Bushes War On Terrorism Essay Sample
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Bushes War On Terrorism Essay Sample
The War on Terrorism, initiated by the United States Government’s Bush Administration in a direct response to the terrorist attacks that took place September 11, 2001, has made consistent progress in its fight against terrorism, as this lengthy struggle has led to the major improvements with homeland security, provided the opportunity to improve technology geared towards preventing further attacks and calculated military actions that led to the capture or killing of violent radical terrorists waging war on our country.
September 11, 2001 marked the worst attack on American soil in United States’ history, as approximately 3,000 US citizens were killed during a series of terrorist suicide attacks. Terrorist hijackers took control of four commercial airline flights filled with passengers from the United States and other countries only to lead these individuals to their untimely death. Two of the planes were flown into the World Trade Center, one plane was flown directly into the Pentagon and the fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers rose against the terrorists causing their plan to fail. (Guelke 2) From the moment of the attack, there was very little dispute as to who was responsible for this massacre, as international opinion immediately settled on followers of Osama Bin Laden, the leading figure of Islamic radical group Al-Qaeda. (Guelke 3) These brutal attacks upon the people of the United States sparked what we have come to know as the War on Terrorism.
Though some resistance to the War on Terrorism existed from the onset, the majority of American citizens supported the efforts and President Bush received favorable results in the polls. (Guelke 187) However, over the course of time the voice of those opposing the War on Terrorism has intensified to a heated debate between American citizens and the subject has become a major topic in the campaign for the 2008 elections.
Many critics argue that that “despite high-profile arrests, security operations and upbeat assessments from the White House” that the War on Terrorism is being lost and that a “new large scale strike against America at some point appears likely.” (Moutot 1) The argument critics use to support these statements is that many believe the War against Terrorism only causes hostility towards the United States from the Muslim world. According to Anne-Marie Slaughter, head of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, “Our insistence that Islamic fundamentalist ideology has replaced communist ideology as the chief enemy of our time feeds Al Qaeda’s vision of the world,” which breeds intense support for the radical terrorists’ movement. (Moutot 1)
As those who criticized the war at the onset, today’s critic argues that the justification of going to war was not a concrete concept, but “rather constituted a judgment on violent actions without clear boundaries.” (Guelke 187) Alain Chouet, former officer of France’s DGSE, states that “You do not wage a ‘war on terror’ – it’s as ridiculous as a ‘war on anger.’ You don’t wage a war on terror; you wage a war against people.” (Moutot 1) He believes that in order to combat terrorism we must attack what causes it – Wahhabite ideology and Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood, for example. Like the other critics Chouet believes that the War on Terrorism is merely a “powerful recruiting agent for a generation of Islamic radicals.” (Moutot 1)
The scandalous events that have taken place during the War on Terrorism have also been used to support the idea that this war will only create Islamic radicals – specifically the events surrounding the questionable actions that took place at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. On April 28, 2004 an American television program that covered current affairs broadcasted pictures that had been taken in Abu Graib that revealed war prisoners being subject to horrific abuse. (Guelke 90) Yet another discovery was made at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility where once again prisoner treatment came into question. The use of over 60 harsh interrogation tactics, such as water boarding, considered torture by most international legal experts came into question and there is no doubt that using such tactics shows little regard for human dignity. According to the Bush Administration’s opposition these activities provide a strong argument for those attempting to recruit a new generation of Islamic radicals and also compromised the integrity of government officials. (Guelke 199)
Though there is no doubt that the inhumane treatment of war prisoners is unacceptable, those opposing the War on Terror have to admit that there is still a real threat to the safety and well being of the American people, both home and abroad. No longer does the United States government have a clear picture of the enemy. Unlike the past we are facing an unknown adversary without a common face or viable address nor is the information we seek easily located or visible to our intelligence. The enemy facing our great country cannot be predicted, as he or she has more capabilities than those of the past. Today’s adversary has the option of utilizing technology and globalization to attack innocent victims as well as keep their activities invisible to others. As technology is continuously evolving in the name of progress, so does the enemy. (Northouse 41) For these reasons, the Bush Administration’s War on Terrorism was and is justified.
