Free Essay On The Origins Of Terrorism

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Terrorism, War, Terror, United States, World, Violence, Politics, Terrorist

Pages: 7

Words: 1925

Published: 2021/02/13

[Affiliated Institute]

Is the war on terror just?

Terrorism is not a conflict between two nations; it is a conflict of ideology and politics. The war on terror has been heavily misplaced since the day it was launched. The politics and arrogance of certain leaders have cost the nation the lives of thousands of young Americans who otherwise would have led the country’s economy. The United States is not the only country in the world that is affected by terrorism however; it is the only nation that has been spending trillions of dollars to fight a non-existent war that we cannot win at least not with the present approach.
We are the most advanced nation on the face of this planet and we are also the richest nation in the world. We have the best fighting force in the world backed by the most sophisticated technology in this galaxy. Yet, we are unable to defeat an enemy who is ill-equipped, outnumbered and even starved as observed by Hammond (2015). As observed by Rachman (2014), where did we go wrong? This paper provides an insight on how the war on terror started and where it has headed since.

“Where did they come from?” is the most popular screenplay dialogue that has been used in Hollywood after depicting an extraordinarily violent sequence. Likewise, where did these terrorists come from? Who gave them their first weapons? Who recruited and trained them initially? Why were they purposed for terrorism? The answer is shockingly not far from home. It was the lesser talked about operations conducted by the CIA that birthed the first known terrorist organizations. We armed them when their political ideology somewhat matched ours without looking at their entire dossier. We trained them to use modern equipment thinking that we were going to hurt the interests of the Soviets, the Viet Cong, the Chinese, the Indians and the South American regimes without us ever engaging these regimes in open war according to Billard Jr (2010). This idea worked for a while however; we never foresaw that these groups would do our bidding only as long as their common enemy existed in some form.
For example, the moment the Soviets pulled out of Afghanistan, the revolutionary fighters started fighting among themselves over religious beliefs and caste. Later, the people who suffered constantly under the crossfire took up arms with the group known as the Taliban. Eventually, the Taliban offered Osama Bin Laden a sanctuary in Afghanistan along with the financial backing that the US had given to its ally neighboring Pakistan to launch the 9/11 attacks according to the BBC (2004).


On 11 September 2001, the United States was under attack by four hijacked civilian airlines. Two of them crashed into the World Trade Center, one into the pentagon and the last one allegedly intended for Washington D.C plunged into the ground after the passengers of the plane regained control of the aircraft. The attacks claimed close to three thousand American lives. After declining responsibility initially, Osama Bin Laden and his terrorist organization; the Al Qaeda took ownership of the attack.
As observed by Stein (2003), America took this up as a war and named it the war on terrorism.

The Afghan War

The Afghan war was first on the agenda in the United States’ war on terror. The Taliban’s refusal to handover Osama Bin Laden provided the justification that America needed to invade Afghanistan. The country was run by a mujahedeen faction named as the Taliban which was backed by the United States’ long term ally, Pakistan. Hence this war redefined the lives of people living in three different countries. Although the Pakistani regime reluctantly agreed to back the United States, its peoples volunteered to fight alongside the Taliban throughout the conflict.

The Iraqi War

The Iraqi war was a preemptive war fought by the United States and her allies to prevent Iraq from distributing its alleged nuclear stockpile to terrorist organizations. The U.S. and the U.K. came up with evidence that later turned out to be an elaborated hoax. Interestingly, the Al Qaeda surfaced in Iraq only after the U.S. and her allies completed the invasion of Iraq. Although the U.S. pumped several million dollars into the development of this nation, it also dismantled the Iraqi Army and marginalized several government officials who served under Sadaam Hussein. This move proved to be disastrous for the Iraqi Government in later years according to Shanker et. al (2011); especially in their unsuccessful campaigns against the terrorist group ISIS as observed by Zavadski (2015) and Cockburn (2015).

The war on human rights

The Patriot Act gives federal agencies the right to snoop on U.S. citizens without warrants only on the basis of suspicion as per the Department of Justice (2015). The Muslim community in the United States was the worst hit. The propaganda unleashed by the Federal Government branded this community to be the main perpetrators of protecting the terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks. In reality however, these attackers were members of sleeper cells. Yet, the entire community was targeted.
The state of non-U.S. citizens was even worse. They were humiliated at airports, tourist spots and universities. Outside U.S. soil, they were deprived of homes, access to food, subjected to torture, mutilated, deprived of sleep and were denied basic human rights according to Lustick (2006). Once the facility of Guantanamo Bay was revealed, the U.S. outsourced this torture based interrogation to African regimes. The problem was that Africa had suddenly become a safe haven for terrorist organizations and the outsourced interrogators also had links to these organizations according to Shanker and Schmitt (2011). Once again, the United States of America is fighting a select terrorist group and funding others that continue to inflict genocide upon the indigenous African population according to Reuters (2015).

