Wednesday, April 14, 2010

War against Terrorism

The War on Terrorism (also known as the War on Terror) is a campaign initiated by the United States government under President George W. Bush which includes various military, political, and legal actions ostensibly taken to “curb the spread of terrorism,” following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. The War on Terror was authorized by the United States Congress under the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists passed on September 18, 2001. Both the phrase “War on Terrorism” and the policies it denotes have been a source of ongoing controversy, as critics argue it has been used to justify unilat.


Terrorist organizations carried out attacks on the US and its allies throughout the latter part of the 20th century, prompting occasional military responses. Following the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, United States President Bill Clinton launched Operation Infinite Reach, a bombing campaign in Sudan and Afghanistan against targets associated with al-Qaeda. In October of 2000 the USS Cole bombing occurred, followed by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The latter attacks created an immediate demand throughout the United States for a response. The first aspects of the campaign came in the freezing of assets terrorist organizations and associated groups. The United Nations Security Council also adopted United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 which obliges all States to criminalize assistance for terrorist activities, deny financial support safe haven to terrorists and share information about groups planning terrorist attacks. NATO began Operation Active Endeavor on October 4th, which stepped up security checks in the Mediterranean. After the Taliban rejected an ultimatum to turn over the al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan, the United States and NATo allies began air strikes against Taliban and al-Qaeda targets on October 7, 2001. The Afghan Northern Alliance and allied militia, added by elements of the United States Special forces, began a ground offensive that succeeded in capturing most of Afghanistan by early 2002. While operations continued in Afghanistan, the campaign was expanded into the Philippines, where United States Special Forces assisted the Philippine army against elements of al-Qaeda, Jemaah Islamiyah, and Abu Sayyaf. It was expanded further into the Horn of Africa, where NATO allies began training Ethiopian and Djiboutian armed forces in anti-terror and counter-insurgency methods.

On March 20, 2003, the United States, United Kingdom and a coalition expanded the campaign into Iraq, seeking to topple Saddam Hussein for his alleged possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction and state sponsorship of terror. By May 1, they had succeeded in doing so, though an insurgency developed supported by al-Qaeda and other militant elements. Likewise, the Taliban insurgency continued in Afghanistan, and their frequent border crossings into Pakistan prompted the nation to expand the campaign further into Waziristan in 2004, to remove Taliban and al-Qaeda elements. In 2005 the Security Council also adopted resolution 1624 concerning incitement to commit acts of terrorism and the obligations of countries to comply with international human right laws. Although both resolutions require mandatory annual reports on counter terrorism activities by adopting nations the United States and Israel have both declined to submit reports.


3 Responses to “War against Terrorism”

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