A nation watched approximately 3,000 of its brothers and sisters perish on September 11 at the hands of evil and from the very moment of impact the whole world changed. Our eyes were opened to a new reality that left us feeling extremely vulnerable to the wicked forces that had penetrated our borders. The people of the United States could not find a sense of safety in a country that promised freedom and it was obvious that something needed to be done. As a country people came together and demanded that President Bush take action against those who had damaged our country – the result was the War on Terrorism. (Northouse 41)
From the onset, the war brought about progress in the United States. The attacks of September 11 had opened our eyes to how defenseless we were at home and as a result President Bush and Congress came together and established the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The main objective of this department is to focus on increasing security and helping the American people feel safe within the country’s borders. This particular department has a wide range of responsibilities; most important is its requirement to build solid relationships with state and local governments as well as the private sector. (Northouse 41)
The DHS has implemented numerous programs since its inception in 2001, each focusing on a certain aspect of making our country safe. In 2006 the Federal agency chose to place its focus on the safety of individuals and created the Always be Ready: Ready Campaign. This campaign made a significant impact on the American people and the Ad Council declared that it was “one of the most successful campaigns in its more than 60-year history.” (DHS, comp) At the end of 2006 this particular campaign had generated more than $593 million donated media support and the website had received more than 1.9 billion hits by the end of 2006. (DHS, comp) The program provides the citizens of the United States a 204 page Manual that gives in depth information on citizen preparedness for all types of emergencies, including tornado, fire and terrorist attacks. (DHS, comp) The results of this program have been astounding and the American public has shown its support for the Federal efforts.
The National Transportation Security Administration (TSA), a division of DHS, took drastic measures in response to the failed liquid explosive terrorist attempt in England. Realizing that our nation could be vulnerable to such an attack, Officials immediately reacted and put a plan of action in place. Within hours the TSA had trained approximately 43,000 of its security officers on how to address the threat of liquid explosives so that if there is a future threat to our country, security officers have the knowledge required to prevent a disaster. (DHS, comp)
The TSA has also taken measures to strengthen the security measures that encompass Air Cargo. To improve current procedures two security directives were issued in the Fall of 2006 that require “100 percent of high risk cargo, as well as packages tendered to airlines at the ticket counters” be inspected. (DHS, comp) In order to thoroughly comply with the security directives surrounding the security of Air Cargo, the TSA created and filled 100 air cargo inspector positions and increased the number of canine teams, which are necessary to inspect air cargo for explosives. The measures taken by the DHS not only helped ensure the safety of US citizens, it also created several job openings that helped the US Economy. (DHS, comp)
The War on Terrorism has shown that the enemy is far more advanced than those of the past; therefore, the Department of Homeland Security has taken drastic measures to advance our country’s technological resources. With the popularity of the Internet and other technology, the War on Terror does not always take place in the traditional setting. In 2007 National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), a division of the Department of Homeland Security, created the EINSTEIN program, which supports the Federal agencies efforts to protect their computer networks; therefore, keeping our nation’s information safe. This technology is the first “situational awareness picture” of the United State government’s Internet facing networks. (Dixon 2) The purpose of such computer technology is to rapidly detect any cyber attack that might affect our government agencies with early incident detection. (Dixon 2) EINSTEIN Technology has been deployed to a large percentage of Federal agencies and has “greatly reduced the time for the Federal Government to gather and share critical data.” (Dixon 2)
Another division of the DHS, the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications (CS&C) has placed part of its focus on the continuous development of the National Response Plan (NRP). The NRP provides “structure and mechanisms for Federal support to State, local and tribal incident managers.” (Dixon 2) This division of the Department of Homeland Security realizes that the enemy has access to far greater technology than ever before; therefore, they have created the Cyber Incident Annex, which allows Federal agencies to respond and recover from cyber incidents that require some type of Federal response. According to Jerry Dixon, the Director of the National Cyber Security Division of the DHS, states that the Annex “formalizes the National cyber Response Coordination Group (NCRCG) as the principal Federal interagency mechanism to coordinate preparation for and in response to a national-level cyber incident.” (Dixon 2)
The 2006 incidents reported by the Department of Commerce (DOC) and the Department of State (DOS) when hackers attempted to access classified information from both agencies proves that the War on Terrorism can affect us in our homeland and that increasing our technological capabilities is necessary. The NCSD played a crucial role in the response efforts of these attacks and identified that a significant threat exists, as the “threat to government systems has shifted from opportunistic hacking to targeted cyber attacks.” (Dixon 2) It was determined the attacks were from international intruders and that more work must be done to face the enemy on the sophisticated battlefield of cyberspace. (Dixon 2) Dixon stated in his April 2007 address to the US House of Representatives that “while significant progress has been made to enhance network security of Federal departments and agencies, more can and will be done.” (Dixon 2)
Though significant progress can be shown through the efforts of the Department of Homeland Security’s focus on increasing the security of our nation through implementing readiness programs, strengthening the security of our national borders and the technological improvements that allow us to face the new age terrorist, it is important to focus on the progress of the most controversial aspect of the War on Terror – the military conflict that is taking place on many fronts. Since 2001 countless reports of Al-Qaeda senior members being killed or captured regularly surface; however, what seems to over shadow that success is the controversy that follows these reports. It seems the media does not remain neutral and places its emphasis on the unfortunate casualties suffered by the American military without mention of the fact that a terrorist killer has been taken off the streets.
