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Terrorism is a security problem that has plagued the world for centuries, states like USA just took a different softer approach towards it till it took a gruesome turn in the 20th century. Although attention to terrorism has increased sharply in recent years, it is by no means a new phenomenon. For decades terrorists have carried out attacks against non-combatant targets causing massive destruction by means of vicious assaults.

The war on terror was the United States response to the events that is popularly referred to as the 9/11 attack which made terrorism a top priority for the US government. The 9/11 events ushered in a new type of military action for US. The global war on terror is one of the main combatants of the US new strategy by the government to ensure America’s right to self defence and world’s obligation to the defence of freedom.

On September 11th, 2001, the strategic landscape of the world was altered instantly. The radical Islamic group, Al-Qaeda, challenged the global hegemon, the United States of America, by striking targets in New York City and Washington D.C., symbolizing the hegemon‘s economic and military power. The shock and impact of that day on the U.S. foreign policy and strategy are often compared to those caused by the Pearl Harbour attacks of 1941. The difference is that the terrorist attacks struck at the heartland of the United States, and was broadcasted live across the entire world through the television and internet channels. It also caused the deaths of almost three thousand people, mostly civilians and billions of dollars of damage. However, the most unprecedented aspect of the challenge was that it stemmed not from another state, but from a non-state actor. The scale and ambition of the

U.S. response are equally formidable. President George W. Bush declared a war which came to be known as the “global war on terrorism”: the enemy was identified, the allies were


mobilised, hesitant parties were warned, ideological parameters were established, police, and surveillance functions of the state were strengthened, the defence budget was substantially increased and military action was launched.

Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda’s leader, had proved that it is sufficient to mix a dose of religious extremism and zeal, good planning, imagination, a few hundred thousand dollars with the right political, social and strategic context in order to provoke a new global conflict. Almost everyone is in agreement that, this new conflict is different from the previous ones, just as the Cold War was different from the two world wars. Discussions regarding its nature still continue

The official report of the 9/11 Commission describes the attacks of 11 September 2001, resulting in the death of nearly 3,000 civilians as ‗a day of unprecedented shock and suffering in the history of the United States. On 12 September 2001, President Bush met with senior officials, as he said, ‗to assign tasks for the first wave of the war against terrorism. It starts today. A week later he explained, ‗Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated. The 9/11 Commission considered the fatwa issued by the so-called ‗World Islamic Front‘ at the request of Osama Bin Ladin and Ayman al Zawahiri, calling for every Muslim who can to murder any American anywhere, to be a ‗declaration of war. The concept of a

‗war on terrorism‘ or ‗war on terror‘ has thus been taken literally rather than metaphorically in the sense of opposition to an idea, such as the war against fascism or the war on drugs.

Two weeks after the attacks of 9/11, the Security Council unanimously adopted anti-terrorism resolution 1373 (2001) on 28 September 2001, which reaffirmed the Council‘s unequivocal condemnation of the terrorist acts of 11 September and obligated all Member States to criminalize the wilful provision or collection of funds for terrorist acts and to freeze any financial assets and economic resources of those who commit or attempt to commit terrorist


acts or participate in or facilitate the commission of terrorist acts and of persons and entities acting on behalf of terrorists. Moreover, all States must refrain from providing any form of support to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts and prevent terrorism by denying safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, commit terrorist acts and provide safe havens as well. They must prosecute anyone who has participated in the financing, planning, preparation or perpetration of terrorist acts or in supporting terrorist acts and should also ensure that terrorist acts are established as serious criminal offences in domestic law and seriously punished. They also must intensify and accelerate the exchange of information regarding terrorist actions or movements, forged or falsified documents, traffic in arms and sensitive material, use of communications and technologies by terrorist groups, and the threat posed by the possession of weapons of mass destruction. Before granting refugee status, all States should take appropriate measures to ensure that the asylum seekers have not planned, facilitated or participated in terrorist acts. The Security Council also established a 15-member Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) to monitor the resolution‘s implementation, revitalized in 2004 to provide expert advice on all areas covered by resolution 1373, to facilitate technical assistance, and to promote closer cooperation and coordination with regional and intergovernmental bodies. Terrorism in the twentieth century tended to accompany political conflicts centred on nation-states, in struggles for national independence or liberation from oppression or occupation. In recent years international terrorism has taken new directions through the linkage between struggles in different places and the rise of groups motivated by transnational religious ideologies. As the Bishops‘ Working Group pointed out (Countering Terrorism, p. 5), Al-Qa‘eda has both highly specific aims (US withdrawal from Saudi Arabia and the destruction of Israel) and more generalised ones (the removal of Western influence in Islamic lands and the establishment of an international Muslim caliphate). This requires the maintenance of a state of enmity between authentic Islam, as understood in Osama bin


Laden‘s purist strand of Wahhabism, and the United States and its allies throughout the world.

Terrorism is not a new challenge to international order, although the influence of the United States has resulted in significant rethinking of the international law and politics of terrorism since the attacks on the US of 11 September 2001, which has had ramifications in all regions, including the Asia Pacific. The ―Global War on Terror‖ came to dominate US foreign policy in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. The effort served as a guiding light for how the United States interacted with friends, allies, and adversaries and deeply influenced US priorities around the globe, in general, and in the wider Middle East, in particular. While it will likely never be announced as concluded, the Global War on Terror is effectively over, due to four separate but related reasons: the killing of Osama bin Laden, the perceived failure of counterinsurgency as an effective policy instrument, the significant costs of the effort, and the Arab Awakening, this does not mean, however, that the United States will no longer pursue counter terrorists. Drones and Special Forces have emerged as the key tools in US counterterrorism, and the United States is likely to continue pursuing terrorist cells and high- value targets aggressively across the globe for decades to come using these means. However, this practice should be viewed as one of many defence efforts that the United States carries out on a regular basis in order to guard the full range of US interests. Elements of the emerging US counterterrorism effort remain problematic, but the end of the Global War on Terror nevertheless presents Washington with a window of opportunity to reorder its relations with the nations and peoples of the Middle East and North Africa and frees up resources for the United States to tackle other emerging strategic priorities, such as the shift of global power to the Pacific, the revival of the US economy, and security challenges such as energy security and cyber defence.



Terrorism has formed a large part of history and the United States has had its share. Due to the effects of the 9/11 attack, terrorism and establishing counter terrorism attacks are now a major priority of the United States. The United States has since experienced series of terrorist attacks that has threatened the security in this region.

The report of the UN High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change said in 2004 that terrorism ‗attacks the values that lie at the heart of the Charter of the United Nations: respect for human rights; the rule of law; rules of war that protect civilians; tolerance among peoples and nations; and the peaceful resolution of conflict. It also alluded to the fact that ‗terrorism flourishes in environments of despair, humiliation, poverty, political oppression, extremism and human rights abuse; it also flourishes in contexts of regional conflict and foreign occupation; and it profits from weak State capacity to maintain law and order. Terrorism is normally understood to refer to ‗…criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes …‘ It is the object of 13 multilateral and 7 regional treaties, which define and provide for criminalization of specific acts relating to such behaviour as hijacking, bombing, financing of terrorism and nuclear terrorism. Terrorism has been said to have been caused by so many reasons ranging from religious causes to just selfish need of individual non-state actors but none of the world’s responses to terror has been as effective as the war on terror.

Terrorism has proven to be hard to eradicate as long as these non state actors have the resources, even cutting of the head has no effect since they just grow another. However, these attacks can be minimized and managed to a certain level. This study seeks to examine the role United States play in if not eradicating completely the terrorists but minimizing their damages, and also try to establish and investigate the following problems:


  1. What are the causes and impacts of the terror acts that are scarring the world?


  1. Is there a significant influence of United States towards this terror crisis?


  • What are the achievements and contributions of the United States in the war against global terror?
  1. What is the outcome of the United States and UN intervention in eradicating global terrorism?



The main objective of this research project is to analyze the reasons behind America’s creation of the War on Terror.

The following listed objectives are to be achieved from this study;


  1. To examine the causes and impacts of the terror acts that are scarring the world


  1. To identify the influence of the United States towards the terror crisis


  • To identify the achievements and contributions of the United States in the war against global terror
  1. To identify and analyze the outcome of the United States and UN intervention in eradicating global terrorism



From the above objectives the following are the relevant research questions to be used for this study:

  1. What are the causes and effects of Terrorism?


  1. What are the strategies employed by United States towards Global Terror?


  • Did the Global War on Terror have any achievements?


  1. Has the Global War on Terror succeeded in completely eradicating Terrorism?




HO1: Religion was a major cause of terrorism.


HO2: Religion was not a major cause of terrorism.



HO1: War on terror has been a success.


HO2: War on terror has not been a success.



HO1: Hegemonic power was a major influence for the creation of GWOT.


HO2: Hegemonic power was not a major influence to creation of GWOT.




This research study shall be based on the following assumptions:


  1. Terrorism has taken a global turn and has become an international problem thus making it an important part of international relations. It is basically another concept that develops interdependency and inter relations in the international system
  2. Although there have been other attempts to fight terrorism besides the Global War on Terror, it is the most popular pre-emptive strategy against terrorism,
  • The hegemonic power of the USA played an important role in the establishment of the Global War on
  1. GWOT might have been creative for positive achievements but in the course of its action it was also met with some


The world has had series of terror crisis for a long time. These crises have been studied extensively by social scientists, political analysts and other scholars. In many of these studies,


the analysts have focused mostly on the intervening roles of groups and organizations, such as the UN. What this study found missing, however, is an in-depth analysis of the role/s of individual member states, such as the United States. The researcher hopes to portray the dynamics of terrorism and the extent of the United States roles.

Also, the study seeks to capture the extent to which the United States has restored security and economic development to these terror battered states and to the entire region. It will also help to explore the mechanism established to strengthen war against terror and the challenges encountered in their operations. The study is also expected to add to existing body of knowledge on the subject of terrorism as it relates to the United States and hopefully contribute to answer some critical questions as relates to the subject matter.


This research study is to cover USA’s approach to fighting terrorism. the time frame of the study would therefore focus on the period right before the creation of the GWOT for better understanding of the reason behind its creation. other areas to be covered include other international participation. The study would focus mainly on the United States of America’s involvement with GWOT and not every aspect of terrorism.


This study will be divided into five chapters for easy clarification. Chapter one is the introduction and background of the study which covers the statement of problem, objective of the study, significance of the study, amongst others.

Chapter two covers literature review and theoretical framework. Attempts would be made to review scholarly literatures on the nature of activities of the United States towards global terrorism. Emphasis would also be made on the Nature of America‘s policy and the


establishment of the war on terror. The study would also make use of a theory suitable to this study to further buttress this work.

Chapter three would focus on the methodology used for data collection. For the purpose of this study, the researcher would employ secondary data as its research methodology. Secondary data would include publications, books, articles, magazines and internet sources. The researcher visited the Afe-Babalola university library and online libraries in order to source and gather available data.

Chapter four would be devoted to the role, contribution and achievements of the United States towards the terror acts that broke out in the world and then outcome of the intervention as an analysis of the study.

Chapter five concludes the study by summarizing the entire work and making some recommendations based on the findings of the study.


It is necessary to attempt a definition of some of the key concepts of this study. These concepts are defined as follows;


UN Security Council Resolution 1566 (2004) gives a definition: criminal acts, including against civilians, committed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, or taking of hostages, with the purpose to provoke a state of terror in the general public or in a group of persons or particular persons, intimidate a population or compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act. A UN panel, on March 17, 2005, described terrorism as any act “intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act.‖ European Union

The European Union defines terrorism for legal/official purposes in Article1 of the Framework Decision on Combating Terrorism (2002). This provides that terrorist offences are certain criminal offences set out in a list comprised largely of serious offences against persons and property which: given their nature or context, may seriously damage a country or an international organization where committed with the aim of: seriously intimidating a population; or unduly compelling a Government or international organization to perform or abstain from performing any act; or seriously destabilizing or destroying the fundamental political, constitutional, economic or social structures of a country or an international organization.


 Security according to  Buzan  (1989:236) ―is taken to be  about the pursuit of freedom  from threat and the ability of states and societies to maintain their independent identity and their functional integrity against forces of change which they see as hostile‖. The security of states is therefore threatened by any change that might threaten that monopoly of violence–whether through external invasion or internal rebellion.


Conflict is a disagreement through which the parties involved perceive a threat to their needs, interests or concerns. Uhuegbu and Aja (2001:24) see conflict as an opposition of vested interest between states or other actors. The conflict may be in the area of trade, politics, finance, culture or military. They went further to note that conflict may take the form of threat, war, sanction, terrorism, border dispute or severance of diplomatic ties, etc.

National Security

Oche [2001] described national security as a nation’s ability to protect and develop itself, promote its cherished values and legitimate interest, and enhance the well-being of its people; it is thus the freedom from those tendencies which can undermine internal cohesion and the nation’s ability to maintain its vital institutions for the promotion of its core value. According to Otto and Ukpere [2012], national security must be related to the presence of peace, safety, happiness and protection of human and physical resources or the absence of crisis, threats to human injury among others. It is the function of every responsible government to ensure that the security of the country, its citizens and their property is maintained.

National Development

 According to Lawal & Oluwatoyin [2011], national development can be described as the overall development or collective socio-economic, political as well as religious advancements of country or nation, which is best achieved through development planning, which can be described as the country’s collection of strategy mapped out by the government



Peacekeeping as a collective term covers a diverse range of interventions: from traditional peacekeeping, to peace enforcement, peacemaking, peacebuilding, conflict prevention, humanitarian operations, etc. Peacekeeping is defined by the United Nations as ―a unique and dynamic instrument developed by the Organization as a way to help countries torn by conflict to create the conditions for lasting peace‖ (UN, 2004).

Peacekeeping is simply defined as the preservation of peace, especially as a military mission in which troops attempt to keep formerly warring factions, including the armed forces of any country, from further fight or escalating already tensed situation.


The most common definition of Counter-Terrorism on the internet is the practices, tactics, techniques and strategies that government, militaries, police departments and corporations adopt in response to terrorist threats and/or acts both real and imputed.



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