War on Terrorism Term Paper

Pages: 10 (3512 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Level: College Sophomore  ·  Topic: Terrorism

War on Terrorism

Terrorism is one of the most foundational threats that the world has ever seen. Terrorism is also a difficult threat as it is rarely if ever linked directly to a source nation, that has an official role in terrorist acts or movements. For this reason the "war on terror" is a war unlike any other war. The invasion and subsequent war in Iraq, despite its early connections to acts of terrorism has proven to be a war wholly ineffective in curbing, controlling or eradicating terrorism and it may in fact be feeding the idealism that is needed for acts of terrorism to take place. Many even claim that the war itself was begun as a persuasive tool for political reasons and was linked to terrorism as a way of giving the U.S. The impression that the administration was making a concrete step toward eradication of terrorism. Individual senators, opposition candidates and even eventually the voting public have become increasingly aware of this issue and the amount of propagandizing that surrounds it. ("Terrorism, Iraq War Shaped Campaigns" A01) in the 2004 presidential elections the voters were seeking security and the most logical leap was to designate a link, no matter how artificial between the two issues, the invasion of Iraq and the war on terror.

From start to finish, Mr. Graham said, "Bush made it his job to get the war issue front and center, because he was always seen by voters, in all polls, as the stronger leader. But he had to seal the deal with them that the war in Iraq was part of the War on Terrorism, making domestic issues take a back seat..." ("Terrorism, Iraq War Shaped Campaigns" A01)

The importance and reality of this link are now being questioned at every level. People, in both high and low places are questioning the validity of the connection and asking if this aggressive move, on the part of the U.S., especailly in the face of international opposition was in fact appropriate to improve security in the U.S. Or her interests all over the world, or if the act served to increase the threat to the U.S., by making martyrs of a nation of presumable innocents.(Jones 26) the political positioning that has become increasingly obvious has undermined the faith of individuals in the nature and necessity of the War in Iraq, as people feel they were sold a bill of goods, rather than leveled with in regards to the strategic importance of the Iraq in the global war on terrorism in both the short- and long-term. In fact this work argues that the only connection between the war on terrorism and the War in Iraq is that the later has and will continue to serve to increase terrorist activities and actions against the U.S., no matter how the current government spins it.

This work will attempt to address these issues by defining the manner in which the war in Iraq and the war on terror are connected, if at all through an emphasis on primary sources and secondary facts. It is likely that the work will demonstrate through this analysis that the war on terror and the War in Iraq are not connected. In fact the war in Iraq is contraindicated for the long-term safety of the U.S., specifically with regard to future acts of terrorism, such as was seen on September 11th. The aggressive actions of the U.S. And the perception by the world of those actions and their source will likely create a greater international hatred for the U.S. than already exists.

To Americans, the word "Arab" conjures images of war, terrorism, and political Islam. To Arabs, the "United States" connotes a pro-Israel superpower that is occupying Iraq and imposing political and cultural changes. These stereotypes now run deep, and changing them is a long-term project. (Maluf 74)

Within the commentary that preceded the full invasion of Iraq and the subsequent designation of this action as war there are countless objections to full scale military action. Many of these experts had a keen eye for the issues associated with Islam and the region of the middle east, but especially Iraq and deemed any such action as an actual death sentence to the war on terror. ("American Policy and Islam..." A19)

Like ancient Gaul, Iraq is divided into three parts: the Shiite south, the Sunni center, and the Kurdish north. Any heavy bombing of Iraq, especially if combined with a massive invasion of the country by American ground forces, may cause Iraq to collapse into its constituent parts. ("American Policy and Islam..." A19)

It can certainly be argued that this has been exactly the outcome of the full military attack as Iraq is in a state of near complete political chaos precipitated by centuries old affiliations an regional strife.

A the potential for radical destabilization of the entire region is perhaps the greatest.... Is this scenario, too, really conducive to the promotion of American interests? American officials and American policy still do not get it. The sad truth is that the contradictions of U.S. policy towards Islam, combined with possible military action against Iraq, are only too likely to bring any progress in the war against terrorism to a screeching halt. Worse, any such military adventure is likely to breed new terrorists. ("American Policy and Islam..." A19)

It would seem that these educated warnings about the potential for full scale destabilization of the region, through military action in Iraq went unheeded as the full scale invasion was not only conducted but has since become another of America's long-term wars, now lasting more than 5 years, with no indication of a real end in sight, with regard to troop involvement and national spending and an estimated American military death count of more than 4,000 and an unknown civilian death count of more than 60,000. (www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5018332730"Antiwar.com NP) "The man confirmed last night as the next U.S. Defense Secretary yesterday conceded that the U.S. was not winning the war in Iraq and warned that if that country was not stabilized in the next year or two it could lead to a 'regional conflagration'." ("We Are Not Winning the War in Iraq..." 9) it would seem that those who questioned the efficacy of invading Iraq may see their prophecy of doom, realized, though it took the resignation of the U.S. Defense Secretary (Rumsfield), and the appointment of a new one (Gates) for these words to be voiced publicly by official representatives of the U.S. government. In late 2006 140,000 American troops were stationed in Iraq and even with the change of helm there is likely to be more by the close of 2007. "For the moment, the United States has 140,000 troops stationed in Iraq, where they shall remain, according to the Bush administration, until the Iraqi government can defend itself against internal subversion and mounting sectarian conflict." (Akerman 17)

In regard to the connection between the War in Iraq, currently being debated as a culmination of civil war obviously again fulfilling the fears of many, ("Reid Denies Claims..." 13) and weapons of mass destruction. The clear establishment of the production or the production capabilities of weapons of mass destruction was not made and in fact the claim that such weapons exist or existed in the past, and were available to the Iraqi regime has been openly discounted by international interests.

The problem with summary justice against terrorists is that it often ends up taking out the wrong target -- as in Bill Clinton's bombing with cruise missiles of the Shifa pharmaceuticals factory in Khartoum in August 1998. Clarke defends the destruction of the factory, but in truth it posed no threat to our way of life, unless we expected al-Qaeda to spray us with aspirins in the hope that we would overdose. (Cook 34)

There is little doubt that the actions of the U.S. In its invasion and subsequent war on Iraq will in retrospect be billed as similar in coarse to the Clinton bombing of the pharmaceutical factory but clearly much greater in scale. The war was engaged in regardless of the fact that the truths with regard to Iraq, Saddam Hussein and his actions as well as many other issues were convoluted and often built on myth rather than factual evidence. Myths range in severity from, Hussein's utilization of WMDs to kill his own people, an exaggeration to say the least and that Hussein had been actively attempting to build WMD, since "he" expelled inspectors from Iraq in 1998, again a falsehood. The development of this myth was pervasive though false, as Reece Kilgoe & Ritter point ou tit was actually President Clinton who expelled the UNSCOM weapons inspectors from Iraq, on the eve of the small scale attack of Iraq in December 1998, Operation Desert Fox, a 72-hour aerial bombardment of Iraq. They also go on to point out that Clinton expelled the inspectors without the consent or consultation of the UN Security Council who… [END OF PREVIEW]

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