Michael Meacher’s special report in the Guardian, as the title suggest, contains information that disproves Bush’s very term “the war on terror”. The author refers to the blueprint produced in September 2000 by the then US Administration involving the creation of a coalition aiming at overthrowing Saddam Hussein. The document prepared by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), in the author’s words, “shows Bush’s cabinet intended to take military control of the Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power” (Meacher, 2003).
Meacher connects the passivity of the US leadership in averting 9/11 attacks with this decision. Needless to say, the article is critical of the US desire to go to war with Iraq, as well as Britain’s decision to follow. Rolfe, P. (2005, March 11). “A Year After Madrid Attacks, Europe Stalled in Terror Fight: National Rivalries, Fragmented Intelligence Activities Thwart Progress. ” The Washington Post, p. A12. Retrieved January 4, 2006, from http://www. washingtonpost. com/ac2/wp-dyn/A25047-2005Mar10? language=printer
Pamela Rolfe, in Washington Post’s special, examines the state of the war on terror in Europe a year after the continent was shaken by Madrid attacks. She arrives at the dismal conclusion that this fight in Europe “remains hampered by some of the same national rivalries, fragmented intelligence services and bureaucratic obstacles that existed before the blasts of March 11, 2004, according to analysts, diplomats and other experts” (Rolfe, 2005). In spite of the creation of a unified European anti-terrorism body headed by Gijs de Vries, the preparation of a Europe-wide fingerprint and DNA database and biometric passports exists only on paper.
All authors are interested in exploring the perspectives of the war on terror, investigating the chances for success of law enforcement bodies. In particular, this topic further breaks down into: investigation of reasons why the highly developed US intelligence system proved ineffective in warding off September 11th attacks (Meacher, 2003; Pillar, 2004) exploring the need for the US government to reshape and strengthen the activities of the bodies responsible for the fight against terrorism, such as FBI, CIA (Pillar, 2004; Muller, 2005)
the importance of international cooperation and the need to coordinate efforts to stage an adequate response to terrorists (Rolfe, 2005; NATO, 2003) concrete measures undertaken by governments to overcome terrorism and the suggested steps to increase their effectiveness (Pillar, 2004; NATO, 2003). The sources are also exploring the terrorist threat, its kinds and find out what constitutes this threat at the present moment. In this respect, the sources deal with the following issues: the list of terrorist groupings, the characteristics of each group, their potential dangers and past history (Muller, 2005)
analysis of the idea of “war on terror”, its relevance to the contemporary political and security situation, and political assumptions and motives that underlie the use of the term (Meacher, 2003) the possibility that terrorists may get hold of the weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and use them in their attacks (Muller, 2005; NATO, 2003) the scope of contemporary terrorism, including the notion of “catastrophic terrorism” that, before September 11th attacks was equated to “possible chemical, biological and nuclear terrorism, and to a lesser extent cyberterrorism” (Pillar, 2004)
non-conventional terrorist attacks such as anthrax letters that can be used by terrorists in their future acts (Pillar, 2004). domestic terrorism as compared to international terrorism, terrorist groups and their profiles (Muller, 2005) Finally, the authors are trying to look into the nature of the war on terror and whether it is real or imaginary: analysis of the idea of “war on terror”, its relevance to the contemporary political and security situation, and political assumptions and motives that underlie the use of the term (Meacher, 2003)
War on terror continues to occupy an important place in the lives and actions of people throughout the world. Naturally, US and its European allies who have become victims to large-scale terrorist attacks are seeing themselves at the greatest risk of their repetition and therefore devote the greatest effort to the need to overcome this threat. Although 9/11 attacks were most surely a major breakthrough in our understanding of global terror groupings and their capabilities, a considerable effort is still need to ensure an adequate response and corresponding level of public awareness on the issue.
At this point, the very concept of the “war on terrorism” remains controversial and subject to dispute, as some claim that the metaphor emerged in order to trick the society into believing the US and other nations are under imminent threat of terrorist attacks. As terrorists step up their efforts and may soon get hold of weapons of mass destruction, the efforts of individual nations are no longer enough to overcome the threat. Terrorists are operating across border in strictly disciplined, unified organisations, and regional blocs and international organisations have to counteract with similar coordination.
These efforts still need improvement and greater coordination to ensure that they exceed and warn terrorists’ plans. At the same time, increased funding is necessary to enable security professionals to carry out their functions with greater efficiency. Overall, the war on terror remains one of the most important tasks in many nations of the world. Appendix 1 Outline Introduction 1. Definition of the “war on terror” and origin of the term 2. Terrorist groups and their leaders 3. Domestic vs. international terrorism 4. Anti-terrorist Organisations 5. International Cooperation 6. Is the war on terror effective? Conclusion
Meacher, M. (2003, September 6). “This war on terrorism is bogus. ” The Guardian. Retrieved January 4, 2006, from http://politics. guardian. co. uk/iraq/comment/0,12956,1036687,00. html NATO. (2003, January 22). Partnership Action Plan against Terrorism. Retrieved January 4, 2006, from http://www.nato.int/docu/basictxt/b021122e.htm