Presentation on theme: "Can we fight Terrorism with Force? Braunwarth. Some Pre-War Claims Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11 Saddam Hussein posed a direct threat to the."— Presentation transcript:
Some Pre-War Claims Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11 Saddam Hussein posed a direct threat to the U.S. We are more secure since we went to war in Iraq We can defeat terrorism through military force With how many do you agree? I will argue that these are all false
Some Pre-War Predictions Although we had a superior military, victory could be difficult especially if Hussein used biological or chemical weapons Skeptical about our ability to install a democracy Invasion would create resentment from Iraqis U.S. troops would become a target for every fundamentalist in SW Asia with a gun Acting Unilaterally would create resentment from the rest of the world Unfortunately, I was right on every count except first
The Iraq example Fired all the Baathists, police, and military – people who kept country running and secure Created huge animosity and crippled economy Iraqi is even more dangerous today Torture scandals Lost Explosives 1500+ U.S. soldiers killed; 11000+ wounded 21-24,000 Iraqi civilians killed Safe elections in January are highly improbably
Terrorist Motivations Terrorists are religious extremists who are opposed to any secular forces in the region Saudi Arabia and the U.S. presence there Iraq under Hussein and under the U.S. Israel with support from the U.S. Terrorists try to trigger massive over-reaction by the target (U.S.) This over-reaction mobilizes the population of the Arab world and others against us
September 11, 2001 The attacks of September 11, 2001 shattered the widespread belief of U.S. invulnerability and isolation from the problems plaguing much of the world In response to the attacks, President Bush promised a new war on terrorism How will September 11 affect our traditions of freedom, tolerance, and open debate? How will it affect our sense of community and commitment to our political system?
Wars and Democracy Americans typically “rally around the flag” whenever troops are committed overseas September 11 reinvigorated our sense of community and recognition of the importance of the federal government However, solidarity during war can also resulted in the targeting of minorities and the squelching of dissent under the pretext of national unity
Public Opinion and the Media Wars have traditionally had a contradictory effect on the traditions of freedom, tolerance, and open debate Solidarity and patriotism can threaten essential freedoms in the name of order Much depends on the mass media The media can become more of a lapdog than a watchdog out of a sense of patriotism and allow political elites to distort or even fabricate information
The War in Iraq and Terrorism Has the war in Iraq been a productive part of our war in terror? It allowed us to vent our frustrations on someone when Bin Laden was unavailable But, have created many enemies (individuals and countries) For every civilian killed, we create a blood debt that someone will want paid (blowback) Excellent recruiting tool for Bin Laden Poor recruiting tool for Uncle Sam
War on Terrorism Terrorists dislike our democracy and liberties If we give them up, they will have won a huge victory
Alternatives to Military Force? Need to eliminate passive support for the terrorists Not respond with overwhelming force Need to respect rule of law – not because the terrorists do but because we need to set an example for those who might support them Use the world court Our strengths are our respect for civil liberties and human rights – we should promote abroad Support economic development, health, etc.