Is this war on terror justifiable?

The answer to this question lies within the following set of questions. Is the killing of innocent civilians in drone and air strikes justifiable? Is the stripping of our basic rights of privacy for the sake of a remote chance of intercepting a coded terror message with our own tax money justifiable; as observed by the ALCU (2003)? Is the creation and funding of “friendly” terror organizations that commit genocide justifiable? Is spending trillions of dollars to fight terror that could otherwise strengthen our economy justifiable? Is practicing inhumane practices like torture justifiable? Is the practice of the CIA’s subjecting our foreign business partners and even allies to spying activities justifiable? Is the loss of businesses in the United States to otherwise inferior companies only for the sake of NSA’s snooping justifiable? Is the loss of jobs on account of business losses directly linked to the NSA’s spying justifiable? Is the treatment of whistleblowers in the United States justifiable? Do we really have any rights left to safeguard us from illegal searches and detention?
If any of the above questions came out as “no”, then the U.S. war on terror is not justifiable. We do not transform into a fourteenth century Mongol horde just because our citizens demanded answers to why four planes were hijacked. We should not seek to butcher innocent civilians including young children indiscriminately because we lost 2993 of our children to the whims of a madman. Despite desperate situations, we should refrain from aiding the genocide of African people. We should fight for the oppressed no matter where our political allegiance lies; only then can we truly fight the war on terror.

What can be done to turn the tide around? Who stands in the way?

The solution for the war on terror is not on some distant battlefield away from home. It is in the houses of the legislature, the corridors of the United Nations and within the confines of diplomacy. We will only fuel the emotions of several peoples around the world against us with continued military approaches. The problems that caused people to band against us were our own policy making. We were so focused on maintaining global supremacy, we forgot the little people according to Monbiot (2003). This little people were in the form of oppressed Africans or devastated Palestinians.

In what ways is the United States vulnerable to terrorism today?

Today, the threat of terrorism to the United States is more on the domestic arena than global. The launches of several intrusive policies and unpopular expenditure that have increased the burden of the taxpayers considerably have bred our own domestic version of terror. We witnessed the effect of this during the Boston Marathon according to Zenko (2015).
The U.S. war on terror has created terror in the lives of millions according to Borger (2009). We have valued American lives higher than that of others. We have moved from being a country that fought two World Wars to protect our allies to a nation that will stoop to any degree of inhumane practice to see it foreign policy through. This is the wrong way to fight this war. This war cannot be won as long as there are people in the world that had lost their loved ones, homes and businesses because of irresponsible action or total inaction by the United States as observed by Rothkopf (2014).


Billard Jr, Robert D (2010). Operation Cyclone: How the United States Defeated the Soviet Union. Retrieved from: Accessed on 9th April 2015.
Zavadski, Katie (2015). ISIS Now Has a Network of Military Affiliates in 11 Countries Around the World. Retrieved from: Accessed on 9th April 2015.
Shanker, Thom; Schmidt, Michael S.; Worth, Robert F. (2011). In Baghdad, Panetta Leads Uneasy Closure to Conflict. Retrieved from: Accessed on 9th April 2015.
Lustick, Ian S. (2006). Trapped in the War on Terror. University of Pennsylvania Press.
Zenko, Micah (2015). The Trillion-Dollar Question: Will the War on Terror Ever End? Retrieved from: Accessed on 9th April 2015.
Rothkopf, David (2014). We Are Losing the War on Terror. Retrieved from: Accessed on 9th April 2015.
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Hammond, Andrew (2015). Why the flawed 'War on Terror' needs a reboot. Retrieved from: Accessed 9th April 2015.
Cockburn, Patrick (2015). ISIS is proof of the failed “war on terror”. Retrieved from: Accessed 9th April 2015.
Stein, Howard F. (2003). Days of Awe: September 11, 2001 and its Cultural Psychodynamics. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press: 187–199.
BBC Staff (2004). Al-Qaeda's origins and links. Retrieved from: Accessed 9th April 2015.
ALCU Staff (2003). Uncle Sam Asks: "What The Hell Is Going On Here?" Retrieved from: Accessed 9th April 2015.
Monbiot, George (2003). A Wilful Blindness. Retrieved from: Accessed 9th April 2015.
Borger, Julian (2009). 'War on terror' was a mistake, says Miliband. Retrieved from: Accessed 9th April 2015.
Reuters (2015). Africa's deadliest terror group just pledged allegiance to Islamic State. Retrieved from: Accessed on 10th April 2015.
Shanker, Thom and Schmitt, Eric (2011). Three Terrorist Groups in Africa Pose Threat to U.S., American Commander Says. Retrieved from: Accessed on 10th April 2015.

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