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Obama’s New War
The United States of America is the world’s leading super power. Its military and economic might are unquestionable since they could be felt all over the world. Nevertheless, the rising incidences of terrorist attacks remain its biggest threat. Sporadic terrorist attacks put the lives of American citizens in danger at all times. Considering the horrible aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attack that left thousands of Americans dead and scores injured, the U.S. has formulated comprehensive anti-terrorist measures to counteract all terrorist activities around the world. With the on going war on terror, the President of the United States is at liberty to use all the state machinery at his disposal to suppress various activities of the terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda, Taliban and Hezbollah.
The United States of America has adequately funded its Department of Defense in readiness of this duty. According to the government records, the United States Department of Defense receives the largest share of the budgetary allocation of more than $500 billion on a yearly basis. Additionally, the forces are liable to get an extra funding from the Federal government should there be any need. During military operations, the U.S. Federal government instructs the treasury to adequately increase the funding of the Department of Defense to the required levels so as to meet the requirements of its military operations.
The U.S. government has fully mandated its armed forces and intelligence agencies to check various activities of these terrorist groups all over the world. The U.S. Army, Air Force, and Navy had put in concerted military efforts to ensure that they track down the terrorist within their respective bases of operation. Following thorough investigations of the highly reputable Intelligence Agencies, the widespread networks of the terrorist groups have been identified. The network includes thousands of militias, their sponsors, and a number of governments that support their operations.
Background Information about the U.S. war on terror
The war against terrorism is one the major priorities of the U.S. government since the protection of human lives and the American property is the most critical function of any incumbent government. As early as 2001, several terrorist groups namely Al Qaeda and Taliban which were formed to launch offensive attacks against the United States and its associated allies. The groups recruited militia in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and other Islamic Arabic nations. The militia members were then given specialized military training on how to make explosives such as bombs, hand grenades, long range missiles and other assortment of ammunition.
According to the 2008 Terrorist Report, the militias were specially trained to attack America and their perceived allies after the first round of the Gulf War in Iraq, when U.S. Forces launched a military intervention against Iraq to liberate the oil producing Kuwait from Iraqi annexation, to organize systematic insurgent attacks against U.S. Professor Gary Nash (2008), political analyst and a scholar in world politics, strongly believe that these sporadic attacks are just but a continuation of the Gulf War and to a larger extent the struggle for military supremacy between the Western and Eastern worlds.
In 1998, the Al Qaeda bombed the U.S. embassies in Nairobi (Kenya) and Dar es Salaam. These incidents left over two hundred people dead and four thousand others badly injured. In 1999, groups of militia were arrested in Port Angeles, Washington as they were planning to bomb Los Angeles International Airport. Having realized that the U.S. security agencies were vigilant, the terrorist resorted to the biological warfare whereby anthrax attacks were foiled in the government offices in New York and U.S. Congress buildings. Towards to the close of the year, the shoe bomb followed on December 22. It is most apparent that all these attacks were fashioned against American citizens.
The terrorism became a reality to the U.S. government after the September 11 attack when Al Qaeda successfully organized a series of suicide attacks in Washington D.C. and the New York City. The militant members of the Al Qaeda maneuvered their way to hijack four passenger jets, all from the American airlines, which they used to bomb their targets (World Trade Centre and Pentagon). A total of four thousand Americans died from the incident. Three years after the September 11, Osama Bin Laden claimed full responsibility for the attacks and further threatened that if the U.S. did not yield to his demands, he would strike again (Clarke, 2008). In a video conference, he demanded that U.S. withdrew its military troops from Saudi Arabia and lifted the Iraqi trade sanctions.
At this juncture, the United States of America declared war against terrorism. “The United States under the Bush administration launched a massive military attack against Iraq ans later Afghanistan for their military and financial support to Al Qaeda - necessary for their insurgent attacks”. According to the intelligence reports gathered by the American Intelligence Agency, “Iraq and Afghanistan were the two countries that harbored Al Qaeda terrorists, offered them military training, funded their operations, and provided them with the highly sensitive intelligence information”.
The diplomatic efforts between the U.S. government, Iraq and Afghanistan to flash out the terrorists did not yield any fruit since the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his Afghan counterpart Mullah Omar were adamant and unwilling to corporate with the U.S. like other Arabia countries. This imminent lack of corporation and political good will to support the war on terror called for a forceful military action against the two countries. This was the only move through which United States would crash the terror groups: Taliban and Al Qaeda.
