Terrorism remains one of the greatest challenges many societies and nations continue to face today. Different governments have been keen to adopt and implement appropriate measures to deal with this issue. This paper gives a detailed analysis of the efforts the United States and its allies undertook in Afghanistan and Iraq and the predicaments of fighting insurgent forces.
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The studied case study explains how the fight against terrorism changed significantly after the infamous 9/11 attacks. After this occurrence, American military leaders realized that the objective of dismantling Al Qaeda was more complex than they had initially thought. Such an effort required a continuous learning and coordinated approach. The outstanding aim was to have a clear knowledge of this terrorist group and what it wanted.
Consequently, the need to apply adequate human resources, modern technologies, effective communication networks, and teamwork became a reality (Feloni, 2019). This was a major shift from the traditional use of direct military attacks and the application of the Find, Fix, Finish, Exploit, and Analyze (F3EA) strategy (“Generation kill,” 2013). The US army drew its strength from different factors, including technological advancement, human efforts, social support, and coordination. This means that the “butcher and bolt” tactic was no longer an option when fighting insurgencies.
The Joint Special Operations Command in Afghanistan utilized technical methods to achieve their objectives much faster. Some of the common ones included global positioning systems, unmanned aerial vehicles (predators), and night-vision equipment. Such tools were used tactically to improve operations, coordinate efforts, maximize striking efficiency, and deliver positive outcomes (Goepner, 2016).
Several goals were critical for all military teams and their respective leaders. For instance, global positioning technologies made it possible for soldiers and units to be at the right place without any challenge. Night-vision tools and goggles made it possible for the soldiers to operate effectively in the dark. Predators supported the acquisition of real-time images and hit key targets.
Many people and experts interpret the outcomes of the events at Afghanistan differently. Some believe that the use of new technologies and coordinated efforts made it possible for the involved forces to find and attack most of the terrorist groups in the region (Feloni, 2019). Others acknowledge that such efforts catalyzed additional problems, including the emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Feloni, 2019). Nonetheless, these experiences can become evidence-based guidelines whenever embracing modern technologies to minimize civilian casualties, increase coordination, and learn more about the motivation behind terrorism (Feloni, 2019). The collected information can guide different nations to implement better foreign policies in accordance with the realism theory.
According to General Stanley McChrystal, the use of technological capabilities against terrorist groups is an effective approach for dealing with this problem and delivering positive results. Unfortunately, the adoption of innovative techniques is associated with various risks since any group or criminal can have access to them. For example, such terrorists can use these technologies to commit heinous acts and claim the lives of many citizens (Goepner, 2016). Another concern is that they are expensive and many nations might be unable to acquire or utilize them efficiently.
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The above discussion has described how the fight against global terrorism changed after 9/11. The adoption of technological methods transformed the way armies identified enemies and attacked them. Despite the recorded gains, the acquired experiences became critical lessons regarding the potential risks of using innovations against terrorism.
Feloni, R. (2019). Retired 4-star Gen. Stanley McChrystal explains how the realization the US was losing the Iraq War in 2004 led to the transformation of special operations. Pulse. Web.
“Generation kill: A conversation with Stanley McChrystal.” (2013). Foreign Affairs. Web.
Goepner, E. W. (2016). Measuring the effectiveness of America’s war on terror. Parameters, 46(1), 107-120.