An Investigation of United States of America War on Terrorism and Its Impact on Global Security (A Case Study of Afghanistan)




1.1 Background of the study

Terrorism is a phenomena that has become a source of concern for governments all around the globe. Terrorism, according to Jenkins (1975), is a strategy in which violence is employed to create specific effects in a group of people in order to achieve some political goal or ends, and one of the consequences of such a strategy is typically fear, but there are other effects as well. In his contribution, Thornton (1964) defines terrorism as the use of fear as a symbolic act aimed at influencing political behavior via non-traditional methods, including the threat of violence. Terrorism may therefore accomplish political goals by rallying troops sympathetic to the terrorists’ cause or immobilizing the existing authorities’ forces. Terrorism is a phenomena that has become a source of concern for governments all around the globe. According to O’Connor (1987), “political leaders in almost every democratic country have wrestled with the issue of how to cope with the danger of terrorism” (O’Connor, 1987). Since WWII, hundreds of terrorist organizations have operated throughout the globe, each with its own political objective ranging from plane hijackings, hostage abduction, embassy and department store bombings, and murder of political leaders and diplomats. Combating the onslaught of terrorist attacks has been a difficult political problem for democratic governments, particularly when attempting to defend their people and property abroad, according to Bush (1988). (Bush, 1988). Governments may generally adopt laws to protect themselves against domestic terrorism and create domestic law enforcement organizations to identify and prevent possible local occurrences. It may also have considerable influence over events that have already occurred domestically, such as hostage situations, but when confronted with events that occur outside of its territorial jurisdiction, governments are particularly susceptible, and terrorists are well aware of this. It is worth noting that some countries consider terrorism as a legitimate method of conducting international affairs. According to Davis (1990:10), Libya developed a vast network of training camps under Murmah Ghadaffi, which at times provided assistance to particular operations. He went on to say that during the 1980s, Libya trained up to 8,000 terrorists and guerillas per year, spent around $100 million on arms and financial aid to Palestinian terrorists, shared intelligence with terrorist groups, provided transportation aboard Libyan airlines, provided false passports, and saved-housed terrorists operating in Europe (Davis, 1990:). Suffice it to state that, as a consequence of the terrorists’ assaults on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, often referred to as “9/11,” terrorist activities have increased and come to the fore in modern times. September 11th, according to Andreani (2004:), was a clear act of war. The scale of the assaults, their indiscriminate brutality, and the global effect of the devastation compelled the use of the term “WAR” as the only word that adequately described the event and the anger it had aroused. President George W. Bush of the United States proclaimed a worldwide ‘WAR ON TERRORISM’ less than 30 days after the attacks, stating that the war would end “only with the elimination of this evil.” The quick prosecution of the perpetrators of these acts, as well as the defeat of their Taliban collaborators in Afghanistan, converted the US president’s pledge into action in the autumn of 2001. “Can the fight on terrorism conclude with a proclamation of ultimate victory?” is a question that one could raise at this time. As a result, the effect of the September 11 attacks on the United States has been inconsistent. It did, without a question, give a lifeline to America’s reputation, economy, and world dignity. It has also aided in the justification of a huge military build-up, putting the US in an even more dominating position than it was before. The knowledge or belief that terrorism is, directly or indirectly, the hostile act of another state, on the other hand, provides the target state with a visible foe and creates the conditions for diplomatic or military responses, such as the imposition of military, economic, or political sanctions and retaliation, with the goal of deterring future terrorist attacks, as demonstrated in the. It is critical to emphasize that although the war on global terrorism may not conclude with a proclamation of ultimate triumph, the usage of the term “war” in relation to such atrocities and terrorism itself, rather than against a specific adversary, is primarily symbolic. Based on the above, it is necessary to do research on the US war on terrorism and its effects on global security, using Afghanistan as a case study, in order to determine the role the US is playing, whether it is selfish or in the common global interest.

1.2 Statement of the problem

“One knows where a conflict starts, but one never knows where it ends,” a diplomat said, as cited by Ikenberry (2001:29). Following the September 11 attacks, President George W. Bush declared “war on terrorism” and said that the conflict would cease only until the evil was eradicated. Declaring a war on terrorism is justified to the degree that every conflict has a normative component, such that victory confirms that certain behaviors are undesirable and that offenders may expect their attempts to be rebuffed and ultimately punished. The issue with this classification is that it expands the scope of the conflict beyond its direct source, raising concerns about what should be included and what should be omitted. Terrorism encompasses a wide range of actions that may be carried out in the name of a variety of causes. The usage of the term “war” in relation to terrorism rather than against a specific adversary is purely figurative. According to Freedman (2001:63), Al-Qaeda (which claimed responsibility for the September 11 attacks on the United States) claims to be waging a battle between genuine Islam and Christianity and Judaism, rather than a terrorism war. To summarize, this is a fight over the future of Islam, and therefore about the grievances of all nations with Muslim populations, as well as any conflicts in which Muslim organizations are actively engaged, according to the preceding statement. This attributed to Osama Bin Laden remark has done more damage than good to Muslim extremists in particular and worldwide security in general, as shown by the almost daily suicide attacks that occur across the globe. This battle, according to these fanatics, is not only against Christians, but also against the United States, which they have labeled as “infidel.” The world is now confronted with the formidable job of coping not just with terrorism and its wave of bloodshed, but also with the consequences of its failure to control its effect on global security. To summarize, if cautious diplomatic measures are not made, the United States of America’s “war on terrorism” may have a negative effect on world security, perhaps leading to a Third World War. Not to mention the number of lives and properties destroyed as a result of this cause, as well as the money spent by US taxpayers. However, the United States is finding it difficult to completely eradicate terrorism because terrorist groups have continued to evolve in style and sophistication, and not every country is willing to cooperate with the United States in its terrorism against terrorism and the means by which it thrives, particularly through terrorist financing.

1.3 Objective of the study

The primary objective of the study is as follows

  1. To examine the impacts of terrorist activities on global security.
  2. To investigate the role the United States is playing in the war against terrorism, so as to ascertain whether it conforms with the stipulations of international law.
  3. To find out the undertones in U.S unilateral declaration of war on global terrorism.
  4. to find out out the implications of the dual strategy employed by the United States in Afghanistan, in the war against terrorism.

1.4       Research Questions

The following research questions have been prepared for this study

1)        Does terrorism have impact on global security?

2)        Are there roles the United States is playing in the war against terrorism?

3)        Are there undertones in U.S unilateral declaration of war on global terrorism?

4)        Are there implications of the dual strategy employed by the United States in Afghanistan,

1.4 Research Methodology

This study is a qualitative work which will cut across five chapters, including summary, conclusions, and recommendation

1.5 Significance of the study

The significance of this study cannot be underestimated as:

l  This study will examine  An Investigation Of United States Of America War On Terrorism And Its Impact On Global Security (A Case Study Of Afghanistan)

l  The findings of this research work will undoubtedly provide the much needed information to government organizations, ministry of education and academia

1.6 Scope of the study

This study will examine An Investigation Of United States Of America War On Terrorism And Its Impact On Global Security (A Case Study Of Afghanistan)

1.7 Limitation of the study

This study was constrained by a number of factors which are as follows:

 just like any other research, ranging from unavailability of needed accurate materials on the topic under study, inability to get data

Financial constraint , was faced by  the researcher ,in getting relevant materials  and  in printing and collation of questionnaires

Time factor: time factor pose another constraint since having to shuttle between writing of the research and also engaging in other academic work making it uneasy for the researcher


Andreani G. (2004). “The War on Terror: Good Cause Foreign Concept”.Survival Journal. Vol. 46, No. 4 January.

Bush, G. (1988). Terrorist Group Profiles. Washington DC: U.SGovernment Printing Office.

Davis, B.I. (1990). Ghaddafi, Terrorists and the Origins of the U.S Attackon Libya. New York: Praeger Publishers.

Jenkins, B. (1975). International Terrorism: A New Model of Conflict.Los Angeles: Crescent Publications.

O’ Connor, M. (1987). Terrorism: Its Goals, Its Targets, Its methods: TheSolutions. Boulder: Paladin. Press.

Thornton, T.P. and Eckstein (ed.) (1964). Terror as a Weapon of Political Agitation: Internal War. London: Collier-Macmillan Publishers.




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