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Counterterrorism of Bush, Obama and Trump - Discussion Paper by Anne Jeaneth Casalme

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Counterterrorism of Bush, Obama and Trump - Discussion Paper by Anne Jeaneth Casalme
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  Counterterrorism of Bush, Obama and Trump: Discussion Paper by Anne Jeaneth B. Casalme Word Count: 3535 Plagiarism Checker Grammarly: 0% In the morning of the 9/11 attack, the supremacy of the United States was undermined with the massive violent attacks of al-Qaeda. The magnitude of these attacks was responsible for the immense loss of thousands of lives in the American soil. Although Mearsheimer (2002), a famed political realist would claim that this  particular problem of terrorism has been with the United States for a quite while even before the 9/11, it is still irrefutable that this particular event in history initiated the launch of the War on Terrorism, thus shifting our views on how we see the world today. The paper presented by Cruz positioned the global war on terrorism in an imperative situation. She intended to challenge the realists’ view on the relevance of this school of thought on this ever-evolving war on terrorism. I have to mention that her argument on the complex relationship between realism and terrorism has  been thought-provoking. As I was in the process of refining my thoughts and questions, I found the urge to explore how the United States furthered its interests after the 9/11 attack. While AJ Cruz tackled the limitations of realism in the context of the war on terrorism, I decided to explore further on some realities about the 9/11 attack and how the state, under 3 administrations, attempted to resolve the ongoing crisis on terrorism. Having said that, I have 3 aims to discuss on this  paper: first is to look further on the elements of truth about the al-Qaeda attack by highlighting how this terrorist group sees the United States for them to instigate destructions without putting into account the casualties it would bring about; second is to present the aftermath of this historical event in the American soil and how the War on Terrorism was initiated; and finally, I intend to have an individual analysis on the different counterterrorism strategies conducted by Bush, Obama and Trump  –   having one political goal which is to reassert the power of America. I.   The United States: ‘A Paper Tiger’  There are several elements of truth about the outbreak of the 9/11 attack initiated  by a terrorist group known as al-Qaeda. The terroris ts’ unconventional way of asserting their political goals put the United States in a state of deprivation. All of a sudden, the great power of the United States became questionable. In an interview with Harry Kreisler, John Mearsheimer, Mearsheimer would compare himself to Waltz wherein he mentioned that Waltz believes that having too much power does  not make sense because other states will always balance against you and try to crack you down in the knees (Mearsheimer, 2002). There is a parallel connection  between the al-Qaeda attack on the United States and Waltz's claim. This contradicts the statement addressed by Cruz, “al -Qaeda, the Islamic State, and other extremist groups are not states even if they proclaim themselves to be”. Although this could show some reality about the terrorists, we still cannot deny the actuality that Al Qaeda, being a non-state actor is trying to balance its power against the United States. Osama Bin Laden, the leader of the Al Qaeda group, sees the United States as a ‘paper tiger’ who would tear down once you attack it massively. In Chailand & Blin (2011),   Bin Laden saw that the wide presence of Christian troops (American infidels) in the Saudi soil is causing the corruption among the Saudi authorities and an unbearable humiliation for all Muslims. He also believed that it is America’s desire to plunder the wealth of the country under the pretext of  protecting it (Chaliand & Blin, 2011). The way Bin Laden sees the presence of American troops triggered the becoming of the United States as the new enemy of the Al Qaeda group. Chaliand & Blin (2011) presented in their book the statement made by Osama Bin Laden in August 1996: The people of Islam had suffered from aggression, iniquity, and injustice imposed on them by the Zionist-Crusaders alliance and their collaborators; to the extent that the Muslims’ blood became the cheapest and their wealth as loot in the hands of the enemies. Their blood was spilled in Palestine and Iraq. The horrifying  pictures of the massacres of Qana, in Lebanon, are still fresh in our memory.  Massacres in Tajikistan, Burma, Cashmere, Assam, Philippine, Fatani, Ogaden, Somalia, Erithria, Chechnia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina took place, massacres that send shivers in the body and shake the conscience. All of this and the world watched and heard, and not only didn’t respond to these atrocities, but also with a clear conspiracy between USA and its allies and under the cover of the iniquitous United Nations, the dispossessed people were even prevented from obtaining arms to defend themselves. The Al Qaeda group, particularly Osama Bin Laden, sees the United States as someone who’s corruptive and disrespectful of their political and religious ideals. Since then on, the al Qaeda group started planning out their major attack against the United States is the so-called 9/11 killing thousands of non-combatant civilians and causing famine in American soil.  II.   The Aftermath of the 9/11 Attack There has always been a struggle of power among states in the international scene. States fighting against other states and ensuring their military force. Their incessant want for security against outside threats is what Morgenthau (1948) would believe that “ Statesmen and peoples may ultimately seek freedom, security,  prosperity or power itself. They may define their goals in terms of the religious,  philosophic, economic, or social ideal”. This holds some truth about how al Qaeda asserted their political, religious and economic ideals in the wake of the 9/11 attack against the United States, denoting the pessimistic view of realism on international  politics. A state who holds so much great power in its region will not always stay unharmed and as far as the 9/11 attack is concerned, the United States, although  being the greatest powerful state in the world, was confronted by an “outside enemy”.  