Even though the U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan by the Bush Administration were widely detested in Arabia and Middle East, the war recorded much success as far as combating terrorism is concerned. It is most important to note that the governments of Saddam Hussein and Mullah Omar that seemed to be supporting terrorist groups have been ousted in Iraq and Afghanistan respectively- a phenomenon that has since weakened both Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Taliban. The recent killing of the Al Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden is another milestone that the war on terror has achieved so far.
Obama’s New War on Terrorism
The incumbent U.S. President Barrack Obama is seen to be stepping up the war on terror against his political ideology. Prior to his election as the 44th President of the United States, President Barrack Obama made the whole world believed that he would bring to an end the U.S. military operations throughout the world. In his 2008 political manifesto, the presidential aspirant promised the whole world that his regime would not only stop the U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan but will resort to diplomatic approach in resolving major conflicts across the continents. As such, he managed to raise the hope of the Arabic countries that the dreaded U.S. will stop the excessive use of their military powers to suppress the rest of the world.
Fully aware that President Obama is a true democrat, his esteemed value for the human rights is apparent. During his tenure as the American President, he drastically reduced the military spending by more than 30% compared to the Bush Administration (Harlan, 2011). Secondly, diplomacy is his preferred tool of resolving conflict rather than military force. In his strategic plan to end the U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq that were instigated by his predecessor (President Bush), the American President is determined that American troops should be all withdrawn from the foreign territories (Iraq and Afghanistan).
Additionally, the President (guided by his profound democratic ideals) strongly believed that his country must respect the sovereignty of other countries and that the presence of U.S. Army constitutes a gross violation of their rights. To ensure the stability of these countries after the withdrawal of the American soldiers, the U.S. launched an international transition programs that has seen the two countries conduct free and fair democratic elections for the major public offices. Furthermore, the United States is playing a crucial in the reconstruction of both Afghanistan and Iraq.
Most notably, these reconstruction efforts by the U.S. government in Afghanistan and Iraq have been applauded by the locals across the board considering that they are directed towards the support of the common citizens. Of paramount importance, the locals in both countries are inherently happy now that they have been liberated from the oppressive rule of Islamic tyrants to which they were subjects earlier on. According to Clarke (2008), the U.S. military intervention in the two countries was more than just pursuing the terrorists. It really helped in bringing down dictatorial regimes that were predominantly characterized by bad governance, corruption, exploitation of the masses of poor, embezzlement of public resources, and abuse of power.
Nevertheless, the United States has suffered a major blow following its plans to withdraw its security forces from the two Al Qaeda and Taliban territories. It would create a serious lapse in the security of American citizens. As the numbers of the U.S. military personnel reduces and the military operations subside in the foreign territories, “the regrouping of the terrorist militias is noticed and their insurgent attacks manifest in all fronts” .
Reasons that led to Obama’s New War on Terrorism
After the U.S. plans to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan and Iraq, the increasing rates of insurgent attacks of the remaining military personnel is a strong indication that Al Qaeda and Taliban militia are regrouping at a faster rate more than anticipated. From the year 2007, the U.S. Department of Defense is losing its soldiers to insurgency on an increasing scale. According to the statistics of the 2010 U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. has lost a total of 4,723 soldiers out of which 823, 1052, 984, 1450 and 1323 were killed in 2004, 2006, 2009, and 2010 respectively in Afghanistan and Iraq .
The increased rate of the insurgency in both Iraq and Afghanistan denotes that the terrorists are gaining control in their former strongholds where they were previously dislodged by the American soldiers. In several occasions, the Al Qaeda and Taliban militia would carry out series of organized raids on the U.S. Military bases in both Afghanistan and Iraq. This implied that the United States of America was losing the fight against terror (the fight U.S. government was determined to win). The horrendous state prompted the Obama Administration to step up its military operations to crush the terrorist groups. This marked the beginning of the Obama’s New War on terror.
The terrorism was becoming an industry in the Middle East since many Al Qaeda and Taliban militias were gaining grounds with the support of the local governments. The membership of these groups was equally growing steadily and their series of recruitment were done publicly in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. warned of the possible dire consequences should these groups take shape under the leadership of Osama bin Laden. Obama was then under an obligation to crush the American public threat in time.
Details for the New War on Terrorism
Against his undying spirit of withdrawing the U.S. military personnel from Afghanistan and Iraq, President Obama was under an obligation to redeploy more troops back to these terrorist backyards by the close of the year 2010. Similarly, the budgetary allocation for the U.S. Department of Defense was increased by 37.5%. This allowed for the procurement of modernized military equipment, recruitment of more active duty military personnel, and acquisition of other logistics needed in the prolonged operations similar to this. According to logisticians within the department of defense, the U.S. Department of Defense was at its best on the onset of the Obama’s New War on Terrorism.
