The War on Terror:
Beyond the Military By Lt. Col. Barry Wingard
Aug 3rd, 2010
The U.S. government routinely uses the term “War on Terror” to describe its military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. But how do we really define this “War on Terror”? After all, terrorism dates back to at least the 14th century, and individuals, groups and even nations have employed it ever since.
It’s hard to argue that the deployment of a bigger gun or faster tank can actually alter the outcome of either the war in Iraq or Afghanistan, let alone defeat terrorism. The U.S. armed forces have undeniably defeated the organized militaries in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the question now is whether the military can obliterate the ideas and policies that drive the growing use of terrorism.
The fact is, terrorism originates from dark and damp alleys of apathy, poverty, disenfranchisement and misunderstanding. It is a tactic that can support any set of ideals, especially for groups that lack sufficient power to rebel openly. As a result, terrorism in its many forms likely will never be defeated.
More to the point, we certainly cannot expect to defeat terrorism when the “War on Terror” itself creates indifference and fosters misunderstanding among our own citizens. In America, we now accept secrecy in this “War on Terror” as common, acceptable and subject only to the amount of scrutiny that shadowy operatives in the government deem appropriate for disclosure. Continued