Armed Hostilities

War on Terrorism: Reasons, Essence, and Social Outcomes

War on terrorism is the one of the most notable phenomena observed in the world today. The roots of this war lie, allegedly, in the severe threat to the security and lives of civil citizens of numerous countries of the world. The war itself started as the reaction of the Bush Administration and American Government to the terrorist attacks of the World Trade Center Twin Towers on September, 11, 2001 (Chossudovsky, 2004).

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This paper will focus on the clearing up of the circumstances of that tragedy and the essence of the war on terrorism it caused. To achieve this, the paper will analyze the background of the situation, consider the real and propagandist reasons for war, analyze its social outcomes and try to predict the further development of the events.

To begin with, it is necessary to find out the reasons for the war on terrorism discussed in this paper. The very impact to its declaring was the crash of planes into the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and Pentagon building in Washington, D. C.

Thus, for example, according to Turner (2002), 81% of the Americans supported the decision of Bush Administration to wage war against terrorism after those attacks (Turner, p. 519).

Moreover, the claims of the authorities on the serious threat that terrorists on the whole, and Al Qaeda in particular, present to the American citizens convinced the nation in the necessity of decisive steps. The Congress even admitted the possibility of the use of nuclear weapons against the countries or terrorist organizations that are supposed to have nuclear bombs and might use them against the United States (Chossudovsky, 2004).

However, there are numerous experts and scholars claiming that real reasons for the war lie in the absolutely different plane. For example, the famous political scientist Michel Chossudovsky dedicated several years of his work to the idea of the mercantile motivations of the Bush Administration in that war.

In other words, according to Chossudovsky (2004), Al Qaeda is the USA funded product of the CIA work aimed at rivaling the USSR and other competing countries in Europe and Asia. Accordingly, the attacks on the WTC and Pentagon were the planned actions of the very US Government needed to start the war.

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The latter in its turn was necessary to distract attention of the public from financial and social issues of the country. Thus, the WTC attack was aimed at getting the huge 7.1 billion dollar insurance, while Afghanistan and Iraq wars pursued the goal of defending the interests of the big businesses of the USA dealing in oil and even illegal drug trafficking (Chossudovsky, 2004).

Drawing from these facts, the war on terrorism proclaimed as the concern about the wellbeing of the nation turns out to be a well planned business scheme which actually puts the existence of the whole mankind in danger. First of all, what is important is that after the 9/11 attacks, the Congress admitted the unconditional right of the president to declare war and use all the necessary weapons and means to succeed in it (Zarzar, 2006).

After this event, the claims about the possible introduction of the so called martial law in the USA, in case if another terrorist attack happens, became numerous. Looking harmless, and even secure, these claims, accompanied with the rumors about Bush’s plans of postponing the coming elections of 2004, were rather dangerous in reality. They threatened the American society into becoming a totalitarian and militarized one (Chossudovsky, 2004).

Furthermore, the revival of military tribunal as the major body of the military court power can be viewed as another sign of the plan of power usurpation. Also, the Guantanamo military prison was one more dangerous effect of the militarist politics of the US government at that time (Wheeler, 2006).

According to Chossudovsky (2004), during the Afghanistan war innocent civilians were kidnapped and imprisoned in Guantanamo while the actual Taliban supporters and Al Qaeda members, although possible to fight, were ignored. The same can be said about the Iraq war in the sense that its major reasons were far from those claimed in public by George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and other authorities.

In its outcome, the war did not prove the presence of any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq or any facts of the support the Saddam Hussein made to Al Qaeda. Drawing from this, it can be concluded that the actual impact to start the Iraq expansion was the necessity to defend the American interests in the local oil deposits against European or Asian competitors (Chossudovsky, 2004).

As for the social aftermath of the war on terrorism, it can be stated that the American society, as well as the international community, has changed greatly after September 11, 2001. This is true about both the consciousness of ordinary citizens and the domestic policies implemented by the government in respect of foreigners and natives (Zarzar, 2006).

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The major example of the 9/11-motivated policies is the introduction of the color alert system used to warn the citizens about the coming terrorist attack and rate of its danger. In addition to the talks about the introduction of martial law, this alert system created the atmosphere of constant fear and nervousness in the American society.

Moreover, the attitude towards foreigners, especially those from the Arabic countries has become rather prejudiced due to the Governmental claims that the pilots of the planes crushing into the WTC towers were Arabs.

On the whole the situation with the war on terrorism is rather controversial, and there is no way to be sure about any of the hypothesis of its real reasons.

In the future, however, there is a hope that the American foreign policies will change and the war on terrorism will be such in reality instead of being a mass killing of innocent civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries suspected of supporting Al Qaeda.

The recent activities by the new president prove that the American society await the positive changes as Barack Obama has already asked the Congress to reduce the number of the American soldiers in Iraq and start the complete withdrawal of the US troops from the country.

So, to conclude it is necessary to say that the war on terrorism started by Bush Administration in 2001 had its real and propagandist reasons. The essence of that war, according to numerous scholars, lied in pursuing business interests rather than country defense.

The social outcomes of the war in particular, and of the new militarist policies of Bush Administration on the whole, were rather negative creating tension and fear within the American society. However, there is a hope for improvement of the situation in the future.


Chossudovsky, M. (2004). 9/11 and the “War on Terrorism”. Global Research E-Monograph and Reports Series, No. 1, Centre for Research on Globalization.

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Turner, R. F. (2002). The War on Terrorism and the Modern Relevance of the Congressional Power to “Declare War”. Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, 25(2), 519+.

Wheeler, D. A. (2006). Military Tribunals and Presidential Power: American Revolution to the War on Terrorism. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 36(4), 758+.

Zarzar, R. T. (2005). Debating the War on Terrorism. International Journal on World Peace, 22(2), 84+.

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