The weight of the attacks seemed difficult to internalize in the case of the Americans. As New York City's Mayor Rudy Giuliani said five hours after the attacks began, “The number of casualties wi ll be more than any of us can bear, - ultimately”. There had been questions wondering about the scope of the attack, who are the perpetrators, how will the administration act in response to this disastrous event? There is automaticity of seeking justice for the casualties in a liberal democratic state such as the United States. There is no way that the attackers are going away with this (News, 2019). On the morning of September 11, before conducting an in-depth police investigation, the Bush administration officially announced that al Qaeda was responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon (Chossudovsky, 2005). The United States of America immediately responded to the attacks by gathering the top intelligence and military advisors. In the same evening of the attack, a “War Cabinet” was formed to officially announce the War on Terrorism, waging war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda (Chossudovsky, 2005). A coalition of international forces assumed primary responsibility for engaging a largely unseen enemy. Following the announcement of the War on Terror, the United States began its attack in Afghanistan. Loaded with bombs  painted in memory of fallen firefighters and policemen, America’s fighter pilots carried out strikes to destroy Al Qaeda training camps and Taliban air defenses. Bush was prompted to begin the War on Terror, vowing to defeat not only the existence of Al Qaeda but all the terrorist groups within the global reach. The state has now become a one cooperative unit seeking for justice, turning their grief into anger and anger to a resolution.   This devastating event has left the United States in total shock, thus marked the  beginning of its military adventure that threatened the future of humanity (Chossudovsky, 2005). The Bush administration laid a warning to the Western World of the many merciless killings that’s about to happen in Afghanistan (World, 2001) George W. Bush addressed his speech on the war on terror on October 7 of 2001: “On my orders the United St ates military has begun strikes against al Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. These carefully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations and to attack the military capability of the Taliban regime.We are joined in this operation by our staunch friend, Great Britain. Other close friends, including Canada, Australia, Germany, and France, have pledged forces as the operation unfolds. More than 40 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and across Asia have granted air transit or landing rights. Many more have shared intelligence. We are supported by the collective will of the world. (World, 2001) Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/08/world/a-nation-challenged-bin-laden-s-statement-the-sword-fell.html. Supporting the statement of AJ Cruz, this event in the history of the international scene has pushed major nation-states to cooperate and work together, acquiring help from China and Russia. Meanwhile, in a videotaped address of Osama Bin Laden, he says: “Here is America struck by God Almighty in one of its vital organs, so that its greatest buildings are destroyed. Grace and gratitude to God. America has been filled with horror from north to south and east to west, and thanks be to God. What America is tasting now is only a copy of what we have tasted. Our Islamic nation has been tasting the same for more than 80 years of humiliation and disgrace, its sons killed and their blood spilled, its sanctities desecrated.” (World, 2001) . Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/08/world/a-nation-challenged- bin-laden-s-statement-the-sword-fell.html. We cannot fully understand the rationalities of the ideals that harbored the attack of 9/11. Yearly, after the 9/11 attack in 2001, the United States gather in commemorating the loss of nearly 3000 civilians. The ground zero, where the families of the victims assemble each year will always be filled with grief, anger,  and mournful cries. We can also say the same with the death of several civilians during the outbreak of the War on Terror. If humanity is at the very core of every state or non-state actor, is military aggression the ultimate solution to end this ever-evolving war? III.   Counterterrorism strategies of Bush, Obama, and Trump In the second part of this paper, a brief overview of the immediate response of the Bush administration to the 9/11 attack which killed nearly 3000 civilians in the United States. Most of the discussions are extracted from Michael’s Chossudovsky’s “America’s War on Terrorism”. In his book, he aimed to reveal the true nature of the elusive enemy of America. However, we will merely delve on the counterterrorism strategies conducted by the Bush Administration right after the outbreak of the 9/11 attack, followed by Barrack Obama and finally, Donald Trump. I aim to simply to have a comparable discussion and analysis on policy changes under each supervision with which they have one ultimate goal: to end the global crisis on terrorism.  Bush The American foreign policy drastically changed after the attacks of 9/11 (Dunn, 2005). Bush administration saw the urgency of formulating a policy to counteract the terrorist attacks brought about by the extremist group of Al Qaeda (Dunn, 2005) demonstrated three adopted strategies of the administration against the threats of terrorist attacks to the United States. These strategies are as follows: 1.) Counterterrorism 2.) Pre-emption and Pre-eminence 3.) Forward Strategy for the democratization of the Middle East The first strategy adopted which is ‘counter  - terrorism’ practically involves the traditional techniques which are marred by wars against Afghanistan. Pre-emption and pre-eminence as Dunn (2005) would explain it, is when the invasion of Iraq took place. The invasion of Iraq was, however, an overextension of the effort to reaffirm America’s hegemonic decision. Though there was a suspicion that Saddam Hussein had weapons and mass destruction, the invasion was ultimately a unilateral and preemptive decision on Bush’s part. Thus, resulting to undermine rather than to reaffirm the power of America. Dunn (2005) somehow sees the third approach as a self-assurance strategy that explored the root causes of this particular  phenomenon and to further formulate long term solutions to America’s War on Terrorism.
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