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Compare your selections and analysis of selections with those of your peers provided.
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Textbook chapter 32
Essay 1: The 9/11 Bombing of the World Trade Centers wasn’t the beginning of terrorism, but it did change the world. No one could stand on the sidelines anymore because the impact was being felt everywhere. After the September 11 attacks, many prevention measures were implemented as a part of the Global War on Terrorism, an international military campaign launched by the United States government. As a result, there is a long list of unsuccessful alleged terrorist plots in the post-9/11 United States.
However, I believe, that while these measures have been proven to be effective, it is nearly impossible to completely stop global terrorism. First, preventing terrorist attacks is a challenge for everyone simply because not all countries have the necessary resources. According to a United Nations report by Mike Smith, while some countries can spend billions of dollars on countering terrorism, others struggle to put in place even the basic measures needed to protect their borders and bring terrorists to justice. Second, how is it possible to screen and monitor everyone? For example, after the Boston Marathon Bombings, the FBI says it found no evidence Tamerlan Tsarnaev became radicalized after returning from Russia in 2012. With this FBI statement arose many arguments blaming the FBI for overlooking the threat because they were alerted of Tamerlan’s growing radicalism by Russian officials in 2011. But again, I think it is difficult to identify individuals that pose a threat who have no recognized links to a terrorist organization. As a result, not everyone responsible for the terrorist act could be captured. In addition, the motives are different and ever-changing, thus, our counter terrorism policies have yet to be adjusted accordingly. Therefore, I believe that global terrorism can’t be completely stopped, at least not now.
Former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen wrote in the Wall Street Journal that the United States must embrace the role of global policeman “if freedom and prosperity are to prevail against the forces of oppression.”(Davis, 2016). I strongly oppose this statement because it implies that America has the right to intervene anytime and anywhere. I believe, for instance, that the war with Iraq was not justified. The report of weapons of mass destruction was misleading and there were no links found between Saddam and al Qaeda. Another argument was Iraq’s lack of democracy, but is it really America’s place to decide where to bring a democracy and at what costs? The bottom line is, I believe in cooperation and coordination among countries at war with terrorism, but not every crisis requires U.S. military intervention.
According to Bradley L. Bowman, who is a major and a strategic plans and policy officer in the United States Army, one of the leading causes of terrorism directed towards the US is the US military presence in the Middle East. I believe that withdrawing troops from the Middle East can decrease the terrorist threat but I’m not sure if it will completely eradicate it because there is no single explanation for any attacks on the United States. As I mentioned above, the goals and motives of terrorist organizations change over time. We can’t say that the US military presence is the only reason, other reasons can arise out of social, political, and ideological motivations as well. Additionally, we can’t just assume that the terrorist threat from the Middle East will go away once all service members are brought home, although there may be other justifications to do so. It is also important to note that the terrorist threat could be coming from everywhere. The Oklahoma City Bombing and the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting for instance had nothing to do with the conflict in the Middle East.
Essay 2: America and Terrorism in the 21st Century
In the 21st Century, Terrorism is often associated with gruesome images broadcasted in the media of suicide bombings, beheadings, and other forms of violence propagated by Islamic groups. Any group that uses violence against civilians to champion their political agendas or ethical ideologies can be classified as a terrorist organization. Therefore, animal rights activists and political rebels qualify as terrorist groups if they use violence to push their respective agendas. In the 21st Century, Islamic groups often propagate terror attacks in the western region. The war on terror has been intense in America following domestic and international attacks against the country and its allies, usually carried out by the Islamic states and their affiliates. This paper discusses the ongoing war on terror between the United States of America and Islamic states with reference to the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013.
The USA has been acting like a “big brother” for most nations worldwide because it has been recognized as a superpower nation since World War II. America takes a policing role globally by speaking up against oppression and championing the protection of human rights. The USA assumes a policing role to ensure that other countries are not violating the rights of their citizens. For example, the Iraq war began when the US congress authorized the invasion of Iraq, intending to disarm it of weapons of mass destruction, end the reign of Saddam Hussein, and free the Iraqi of political oppression (Butt, 2019). The USA also used economic power to ensure that countries adhere to the protection of fundamental human rights, such as the sanctions currently imposed on Russia following the Ukraine invasion (Mbah & Wasum, 2022). This has made them a target for terrorist groups who see America as a meddling agent in their internal affairs. For instance, one of the suspects convicted for the Boston Marathon bombing confessed to attacking the USA because he and his brother were against the war that America was waging against Iraq and Afghanistan. Although many countries benefit from the protection offered by America, the policing role that the country has taken has left them susceptible to terror attacks.
The peace and stability of Middle Eastern states are vital to America’s economy and national security. First, the peace and stability of Islamic states in the Middle East ensure that trade can continue between said states and the rest of the world. America sources a good percentage of its fossil fuels from Middle Eastern states, which is the primary energy source for America. Therefore, peace and stability of Middle Eastern states will ensure that trade in fossil fuels runs smoothly, promoting America’s economic growth. Secondly, installing a peaceful and stable regime in the Middle East will prevent the ongoing war between said countries and America. Hence, resources used in the war against terror can be directed toward efforts that promote national security and economic growth for Americans. I think withdrawing all troops from Middle Eastern states will reduce the terrorism threat but will not eliminate it (Gause III, 2019). This is because many terrorist organizations are self-radicalized and follow the ideals of Islamic states that might continue to propagate domestic terror attacks on American soil. A good example is the Boston marathon attack by two brothers who denied affiliations with Middle Eastern terror groups such as Al-Qaeda or ISIS.
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