War on Terrorism: Post-Modern Warfare? Term Paper

Pages: 7 (3194 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 7  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Terrorism

British Television/Journalism

The topic chosen is 'Is the War on Terrorism an example of 'Post-Modern Warfare?' being one that is very relevant to today's world, it deals with the causative factor behind the 'war on terrorism' that was declared by the United States of America after the attacks on some of its main centers on September 11, 2001, executed by a group of Islamic militants identified as 'Al-Quaeda', and the post-modern warfare that has resulted out of the entire episode. The issues that will be explored during the course of this paper will be the following: the actual attack, and descriptions of the attack, the measures taken against the attack, and descriptions of the plans, the result of the attack, and descriptions of the people trying to escape the buildings that were struck, the responses for and against the war on terrorism declared by the U.S.A., and descriptions of several different writers on this war, and also of different people from different walks of life, and the future of the world when super powers like America carry out their threats against certain militant outfits like the Al-Quaeda, and the need for more tolerance in this postmodern world of today, and all the relevant quotations in this respect.

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TOPIC: Term Paper on War on Terrorism: Post-Modern Warfare? Assignment

In a BBC News article dated Thursday 13 September 2001, it was reported that it was on September 11, 2001 that a number of terrorist attacks were carried out on America. One attack was launched on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, located in the heart of the United States of America, at 08:45 AM. Several eyewitnesses have reported to the BBC through e-mail and through direct contact that they were stunned beyond belief that such a thing could actually occur in the world's super power, America. One eyewitness, Mac Delaney, states how he was engaged in some work at the South Tower of the World Trade Center, when he felt the aircraft strikes the North Tower of the Center. Initially there was widespread panic thinking that there had been an accident of some sort, and people did not know what was actually happening. However, when the word came through that they were to evacuate the second tower, people who were in the building scrambled for safety, and as a result, the stairwells as well as the elevators were jammed beyond their capacity, and only a few people managed to get out and run, 'like there was no tomorrow'. (11 September, Key Reports and Video)

When they were out on the street and thanking God for saving them, they happened to witness the second aircraft that was flying right into the second tower, from which this witness had just escaped. No one could actually believe that such a thing was happening. The second explosion was even bigger than the first one, and the impact shook the ground on which many people were still standing. This was because the second aircraft was fully loaded with fuel, and the impact caused the full tank of fuel to explode, like a 'giant mushroom'. Soon the news that there had been a third and then a fourth explosion began to be circulated, though no one could believe it. The sad truth was that this was true. The third plane that was a part of the massive terrorist attack on the United States of America was crashed into the Pentagon, in Washington DC, the power Capitol of America. This attack led to an evacuation of the persons within the military and intelligence building even as it burned. The pentagon, which is generally the source of military relief in the case of a national tragedy of this sort, was rendered helpless in this particular situation, and this was because of the fact that a large part of the Pentagon happened to collapse after the attack. (11 September, Key Reports and Video)

BBC Correspondent Stephen Evans stated in his report of the attack to the News online that he was actually inside the twin towers, working on the ground floor level, when they were struck by the aircrafts. He says that his initial reaction was that there had been an 'earthquake'. He then thought that something had fallen from a great height, and that this had created such a huge impact on the very building. It was only later that the reality of what had happened struck him, and the reality was far worse than his imagination. A large number of emergency relief workers as well as firefighters were killed during the attacks, mainly because they did not expect that there would be any more attacks after the first one. This was the tragic story of the terrorist attack on America that occurred on September 11, 2001. (It doesn't seem real)

Gordon Corera, BBC news correspondent, states in his report on the 'War on Terror' declared by the United States of America to not only fight those terrorists who had put fear into the hearts and minds of all the citizens of America but also to avenge the deaths of the tens of thousands of innocent people who had perished in the attacks for no reason of theirs at all, that there is at present intense speculation on the direction of America's foreign policy over the next few years. The feeling at present is that America has in fact relegated this so-called 'war on terror' against the militant group responsible for the attacks, Al-Quaeda', to the backbenches for the time being, and have instead started to direct their concentration on the affairs in Iraq and Iran. The answers to the questions of whether or not the United States would win the war are being completely ignored now, states Gordon Corera. Richard Clarke, the former advisor on counter-terrorism measures for both the present President George Bush, and for the past President Clinton, feels that the George Bush administration demonstrates a clear lack of strategic thought. ('War on Terror' vanishes from agenda)

Much of the attention of the administration is being concentrated on Iraq, so that the afore-declared war on terrorism was being, in fact, ignored. The accusation is that the President has combined and conflated Iraq and the terrorist war together so that when work is being done against Iraq, it is being assumed that the work being done is for the campaign against terrorism, which is definitely not true. Mr. Clarke also states that the present time is in fact a lull between the first attacks against the Al-Quaeda group and the second one. The first one was responsible for destroying a large part of the group, but not the entire Al-Quaeda. This means that, the remaining people of the group or maybe even others who are angry at the Unites States for their activities in Iraq may start organizing entirely new networks that had been unheard of before. This inevitable means that there will soon be an emergence of new terrorist groups and nothing can be done to combat this. Mike Scheuer, who used to work for the CIA in the Bin Laden Unit, states that the United States does not in fact understand what motivates Bin Laden, and unless this is known, how one can fight terrorism? Some persons have made the wrong assumption that the Unites States is fighting a single organization when in fact; the United States is fighting an entire global Islamic insurgency. ('War on Terror' vanishes from agenda)

The question to be asked at this juncture is that of whether the ongoing 'War on Terrorism' being carried out by the United States is an example of 'postmodern warfare' or not. If it is, then in what way is it a true example of the postmodern war? In an article by writer Victor Davis Hanson on the theory of postmodern war in 'The City Journal', on 10 January 2005, the writer states that the United States of America, being as powerful and well equipped as she is at the present time, is a formidable enemy to anyone who attempts a war with her, unless the opponent who dares to fight a conventional war with her is fully equipped with the type of arms and discipline and the military organization that is similar to what is in possession of the United States alone. The truth of this statement is amply demonstrated by the sudden but sure collapse of the regime of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and also of Saddam Hussein's regime when attempts were made by both parties to try to face the United States of America in a direct conflict.

The military dynamism that was exhibited by America when she attempted to intervene in the affairs of the Middle East was so artfully carried out that it could not have been attempted by anyone other than the United States. The reason for America's success is based on her culture, including her approach to religion and politics and to economics, as well as the system followed by the U.S.A. In trade, that is,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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