On November 13, 2007 The Long War Journal published an in depth article that focused on the number of senior Al-Qaeda members captured or killed since the military surge that began Mid-June in Iraq. Since July the number of captured or killed terrorists have continued to rise – July 2007, reported 19 senior Al-Quaeda killed or captured, 29 in August and 29 in September. The largest increase of senior terrorists taken out of commission came in July, when Colonel Donald Bacon, Chief of Strategy and Plans, Strategic Communications and Multinational Forces Iraq, told reporter Bill Roggio that during the month of October 2007, forty-five senior members of the Al-Qaeda terrorist group were killed or captured. (Roggio 1) Six of those captured or killed were geographical or functional cell leaders, 14 foreign terrorist facilitators, 3 car bomb cell leaders and the rest played a significant role in the functioning of the Al-Qaeda terrorist group. (Roggio 1) On another front Afghanistan forces reported on December 14, 2007 that military forces had freed the world of a known senior leader of the Taliban, Mullah Sangeen who was responsible for attacks on Afghan forces as well as responsible for a number of explosive device bombings. (Roggio 1)
In light of these recent events in Iraq, multi-national forces seem to believe that it is quite possible they are closing in on Al-Qaeda’s upper tier of leadership. Two of the cell leaders captured was identified as personal body guards of Abu Ayyub al Masri, the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. In September 2007 military forces captured Ali Fayyad Abuyd Ali, a Islamic radical who had been a senior adviser to senior Al-Qaeda leaders. Still Colonel Bacon says to “Draw your own conclusions” when speaking of the significance of these captures. (Roggio 2)
The events of September 11, 2001 changed the world, as brutal terrorists attacked killing approximately 3,000 people within the borders of the United States of America. This surprise attack not only shocked the world, it revealed how vulnerable we had become over the course of time – the War on Terrorism commenced in retaliation. Though critics openly lash out at the Bush Administration for taking action against the terrorists, the war continues to show that progress is being made with the focus being placed on homeland security, advances in technology and the capture or killing of known Al-Qaeda terrorists.
Dhs, comp. Fact Sheet: Select Homeland Security Accomplishments for 2006. Department of Homeland Security. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2006. <http://www.dhs.gov/xnews/releases/pr_1167404984182.shtm>.
Dixon, Jerry. “Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity and Science and Technology.” U.S. Department of Homeland Security. United States House of Representatives, Washington, DC. 19 Apr. 2007.
Guelke, Adrian. Terrorism and Global Disorder Political Violence in the Contemporary World. New York: In the United States and Canada Distributed by Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.
Moutot, Michel. “Washington is Losing ‘War on Terror’: Experts.” Agence France Presse 4 July 2006. Politics & Society. MyWire.Com. 17 Dec. 2007 <http://www.mywire.com/pubs/AFP/2006/07/04/1674350?&pbl=82>.
Northouse, Clayton. Protecting What Matters Technology, Security, and Liberty Since 9/11. Washington, D.C: Brookings Institution P, 2006.
Power, Mike. “The Moral Shame of These ‘Techniques'” The Independent 8 Dec. 2007. 17 Dec. 2007 <http://comment.independent.co.uk/leading_articles/article3233268.ece>.
Roggio, Bill. “Targeting Al Qaeda in Iraq’s Network.” The Long War Journal (2007). <http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2007/11/targeting_al_qaeda_i_1.php>.