Can 'War On Terrorism' Be Won?
Nowadays, the term war on terrorism is being actively explored by scholars from different countries. This problem is very urgent in the twenty-first century. Throughout the history, different Islamic groups have organized terrorist attacks in various points of the globe. The international community has to solve this problem collectively, since the the war on terrorism will be won only if governments are able to join the efforts. Clearly, each country that has ever faced the terrorism on its territory tries to develop unique methods of dealing with the problem. However, most techniques do not produce any positive results. It is a well-known fact that terrorist acts occur in the USA, Russia and the European Union (EU) more often than in other states. Each of these states has its own counterterrorist program, but only some of them really work. The USA's and Russia's antiterrorist policies are well-known for their cruelty in relation to terrorism. As for the European countries, they have more polite counterterrorist programs. One argument in support of this is that the EU does not apply to the military in order to solve the problem of terrorism. European countries try to find other ways in combating the war on terrorism. Additionally, the war on terrorism has become more urgent after the terrorist acts in the USA on 11 September, 2001. President George Bush has been using this term since that incident.
What Exactly Is Terrorism and What Does It Mean?
Terrorism is a violent illegal action with the usage of weapons against society. It can be of political, religious or social nature. All of them have different intentional purposes. Usually, terrorists have an idea of change, which they want to implement, by creating fear in the society. They believe that terrorism is the only tool of achieving this goal. According to the United Nations Secretary General report, a wrongful act is considered terrorism if it was intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act( Chemillier-Gendreau, 2005.; Levis & Reese, 2009). Many innocent people became victims of the cruel attacks in different countries. The numerous terrorist attacks organized by Al-Qaeda have brought fear to people and created mass cruelty in the world. However, the governments of different countries try to prevent terrorism, by punishing wrongful acts and passing the needed laws (Levis & Reese, 2009). Moreover, the United Nations strives to unite its powers, in order to counter terrorism and defend the whole world from its risks (Levis & Reese, 2009).
The American Counterterrorism Program
The American counterterrorism program was developed by the U.S. government and implemented by the U.S. Department of State. The Bureau of Counterterrorism is a part of the mentioned Department, and its main task is to build partnerships with multilateral organizations, non-state actors and foreign governments, in order to stimulate the implementation of the counterterrorism policy and achieve a better level of national security in the U.S. (Rogan, 2013). Consequently, U.S. resident and the Bureau are responsible for the creation of the counterterrorist strategy.
The incident which occurred in the USA on 11 September, 2001 was the turning point in the creation of the U.S. counterterrorist strategy. The Bush Administration produced a cruel strategy against Muslim terrorists, which was called war on terrorism. The Bush Administration aimed to destroy the Al-Qaeda group that threatened U.S.'s national security. One should note here that the Obama Administration does not use this term to describe their current counterterrorism policy. This president has built a more polite counterterrorism strategy. In addition, it was one of the first things that Obama accomplished when he became the leader of the country.
However, the USA keeps solving its terrorist problems, using military operations and imposing its point of view of what the political regime must be on the Middle Eastern states. Clearly, in order to reach this goal, the American government must apply to military operations. Furthermore, it is important to say that The Bureau of Counterterrorism publishes the reports on the current terrorist situation in the world is and how countries deal with this problem. Moreover, this government organization provides the list of the countries, which support and sponsor terrorism (Archick, 2013). Consequently, the USA tries to control all aspects of the terrorist activity in the world. However, it is necessary to emphasize that the main terrorist of the USA is the Muslim terrorist group al-Qaeda (Pena, 2004).
The European Counterterrorism Program
An interesting fact is that whole Europe has cooperated in order to prevent terrorism in their territories and the whole world. Countries of the EU were encouraged to join their forces, in order to prevent terrorism. In addition to this, the international investment of terrorism was banned and blocked. This cooperation helps the EU to develop efficiency and to improve quality in fighting with terrorists (Gargantiny, 2011). Each country brings some new ideas to prevent terrorism. For instance, in Great Britain, researchers believe that terrorists communicate online through social media. They can use some secret symbols in their communication, but they still may be recognizable for security systems. The U.K. forces believe that the access to information about suspected terrorists will prevent the risks of terrorism. However, in order to create such system, the U.K. has to be sure that it does not affect human rights and that citizens understand its importance (Norton-Taylor, 2013).
The German security agrees that the retrieval of private information can play a key role in identifying a terrorist. The country wants to cooperate with other countries, including the USA, in order to keep people safe all over the world, even though, historically, Germany used to have problems with domestic terrorist groups. It is also considered that France is the vest example of defeating and preventing terrorism. U.S. government was shocked by how fast the French forces were in discouraging the massive attacks of Islamic extremists. The experience of terrorism in the 1980s and 1990s brought up France as a leader of counterterrorism operations. Due to the relative effectiveness of its counterterrorism campaigns, France had a peaceful time when no serious strategic operations were needed (Khandekar, 2011). Each country in the EU has its own experience in fighting with aggressive terrorist attacks. Each country has its own methods and ideas; therefore, if the EU combines its forces, it may prevent terrorism in the whole world.
The Russian Counterterrorism Program
Numerous terrorist acts are organized by Chechen groups on the Russian territory. The whole world is remembers one of the most notorious terrorist acts, when a secondary school was attacked on the first day of the school year. The school turned into a prison, where no one was able to drink, eat or run away. More than a hundred of victims were left in fear and extreme conditions for 3 days. That attack was a significant tragedy for Russia. However, it was not the last terrorist attack conducted by the extremist Chechen groups. They still continue to bring harm to the Russian society, in order to achieve their political goals. For instance, a cruel Metro bombing in Moscow and the Domodedovo Airport explosion are considered to have been conducted by Umarov. Chechen's Political issues have made innocent people suffer. If not stopped, the Chechen groups will continue threatening the Russian society (Heath, Frank & Arutunya, 2013). As a result, the Russian government is using its power to prevent and punish terrorism.
Russia has passed the law, which defines what terrorism is and how it should be punished. In addition to this, the Russian government has adopted some control measures over social and mass media. All major events in Russia are also supported by security forces. They help to watch suspicious people and take actions, if needed. Some rigid policies were also taken from the Soviet Union. The Russian security forces are now focused on keeping the nation safe. The government does not want any more victims and tries to prevent terrorism by all means. Secret plans and strategies are made for extreme situations, and they will improve the situation, if needed. The importance of the societys well-being is every country's concern; however, few countries have similar terrorist acts. For this reason, the Russian powers control all spheres of social life, including mass media, change policies and laws (Omelicheva, 2009).
It is possible to say that the international community is really able to win in war on terrorism. The main question in this context consists of what methods can help achieve this goal. Based onthe information about the counterterrorism policies of many states, it is clear that each has its benefits and weaknesses. However, in order to win in this war, the international community should regularly unify its efforts, and create a new political way to solve this problem. Indeed, it should be emphasized that in order to achieve positive results in the war on terrorism, all participants must understand the motives of the terrorist acts and the factors, which stimulate their occurring. Each terrorist act has its motives. It means that this group of people wants to tell the community something by means of the terrorist methods. When people can understand motives, only then they can win the war on terrorism.
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