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Is the War, on Terrorists or Terror?

Updated on December 31, 2011

The Start

9/11 | Source


The question really is: is the war against terrorist acts in the West or is the war against the terrorists?

I ask this because to evaluate the success of the so called “war on terror” we must first know what the objectives are.

When we talk of the war on terror we mean, to the most part, Al Qaeda.

Who are Al Qaeda and what were their objectives?

The story goes that these were Muslims who opposed non Muslim interference in Muslim countries. To this end they became prominent in Afghanistan during its struggle against Soviet rule. As they were opposed to the Soviets, the United States financed, trained and equipped them. When the war in Afghanistan was over, they tried to spread their influence in other Arab countries.

Although they enjoyed some success in recruiting supporters, their greater goal of convincing the Arab countries to sever their links with the West was not particularly successful. Their activities were curtailed by strong dictatorships that were fairly comfortable with the existing status quo and were capable of limiting the Al Qaeda influence.

The attack of 9/11, although horrific, did not immediately have the effect that was intended. Al Qaeda probably hoped that it would signal the start of a war between the West and the Muslim world.

The Muslim world, also stunned by the horror of 9/11, shunned Al Qaeda, forcing them to retreat to their strongholds in Afghanistan where they were sheltered by the Taliban, who had been their brothers in arms against the Soviets and who shared many of the Al Qaeda views.


A Victory for Who?
A Victory for Who? | Source


The war in Iraq saw the end to Saddam Hussein and has been viewed as a victory in the West. Although the West may have obtained the oil rights, Al Qaeda may also be considering it a victory, as they are now more freely able to operate, recruit and flourish.

The war in Afghanistan has unseated the Taliban, who are now fighting alongside Al Qaeda in the mountains. However, the prolonged conflict stimulates feelings of anger and hatred and so Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan have become thriving recruitment grounds, probably resulting in new recruits outnumbering the loses in combat.

The defeated dictatorships of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and the teetering dictatorships of the Yemen and Syria have now become ripe for Al Qaeda influence. Even the saber rattling of the West and Iran favors Al Qaeda’s cause.

Who Wins?
Who Wins? | Source


So, the actions of the West since 9/11 have been successful in so far as diminishing the threat of terror attacks in the West.

Al Qaeda probably feels that no more terror attacks in the West are necessary. After all, they have already created feelings of insecurity. They have also created feelings of frustration at the extra security measures that have been put in place. This alone, suffices to keep potential ill feelings towards Muslims, alive in the West.

Now Al Qaeda has the freedom to promote their views within the Muslim world and will probably work to have enough influence to halt co-operation between it and the West.

It would appear that Al Qaeda is being successful in working towards their ultimate goal, even if it is not the route that they had planned.

To judge the success of the West, I again have to ask: what was its original goal?


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    • Highvoltagewriter profile image

      William Benner 5 years ago from Savannah GA.

      Very good observations and it makes me want to read more of your work!

    • profile image

      gogogo 6 years ago

      It depends on who you consider terrorists, now it is the Muslims, not long ago it was the Irish, and the list goes on. I believe that anyone who uses violence against innocent people, whatever their platform are tertorists and should be dealt with.

    • michiganman567 profile image

      michiganman567 6 years ago from Michigan

      Nice hub. I disagree with the 9/11 attacks. I think that they were probably very happy with the success of that operation.

    • gjfalcone profile image

      gjfalcone 6 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona

      Bravo. A Hub so Nice, I read it twice.

      Terrorism has been around for a long time. Wasn't it " The Black Hand" that plotted the assassination of the ArchDuke of Austria?

      I enjoyed this Hub immensely!