In preparation for the most crucial phase of the U.S. war on terrorism, the U.S. redeployed more of its troops to prop up the much needed military support in Afghanistan and Iraq. The activities of the American intelligence services were intensified within the boundaries of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, North Korea and Syria. The U.S. intelligence tactically infiltrated through these independent national intelligence as a strategy to establish any link between these governments and the terrorist groups: Al Qaeda and Taliban. The U.S. intelligence agency relied so much on the local Afghans, Iraqis, Koreans, Pakistanis, and Syrians to furnish them with critical information about the whereabouts, operations, identity, and nature of the terrorist Al Qaeda and Taliban members across the Middle East.
At the same time, special units within the military were formed to counteract the terrorists at higher level of military operations. The special units mainly drawn from the U.S. Naval Forces, popularly known as the Navy Seals, were fully equipped with the latest of technologies to forcefully combat terrorist from their bases of operation. Such latest technologies included high resolution firearms; self propelled artilleries, bullet proof combat, and modified aircraft that would guarantee them stealthy landings in all kinds of terrains. In short, these Special Forces were superior to the Al Qaeda and Taliban in all ways.
The U.S. Naval Special Forces sprang into action towards the end of 2010 and their operations were at peak on the onset of this year. Instead of using the ordinary military tactics popular to the Al Qaeda militias, the naval forces employed very unique tactics within the ragged Afghan and Iraqi terrains. They would land directly into the militia hideouts, engage them in an intensely fierce fire exchanges, killed scores of them and flew back to their military bases. Eventually, the rapid actions of the special naval force commissioned by President Obama successfully weeded out Al Qaeda and Taliban from their hideouts.
The success stories about the U.S. intensified New War of Terrorism
The Obama’s New War on Terrorism has recorded much success more than any other war in the history of the United States of America. As observed by Professor Gary Nash, the leading American News reporter and political analysts, “Obama’s New War on Terrorism is peculiar and admirable in all ways. It took the least possible time to accomplish its mission.” This was his comment after the killing of the Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden on May 2, 2011 in an operation dubbed “Operation Neptune Spear”.
The New War of Terrorism is applauded for its greatest historic achievement: the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the number one enemy of the United States of America. Combining the local and international intelligence information, the specialized team of Navy officers (the Navy seals) also managed to wipe out the top command of both the Al Qaeda and Taliban in different countries namely Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq. Examples of the fallen prominent Al Qaeda officials as given by Iraqi born American informer al-Hammadi Khalid include Anwar al-Awlaki, Faizal Omar, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Abu Ayyub al-Masri, and Atiyah Abd al-Rahman. This new dimension taken by the American’s fight against terrorism is the only approach that can yield desirable results towards the eradication of terrorist activities across the world. Subsequently, the structure and order of command of the Al Qaeda and Taliban have been extensively shuttered.
The subsequently collapse of the terrorist groups within the Middle East is apparent after an imminent destruction of their organizational structure and functional network systems within their countries of operation . The author Paul Wilkinson likens the surviving members of the terrorist groups to a flock of sheep without a shepherd. He further projects the terrorist groups will definitely disintegrate into oblivion. The Obama administration now has a reason to smile. “The American’s longest enemy together with his top officials is no more” (Wilkinson, 2011). The war on terror in over at long last and the United States has emerged the winner.
Equally important, the United States has established all the existing networks between the terrorist groups and the Pakistani, Iranian and Syrian governments. This move places U.S. high the above the terrorists and their supporters. This information will be cherished dearly in the eyes of the Americans because it will provide a strong foundation upon which terrorism can be monitored and checked in the future. Most importantly, the United States of America will find this information about the terrorist network in Middle East vital because it once again forms the basis upon which the super power can formulate its foreign policies in its international relations with the implicated Pakistani and Iranian governments.
The Americans are now confident about their safety wherever they are regardless of the continent. From the first and second quarters of this year, the cases of insurgent attacks and suicide bombings have drastically reduced to insignificant levels below 3%. This percentage bears no correlation with the terrorist attack but personal and religious purposes . As a result of this historic achievement of the Obama’s new war on terrorism, tourism industry is thriving more than ever before.
