Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, February 22nd, 2020

Deep Aftereffects of 9/11 And War Against Terrorism


Deep Aftereffects of 9/11 And  War Against Terrorism

The fateful event of 11 September 2001, also called the ‘Black Tuesday’ has entered the contemporary history of the world as a landmark date. It reminded the prophetic words of George Tenet, the then CIA Director, who told the Congress at the end of January 1999 that Osama bin Laden could strike ‘at any time’ against symbols of American power. In this devastating attack the terrorists targeted all the symbols of the US power and dominance. The World Trade Center (WTC) represents US economic power; Pentagon its military capabilities and the White House, where target was missed was the symbol of the overall US dominance as a sole super power in the post–Cold War global power structure. The twin towers in NewYork city symbolised the magnificence of American capitalism, were reduced to rubble. Brazen and audacious acts of terrorism executed with implacable cruelty exposed the fragility of the world order. Fortress United States, thus far unscathed by the forces of destruction, never imagined that fundamentalist forces could produce demons who, in the name of religion, would seek glory in self–destruction. Michael Cox has described this attack as ‘the most devastating terrorist atrocity in the history and the first mainland attack on the USA since the British burnt the white House in 1832.
Systemic faults of US
The twin towers of the WTC in NewYork, symbol of America’s greatness and grandeur, My latest interview with Asian News International (ANI) published at Business Standard: CPEC project for Pakistan’s elites, lacks local leadership, says researcher taken seven years to construct at a cost of $ 30 billion. The iconic targets of the Al–Qaeda attacks reduced the magnificant structure to rubble within 90 minutes. CIA, the custodian of America’s security with its $ 30 billion annual budget, global reach, mastery over numberous spy satellites and world-wide espionage network of at least 100,000 well trained and fully equipped staff, drew total blank.  The failure of the US intelligence was monumental. What a great irony that even a secret office of the CIA was destroyed in the attack, temporarily disturbing normal intelligence operations. It demonstrated further the first major failure of the CIA in half a century since its inception in 1947. Both the CIA and the FBI abruptly failed to tail the movements of Bin Laden’s operations. It is estimated that total cost of the lost economic growth around the world might have crossed a trillion dollars where as the Al–qaeda attack itself would have cost hardly a few hundred millions. A pall of gloom had descended on America in which some six to seven thousand lives are feared lost and citizens of many countries were buried under the molten debris of what once stood as the symbol of America’s military and economic pride. The message of the aggressor was loudly heard throughout the world that henceforth the world and America shall not be the same again. No doubt, the attack had global ramifications; it generated unprecedented political trauma, economic downslide, military challenges and ideological vibrations. The whole dynamics of world security underwent a sea–change.
In addition to intelligence failure, the terrorist attacks exposed America’s military might, its foreign policy bankruptcy along with its unilateralist postures and expansionist designs which it had continuously nourished since the collapse of the USSR. What a great paradox is contained in the fact that even after the termination of the Cold War, the US kept on continuously spending forty per cent of the world’s total military expenditure which accounted for sixteen per cent of US budget. The US defence review holds that it was all set to maintain its dominance in the post–Cold War world.  The events of 11 September 2001, have changed the whole Western approach towards terrorism. Of this there are two specific aspects. One was that for the first time, terrorism attacked the mightiest of the powers, in its otherwise secure home turf, and injected a serious sense of vulnerability in a society that was internally enjoying the supreme sense of security. Secondly, and this is more important that the events were more than a mere act of terrorism. These were a challenge to the prevailing hegemonic power structure of the world and a powerful statement that the dominance of the US in this power structure was not acceptable, that it could be challenged through the use of force and violence. In the circumstances, what was most unacceptable to the US was the challenge to its hegemony and dominance. Without massive retaliation the credibility of the hegemony could not have been restored and reinforced.
World wide reactions
The incident of 9/11 had evoked resentment in and outside the country, worldwide. The President George Bush, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Director of Policy Planning in the State Department Richard N. Hass and the national C.E.O. Dick Cheney were important among those who, in the prevailing situation argued to restructure the world order in favour of the US. Apart from complete elimination of Terrorism in future, their statements involved the consolidation of the strategic hierarchy with the US dominance in global power structure. Ms. Rice, for instance, had compared the post 9/11 situation with the one that prevailed during 1945-47 or the formative years of Cold War and pleaded that it is important to try to seize on that and position American interests and institutions before they harden again  Richard N. Hass wanted to evolve a new doctrine of integration that proposed that the US should ‘integrate other countries and organisations into arrangements that will sustain a world consistent with US interest and values. The goal in the post 9/11 period, as described by Dick Cheney, is to create the arrangement for the 21st century in order to assure that ‘the United States will continue to be the dominant political, economic and military power in the world.
Combating of terrorism emphasised
It was in this context the war against global terrorism and the international coalition to fight this war to the finish should be seen and understood. But the attack was not just terror and the resultant agony and a few facts about it stretched beyond human imagination. The incident itself provoked us to serious pondering over the phenomenon of terror, its implications for future inter–state relations and the shape of things to come in international relations. It gave the US and countries of the world a justifiable cause in the name of fighting terrorism. No country can justifiably say that it would not collaborate, in whatever manner possible, in the fight against terrorism or would not support the US war against terrorism. The incident clearly implied that the ugly face of terrorism may fork anywhere, any time, anyway and anyhow. It never came with a warning to America, but it brought loads of loss that humans cannot endure any more. This is why cutting across continents, political divide, national and religious boundaries, the world seemed one to fight terrorism to the finish. There is no more the talks about your terrorism, their terrorists or my terrorism. Thus, it is a common, pernicious phenomenon, pervasive everywhere, dangerous to everyone, injurious to the health of every nation and detrimental in every way to the cause of peaceful development.

Dr. Rajkumar Singh is Professor and Head of P.G.Department of Political Science in P.G.Centre, Saharsa-852201. Bihar, India. He can be reached at rajkumarsinghpg@yahoo.com

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