,036 Americans, injured 11,870+ Americans, and cost the United States over $32. 1 billion. The attacks foreshadowing the War on Terror were clearly costly to the United States, and are motifs for fighting the al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations today. The War Begins The War on Terror began on October 7, 2001. In the words of former president George W. Bush, â€œOur war on terror begins with al-Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated. President Bush outlined the following as objectives for the War on Terror: ? Defeat terrorists such as Osama Bin Laden, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and destroy their organizations ? Identify, locate and destroy terrorists along with their organizations ? Deny sponsorship, support and sanctuary to terrorists ? End the state sponsorship of terrorism ? Establish and maintain an international standard of accountability with regard to combating terrorism ? Strengthen and sustain the international effort to fight terrorism ?
Work with willing and able states ? Enable weak states ? Persuade reluctant states ? Compel unwilling states ? Interdict and disrupt material support for terrorists ? Eliminate terrorist sanctuaries and havens ? Diminish the underlying conditions that terrorists seek to exploit ? Partner with the international community to strengthen weak states and prevent (re)emergence of terrorism ? Win the war of ideals ? Defend US citizens and interests at home and abroad ? Implement the National Strategy for Homeland Security ? Attain domain awareness Enhance measures to ensure the integrity, reliability, and availability of critical physical and information-based infrastructures at home and abroad ? Integrate measures to protect US citizens abroad ? Ensure an integrated incident management capability Campaigns of the War on Terror A common misconception the American public makes is that the War on Terror is only in Iraq. Former President Bush clearly defined that the War on Terror does not end until we destroy all terrorist groups of global reach and prevent their re-emergence.
The War on Terror is currently being fought in Iraq, Afghanistan, The Philippines, The Horn of Africa, The Mediterranean, Maghreb, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Thailand, Somalia, Israel, Lebanon, Gaza Strip, Nigeria, and North Caucasus (among others). Every campaign of the War on Terror is vital to achieve the warâ€™s objectives. Operation Enduring Freedom The term “OEF” typically refers to the war in Afghanistan. Some operations are only loosely or nominally connected to OEF. All the operations, however, have a focus on counterterrorism activities.
The operations included in OEF are all crucial to the global uproot of terrorist. These operations also are vital to the accomplishment of the objectives outlined for the War on Terror. OEF comprises several subordinate operations: ? Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan & Iraq (OEF-A) ? The Goals of OEF-A are simply to remove the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, and destroy al-Qaedaâ€™s presence their. On October 7, 2001, American and British forces began aerial bombings campaigns targeting al-Qaeda and Taliban force.
After the last Taliban-held city in the north was captured, most of the Taliban of the north retreated to Pakistan. The Taliban regime of Afghanistan was removed on November, 2001. In December, 2001, U. S. , British, and Northern Alliance forces united to further destroy Taliban and al-Qaeda in The Battle of Tora Bora. On March 1, 2002, Operation Anaconda, an operation intended to destroy Taliban and al-Qaeda in the area, began and lasted until March 18th. It was largely successful, with American troops killing over half of the 1,000 fighters. Since then, operations to removing the growing Taliban insurgency have occurred. The Taliban still holds influence in many regions, and needs to be destroyed in order to prevent another regime. OEF-A is probably the most active subordinate operation contained in OEF. People tend to take for granted that without more troops operating here, the insurgency could grow faster than it can be removed. The problem with this is once the insurgency is large enough, the Taliban could regain control. Afterwards, the Taliban, angry at the United States, would sponsor al-Qaeda more than ever. Catastrophic events, such as a larger magnitude duplicate of the September 11th attacks, could result. Operation Enduring Freedom – Philippines (OEF-P) ? In January, 2002, 1,200 members of United States Special Operations Command, Pacific (SOCPAC) were deployed to the Philippines to assist the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in removing the al-Qaeda, Jemaah Islamiyah and Abu Sayyaf terrorist organizations from the islands. The operations were successful, and OEF-P is expected to end in 2010. ? To some, the correlation between OEF-P and the War on Terror are unclear. This, like OEF-A, helps accomplish several of the objectives for the war.
Even if we destroy al-Qaeda in every other part of the world, if we donâ€™t remove it from the Philippines it could reform. Al-Qaeda can be compared to a cancer. If not completely removed, it can regenerate worse than ever. ? Operation Enduring Freedom – Horn of Africa (OEF-HOA) ? Anti piracy operations were undertaken by the coalition throughout 2006 through a battle fought in March that was caused by U. S. ships being attacked by pirates. In January 2007, during the war in Somalia, an airstrike was conducted against al-Qaeda members embedded with forces of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) operating in southern Somalia.
US naval forces were positioned off the coast of Somalia to provide support and to prevent any al-Qaeda forces escaping by sea. Actions against pirates also occurred in June and October 2007 with varying amounts of success. ? OEF-HOA may not be as important as the other subordinate operations, but it is still important. Piracy has plagued the world long before the formation of the United States. Following the 2006 piracy events, the United States felt it necessary to fight piracy as a form of terrorism. This was reinforced after the recent Somali piracy attacks. ? Operation Enduring Freedom – Trans Sahara (OEF-TS) OEF-TS is an operation conducted by the United States and partner nations in the Sahara/Sahel region of Africa, consisting of counterterrorism efforts and policing of arms and drug trafficking across central Africa. Congress approved $500 million for the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative (TSCTI) over six years to support countries involved in counterterrorism against alleged threats of Al Qaeda operating in African countries, primarily Algeria, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Nigeria, and Morocco. ? OEF-TS is fought for all the same reasons as OEF-P.
If al-Qaeda reforms after its destruction, the United States would face catastrophic events. ? Operation Enduring Freedom – Kyrgyzstan (completed in 2004) ? Kyrgyzstan was basically an operation to clear out al-Qaeda forces so that Operation Enduring Freedom Allies could use Kyrgyzstan as a base in central Asia. Operation Active Endeavor Operation Active Endeavour is a naval operation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It operates in the Mediterranean Sea and is designed to prevent the movement of terrorists or weapons of mass destruction as well as to enhance the security of shipping in general.
Operation Iraqi Freedom Operation Iraqi Freedom is an ongoing military campaign which began on March 20, 2003 with the invasion of Iraq by a coalition, led by troops from the United States and the United Kingdom. Prior to the operation, the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom claimed that Iraq’s alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) posed an imminent threat to their security and that of their coalition allies. The invasion of Iraq led to an occupation and the eventual capture of President Hussein, who was later executed by the new Iraqi government.
Violence against coalition forces and among various sectarian groups soon led to the Iraqi insurgency, strife between many Sunni and Shia Iraqi groups, and al-Qaeda operations in Iraq. In late February 2009, President Barack Obama announced an 18-month withdrawal window for combat forces, leaving behind 30,000 to 50,000 troops to advise and train Iraqi security forces and to provide intelligence and surveillance. General Ray Odierno, the top US military commander in Iraq, said he believes all US troops will be out of the country by the end of 2012, while British forces ended combat operations on April 30, 2009.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has said he supports the accelerated pullout of US forces. Arguments for Fighting the War on Terror After being briefed on the War on Terror, one could assume that the majority of the American public would support the war. Americans, out of ignorance, choose to protest that in which they know nothing about. There are several benefits for continuation of the War on Terror, and many consequences for a sudden withdraw. Homeland Security Following the terrorist attacks of September 11th, protection of the country from further attacks was among the highest priorities.
Acts, such as creation of the United States Department of Homeland Security and USA PATRIOT Act, strengthened the nation greatly. To date, no attacks by Islamic terrorists on the US homeland have been successful since September 11, 2001 (although several were attempted). At times we take for granted the fact that our actions against terrorism since September 11th have decreased the likeliness of another attack. If the United States withdraws its armed forces from the War on Terror, organizations such as al-Qaeda can rebuild and prepare a counter-attack. You pose a very important question that will impact future American generations. Sarcastically, I could say that we shouldn’t open any new battle fronts against terrorism or terrorists. We should, as the Democrats, appear to invite, tuck our tails and withdraw from every foreign soil where America is trying to thwart terrorism. Then, let’s wait until they conduct suicide bombing attacks on our soil killing innocent men, women and babies, as they attend a movie. But if we wait, it’ll be too late to do what we are doing now â€” take the fight to them, and have it in their backyard, not ours. â€” DeWane (a FOX News Fan) International Influence The United States of America has only lost two of the nineteen wars/invasions it has fought. This means the U. S. A. â€™s military success rate is at 90%. With this high success rate, it can use military force as a threat towards nations/organizations that oppose it. If the United States decides to withdraw from the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, then its success rate will fall to 81%. This leads to other countries thinking that our threats of military action arenâ€™t serious. Conclusion The War on Terrorism is a war needing fought.
People, regardless of ethnicity, political party, or even nationality, need to unite once more. The people of the United States of America, nay the people of the planet Earth, need to unite to destroy these terrorist groups that plague the world in which we inhabit. In the words of the current president of the United States, Barrack Obama, â€œWe are in the early stages of a long struggle. Yet since 9/11, we’ve heard a lot about what America can’t do or shouldn’t do or won’t even try. We can’t reach out to the hundreds of millions of Muslims who reject terror because we worry they hate us.
We can’t protect the homeland because there are too many targets, or secure our people while staying true to our values. We can’t get past the America of Red and Blue, the politics of who’s up and who’s down. That is not the America that I know. The America I know is the last, best hope for that child looking up at a helicopter. It’s the country that put a man on the moon; that defeated fascism and helped rebuild Europe. It’s a country whose strength abroad is measured not just by armies, but rather by the power of our ideals, and by our purpose to forge an ever more perfect union at home.
That’s the America I know. We just have to act like it again to write that next chapter in the American story. If we do, we can keep America safe while extending security and opportunity around the world. We can hold true to our values, and in doing so advance those values abroad. And we can be what that child looking up at a helicopter needs us to be: the relentless opponent of terror and tyranny, and the light of hope to the world. To make this story reality, it’s going to take Americans coming together and changing the fundamental direction of this country.
It’s going to take the service of a new generation of young people. It’s going to take facing tragedy head-on and turning it into the next generation’s triumph. That is a challenge that I welcome. Because when we do make that change, we’ll do more than win a war — we’ll live up to that calling to make America, and the world, safer, freer, and more hopeful than we found it. â€ â€œAmerica was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand. â€-Harry S. Truman
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