World’s mixed reactions on the Obama’s New War
Besides the United States, the Western world that comprises of the European countries, Germany, Australia, Latin America and selected nations in the expansive continent of Asia namely China, Japan and South Korea welcome this particular achievement of the United States in its relentless efforts of thwart terrorism from the core of its breeding ground. To these associates of the U.S., the strategic move to stamp out Al Qaeda and Taliban from their Afghanistan and Iraq bases is a milestone towards the promotion of peace in the Middle East region and the whole world at large.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) welcomes the U.S. achievement in crippling the terrorist activities in the two leading Arabia countries: Iraq and Afghanistan. The organization maintains that buzzing terrorism industry in the region is the only set back to the much desired regional stability in the Middle East since terrorist groups lead to smuggling of firearms and explosives in the region. The organization promised the U.S. its support in the future military endeavors the world’s super power will undertake within the region in regard to the suppression of the terrorist groups.
Despite the historic achievement of United States in combating terrorism in the Middle East, the Pakistani government where Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was secretly killed takes offense on the mere fact the United States neither involved its authority nor sought an approval of its top officials in such an important military operation. Pakistan views the American stealthy move as an act of demeanor and lack of respect for its sovereignty. According to the report presented in the Los Angeles Times the Pakistani government officials openly denounced the U.S. beastly act of killing Osama Bin Laden on their soil without involving of their intelligence agencies. However, the U.S. reveals Al Qaeda has stronger ties with the Pakistani government and that killing its leader would not be possible with the involvement of its officials in the highly sensitive military operation.
Similarly, the Islamist extremists in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen are equally negative about the Obama’s New War on Terrorism. They interpret the war on terrorism as a spiritual warfare and in this case the killing of Osama bin Laden is equated to a pure act of martyrdom. For this reason, “majority of the Islamist extremist view the Al Qaeda leader as a martyr and many of them are determined to engage the American forces in an spiritual warfare, jihad.” .
Major challenges in the Obama’s New War of Terrorism
Even though the Obama Administration has made such as a big step in the war against terrorism, the President is widely denounced by his Republican opponents at the United States Congress and Senate. The Republican Senators openly criticize the President for his alleged “unrealistic” military budget. Considering the on going economic recession which has worst hit the whole of Europe and America, the Federal treasury is facing an acute shortage of Federal Reserve that would be used to fund military operations of the U.S. Army within and without the boundaries of the United States of America. It is no secret, “sustaining a large scale war similar to the one U.S. government is rolling in the Middle East is dam expensive” (Harlan, 2011). Therefore, the war can only run if the Federal Reserve is well financed.
Some quarter within the United States of America blame these series of wars Obama Administration instigated against terrorism as being directly responsible for economic recession, weak economy, unemployment among the youth, and closure of industries across the U.S. in this manner, Obama has no moral grounds to continue with the war on terrorism but just to settle down and find a lasting solution to the economic recovery. Consequently, much of the attention is indefinitely diverted from the war until economy records better growth and performance.
The sporadic insurgent attacks within the foreign territories have also caused a massive loss of human lives. From the beginning of the war of terror in 2001 under the Bush Administration, more than four thousand American soldiers have lost their lives and many others sustained serious bodily harm . The Republicans blame these deaths to President Obama’s actions arguing that such massive loses of trained American soldiers are uncalled for in the foreign territories. To avoid more deaths of the American troops from the rising insurgent attacks, President Obama is planning to withdraw all U.S. military troops from Afghanistan and Iraq with an immediate effect. Unfortunately, this move would give the surviving Al Qaeda terrorist members an opportunity to regroup and later pose serious threats to America as they did before.
Most significantly, lack of local and international support is another drawback to the war on terrorism. The Republicans do not support Obama’s New War on Terrorism just for the sake of party politics but not in the best interest of the nation and people of America. Terrorism is a reality and many Americans have fallen victims to the terrorist attacks in one way or the other. Multitude of Americans have died from the terrorist attacks and scores injured for instance during the September 11 attack. So the war demands concreted efforts from all quarters of the world notwithstanding race, religion, political affiliation, or gender.
Finally, the governments that support and fund the activities of the terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and Taliban poses a major challenge to the U.S. fight against terrorism. These countries provide a fertile breeding ground where the terrorists would plan and coordinate their insurgent attacks, get all the intelligence information necessary for their attacks, and solicit for membership as well as funds.
The Obama’s new war on terrorism is the only achievement of its own kind that his Administration can brag of. It played an important role in crushing the Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorist groups that posed a serious threat to the lives of American citizens in all parts of the world. The Obama’s New War on Terrorism involved the use of highly trained military personnel drawn from the U.S. Naval Unit and sophisticated superior military gadgets to destroy the terrorists’ networks, communications and military training of the militias on the use of explosives within their areas of operations. The “Operation Neptune Spear” led to the death of Osama bin Laden and other top raking officials of the Al Qaeda and Taliban in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran.