The War on Terror is a term of rhetoric that has been used since the 1800s to describe efforts to combat small scale attacks on institutions of states.
The concept of conventional warfare, which called for the direct confrontation of opposing armies of states on a defined territory, guided U.S. military organization, tactics, and equipment through WWII. The proxy wars of the cold war era largely rendered conventional warfare obsolete and new tactics, military and intelligence organizations, and weapons systems emerged to fight low intensity or unconventional wars. The counterinsurgency (CI) doctrine, outlined by the Kennedy Administration, defined the emerging form of warfare and provided the legal framework for the U.S. to utilize guerilla/terrorist tactics in its campaign to fight guerillas/terrorists. The Kennedy CI Doctrine called primarily for the support and training of cadres indigenous to an area to carry out counter-terror campaigns against hostile governments and relied heavily on the intelligence agencies created by the 1947 National Security Act.
Ronald Reagan was the 1st to officially declare and spearhead the international war on terror although his administration was unable to clearly define the term. The Reagan Doctrine, commonly understood as the support for anti-communist insurgents, expanded the scope of Kennedy’s CI Doctrine to allow for the full engagement of the military in foreign interventions. The Reagan Doctrine lacked the rationale for the large scale military intervention overseas that it envisioned. The September 11 2001 attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon enabled the newly elected George W. Bush administration to launch a large scale military assault on the war on terror.
The Bush Administration’s war on terror is described as the ongoing campaign to destroy individuals and groups classified as terrorists and terrorist supporting organizations and states. The initial military campaign targeted Afghanistan and was followed by the invasion of Iraq. While the military is still active in both areas the administration has named Libya, Syria, Cuba, Belarus, Zimbabwe, Myanmar (Burma), North Korea, and Iran as future potential targets. To fight the war on terror, the Bush administration has implemented the dramatic reorganization of the federal government called for by the doctrines of previous administrations. This reorganization is accompanied by legislation that has altered and superseded the constitutional and internationally recognized rights of the population. This research topic is devoted to understanding the war on terror.
Bibliography/ Gov. Documents/ Articles/ Links
The Sept. 11th 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon came 8 months after George W. Bush’s inauguration. The 2000 presidential election was one of the closest in history and only concretely decided on in favor of George W. Bush by the Oct. 12 Supreme Court decision to stop the Florida ballot recount. The controversy over the Bush election, the security and intelligence failures that permitted 9/11 to take place, and other circumstances surrounding the event spawned a host of research activity documenting U.S. government complicity in the event. The 9/11 research community has been inundated with conspiracy theories that have overshadowed the concrete information and legitimate research on 9/11. This subtopic is devoted to compiling reliable information on the 9/11 attacks.
John Miller. The Cell: inside the 9/11 plot and why the FBI and CIA failed to stop it. Hyperion: NY. 2002.
Daniel Hopsicker. Welcome To Terrorland: Mohamed Atta and the 9/11 cover-up in FL. Mad Cow Press: Eugene, OR. 2004.
- The 9-11 Commission Report. Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, Official Government Edition.
- The 9/11 citizens watch is an organization devoted to monitoring and responding to the Government sanctioned National Commission on the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
- 9/11 Research. A clearinghouse of information on 9/11 that addresses disinformation in the 9/11 research community.
States Targeted by the War on Terror
Iraq/ Afghanistan/ Iran/ N. Korea/ Syria
The Bush Doctrine, claimed to be a redefinition of U.S. foreign policy and national security strategy, was built off the Reagan Doctrine and called for pre-emptive action against the terrorist threat. The Bush Doctrine made no distinction between a terrorist organization and the nation-state believed to support it, enabling the U.S. military to fully engage in foreign interventions of sovereign nations. This subtopic is devoted to compiling information on the states targeted by the war on terror, the active and projected military campaigns against them, and the involvement of U.S. forces in the domestic affairs of the nation.
Mark Pythian Arming Iraq: How the US and Britain Secretly Built Saddam’s War Machine. Northeastern University Press: Boston 1999
Ahmed Hashim. Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Iraq. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. 2006.
Eric Herring. Iraq in Fragments: the occupation and its legacy. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. 2006.
Barry Lando. Web of Deciet: the history of western complicity in Iraq. New York: Other Press. 2007
Charles Briscoe. All Roads Lead to Baghdad: Army Special Forces Operations in Iraq. Fort Bragg, N.C.: USASOC History Office. 2006.
Phebe Marr. Who are Iraq’s new leaders? What do they want? Washington, D.C.: U.S. Institute of Peace. 2006.
- Joseph Christoff. Rebuilding Iraq. U.S. Government Accountability Office. 2005.
- Archives of articles published by Middle East Report on Iraq.
- “The U.S. Role in Iraq’s Sectarian Violence” by Stephen Zunes. Foreign Policy in Focus. March 6, 2006.
- Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection of Iraq. Includes thematic and demographic maps.
- Uncovered: The War on Iraq. The transcript to the movie that interviewed high level intelligence officers and weapons inspection specialists on the ways in which the Bush administration manipulated intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq.
- The Truth Uncovered website includes a timeline of the Bush administration’s claims of weapons of mass destruction, clips from the film, and biograhpies of the interviewees.
- The Iraq Body Count. A database of Iraqi civilians killed by the war in Iraq; includes death toll by incident.
- Renewal in Iraq. The Bush Administration’s policy in Iraq as of April 2007, presented by whitehouse.gov.
- Judah Bradley. Iraq Reconstruction. Master’s of Science Thesis. Georgia Institute Technology. 2006.
- The CIA’s Baghdad station
- “Meet the CIA’s New Baghdad Station Chief” by Ken Silverstein. Harper’s Magazine. Jan. 28, 2007.
- The Iraq dispatches of independent reporter Dar Jamail.
- Articles and resources on Iraq by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
- “Matthew Sherman: Curtailing Militias Key to Formation of Iraq Security Forces” by Lionel Beehner. Council on Foreign Relations. Feb 14 2006.
- Iraq Militia Group FAQs by Lionel Beehner. Council on Foreign Relations. June 9 2005.
- “Bush Iraq Policy Murky on the Real Enemy” by Gareth Porter. Inter-Press Service. Dec. 28, 2006.
- “Learning From Iraq: Counterinsurgency In American Strategy” by Steven Metz. Strategic Studies Institute. January 2007.
- “Death Mask: the deliberate disintegration of Iraq” by Chris Floyd. Global Research. Dec. 1 2005.
- “Iraqi insurgents recruit among U.S. held detainees” by Ned Parker. LA Times. April 8 2007.
- “Does U.S. Occupation Prevent Civil War in Iraq? Think Again” by Gareth Porter. Foreign Policy in Focus., Jan. 19, 2005.
- “U.S. Counterinsurgency Strategies in Iraq” by George Freidman. The Stratfor Weekly. July 7 2003.
- “Seeing Baghdad, Thinking Saigon” by Stephen Biddle. Foreign Affairs. March/April 2006.
- “Iraq war illegal, says Annan”. BBC. Sept. 16 2004.
- “Lord Goldsmith’s legal advice and the Iraq war” by Simon Jeffery. Guardian Unlimited. April 27 2005.
- “Pentagon probe fills in blank on Iraq war groundwork” by Peter Speigel. LA Times. April 6 2007.
- “U.S. Military Operations in Iraq: Planning, Combat, and Occupation” by Kate Phillips, Shane Lauth, Erin Schenck. Strategic Studies Institute. April 2006.
- “Insurgency in Iraq: A Historical Perspective” by Ian F. W. Beckett. Strategic Studies Institute. January 2005.
- The Iraq Study Group report. James Baker and Lee Hamilton co-chairs. NY: Vintage Books. 2006.
Steve Coll. Ghost Wars: the secret history of the CIA, Afghanistan, bin Laden, from the Soviet invasion to Sept. 10 2001. Penguin Press: NY 2004.
Richard Labeviere. Dollars for Terror: the United States and Islam. NY: Algora Publishing. 2000.
Robert Liwak. Regime Change: US strategy through the prism of 9/11. Washington D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press. 2007.
Scott Ritter. Target Iran: the truth about the white house’s plan for regime change. New York: Nation Books. 2006.
Sharam Chubin. Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions. Washington D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 2006.
William Beeman. The ‘Great Satan’ v.s. the ‘Mad Mullahs’: how the US and Iran demonize each other. CT: Praeger Publishers. 2005.
Siamak Khatami. Iran, a view from within: political analysis. London: Janus. 2004.
Ann Schulz. Buying Security: Iran under the monarchy. Boulder: Westview Press. 1989.
Organizations Targeted by the War on Terror:
A terrorist group is defined as a number of terrorists organized or assembled together to commit acts of violence or to threaten to commit acts of violence in persuit of religious, ideological, or political objects. This definition has allowed organizations such as PETA, the Earth Liberation Front, and Greenpeace to be lumped into the same category as Al-Queda. This subtopic is devoted to compiling information on the organizations targeted by the war on terror and the active and projected military campaigns against them.
Reorganization of Military, Intelligence, Security Apparatus
General/ Reorg Military/ Reorg Intelligence/ Reorg Internal Security
The George W. Bush administration’s war on terror has brought about the most sweeping reorganization of the national security apparatus since the start of the cold war. The Department of Homeland Security merged together 22 different domestic security organizations, a Director of National Intelligence was appointed to lead the restructuring of intelligence agencies, and reorganization has occurred within the Department of Justice and the Department of Defense, with the continued transition of traditional forces to special force teams. The current restructuring of the national security apparatus is the radical implementation of policy recommendations that have existed since the 1950s. This subtopic is devoted to compiling information on the reorganization of the military, security, and intelligence apparatus.
Aaron Bank. From OSS to Green Berets: The Birth of Special Forces. Novato, CA: Presidio Press. 1986.
Douglas Valentine. The Phoenix Program. William Morrow and Co. 1990.
Ed. by Tom Burghardt. Police State America: U.S. Military “Civil Distrubance” Planning. Arm the Spirit and Solidarity Publishing. 2002.
Michael McClintock. Instruments of Statecraft: U.S. Guerilla Warfare, Counterinsurgency, and Counterterrorism, 1940-1990. Pantheon Books. 1992.
- “From the Ashes of the Phoenix: Lessons For Contemporary Counterinsurgency Operations” by Lt. Col. Ken Tovo. U.S. Army War College Strategy Research Project. March 18 2005.
- TOPOFF 3 Frequently Asked Questions. Press Release. The Department of Homeland Security. Top Officials 3 (TOPOFF 3) was a comprehensive terrorist response exercise that took place April 2005. It required federal, state, local, tribal, and private sector coordination.
- “FBI Announces Restructuring”. Press Release. July 26, 2006. FBI National Press Office.
- Articles from the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College on military change and transformation.
- “Complex Organization and Social Change: the perpetual return of pheonix” by Brendan McQuade. Bachelor’s Thesis. Hampshire College. April 2007.
- “Biometric Identifiers and the Modern Face of Terror: new technologies in the global war on terrorism”. Hearing before the Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism, and Government Information of the Committee on the Judiciary. US Senate. 107th Congress. Nov. 14 2001.
- Some of the original documents of The Phoenix Program published by the Memory Hole.
- CIA Textbook on Psychological Operations in Guerilla Warfare.
- The Department of Homeland Security webpage that details the departments organization, mission, and strategic plan. The Department of Homeland Security was granted the authority to set standards and regulations for state and local law enforcement agencies.
- David L. Carter. Law Enforcement Intelligence: a guide for State, Local, and Tribal law enforcement agencies. Nov. 2004. Department of Justice.
- National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the U.S.; hearing before the Select Committee on Homeland Security, House of Representatives, 108th Congress. Aug. 17 2004.
- FBI Intelligence Investigations. Report to the Ranking Minority Member, Committee on Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate. GAO. 2001.
- “A Special Supplement: The Theory and Practice of American Political Intelligence” by Frank J. Donner. The New York Review of Books. Vo. 16 No. 7. April 22, 1971.
War on Terror Legislation
Bibliography/ Gov. Documents/ Articles/ Links
The measures taken by the Bush administration to combat the war on terror were considered illegal prior to legislation passed in the wake of 9/11. New legislation has permitted the U.S. government to use controversial methods and tactics in counter-terror and counter-insurgency operations, both domestically and overseas. The threat of domestic terrorism has allowed for increased law enforcement operations and surveillance programs that target U.S. civilians. The legislative framework to operate interrogation and detention facilities that are exempt from the regulations of the Geneva convention has, also, been established. This subtopic is devoted to compiling information on U.S. legislation that supports the war on terror.
Helen Duffy. The War on Terror and the Framework of International Law. Cambridge; NY: Cambridge University Press. 2005.
Michael Ratner and Ellen Ray. Guantanamo: what the world should know. VT: Chelsea Green Publishing. 2004.
Mark Danner.Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror. NY: New York Review of Books. 2004.
- The Patriot Act’s bill summary, statutes, and full text from the Library of Congress.
- H.R. 5122: The John Warner Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007. The full text of public law 109-364 signed by Pres. George W. Bush on 10/17/06. Sec. 1076 of the Act authorizes the deployment of the armed forces to restore public order and enforce U.S. laws when a state of emergency is declared by the president.
- The Americal Civil Liberties Union campaign against the Patriot Act.
- The Bush Administration documents that redefine torture and present legal arguments to support its use in interrogation proceedings.
- Freedom of Information Act documents on Homeland Security that include the 2003 and 2004 Department of Homeland Secuirty Budget documents and documents on the US-VISIT program , a technological program or programs to enhance trade across boarders while limiting terrorist entry through creation of a system of “virtual border management” to monitor travelers beyond the physical proximity of the border.
- The Homeland Security Act of 2002 that established the Department of Homeland Security.
- The Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act, the legislative act that allows the Immigration and Naturalization Service to track potential terrorists through the consolidation of all information on aliens and immigrants into a single database, and information sharing between Federal agencies and INS.
- A slideshow presentation prepared by Jonah Bossewitch on the personal, social, and cultural implications of domestic surveillance and essays with supporting documentation.
- Tools Against Terror: how the administration is implementing new laws in the fight to protect our homeland. A Hearing before the Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism, and Goverment Information on the legislative acts passed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. The hearing focuses on the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act and the PATRIOT Act.
- “Bush Moves Towards Martial Law” by Frank Morales. Oct 26, 2006. Uruknet.info.