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What are the main challenges facing the United States.....

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What are the main challenges facing the United States.....

#1 Post by Prm »

....and its allies in the global 'war on terrorism'?

An essay question I was recently given, thought it might provide a good discussion point for these forums.... as well as give me a few ideas, cant blame a fella for trying. :wink:
Last edited by Prm on Thu 10 May, 2007 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Frank S.

#2 Post by Frank S. »

One main challenge is restoring the imbalance between military power and soft power, all that diplomatic/economic influence.
From the Financial Times, about recent departures from the US foreign policy team:

"The Bush administration is facing growing difficulties in filling a rising number of high-level vacancies following a recent spate of senior departures.

In the last 10 days alone Mr Bush has lost four senior officials and more resignations are expected to follow. “I wouldn’t describe this as disintegration,” said one senior official. “But there are worrying large gaps opening up and it is very hard to recruit high-quality people from outside.”

Recent departures include J.D. Crouch, the deputy head of the national security council, who wants to spend more time with his family, and Randall Tobias, the head of USAID, who resigned after it was revealed that he used a call girl agency for “legal” erotic services. Mr Bush has also lost Dina Habib Powell, the administration’s most senior Arab-American, who is leaving the State Department to join the private sector, and Timothy Adams, the number three at the Treasury department.

Officials say that the flurry of departures is not unusual during the latter part of a second term and deny there are common themes driving their exits. But they come at a time when Mr Bush is having difficulty filling the new position of “war czar” to oversee the administration’s prosecution of the war in Iraq."

As a follow up and segue, a quote from John Paul Vann:
""This is a political war and it calls for discrimination in killing. The best weapon for killing would be a knife, but I'm afraid we can't do it that way. The worst is an airplane. The next worst is artillery. Barring a knife, the best is a rifle -- you know who you're killing."

Now see this:
Air raid 'kills Afghan civilians'
US-led forces have killed at least 21 civilians in an air strike in southern Afghanistan, local officials say.

And the response from Sean McCormack, Spokesman, US State Department:
"QUESTION: How do these events affect your efforts to win the hearts and minds of the people in Afghanistan?

MR. MCCORMACK: I -- well, to the extent that people understand that we're working there on -- working on their behalf, I think in the long run they understand that these actions -- any loss of innocent life isn't intentional on our part and that we certainly hope that they understand that.
I can't tell you on the ground exactly how people will react. You know, if I were in their position, I -- certainly I can see how they would be quite upset at the loss of a loved one. You know, you can't replace that. But the only thing we can do is try to help them understand that we are actually working on their behalf to help them and their families and their children build a better country for themselves.

Note this: "we certainly hope that they understand that."

This ain't good. At all...

I'd point out also that National Guard personnel and equipment deployed over in Iraq is sorely missed back home where tornadoes and other natural disasters would normally be mitigated by using these assets.
It could be a political issue, as well.

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#3 Post by dwarfy »


Only a suggestion, but i would certainly look a little outside the box on this one. Dont just concentrate on the 'war on terrorism' in terms of who the allies are fighting against in terms of military action (Afghan/Iraq) or indeed ideological (Iran?? Terrorist groups) terms.
What problems do the allies face due to thier own people? i.e is the public opinion on the war on terrorism in any of the allies own countries a controling issue in terms of how thier leaders construct thier foreign policy in this instance? Do thier domestic situations effect thier decisions on the 'war on terrorsim'?

Look at Pakistan as an example of this. They claim to be with the allies and may well be, but do their attempts to fight the war on terrorsim become hampered by a large amount of sympathy from its people (in tribal area's in the North) towards the taliban. How does a country who's military (in some quarters) sides with the taliban, attempt to control the borderlands with Northern Afghanistan? There are massive problems for the Pakistani leaders in fighting the war on terrosim because of the public, there is balance so to speak that they are scared of tipping.

In the U.K, i would suggest public opinion would certainly play apart in how far Tony Blair may think he can attempt to take acts of parliament to create laws under the terrorism act and so forth. The 'shoot to kill' policy for example came under intence scrutiny after the public reaction to the unfortunate killing of a civilian, would this have effected future policy?

I guess what im saying is that one challenge the allies have is, 'selling' the 'war on terror' to their people and gaining the support of thier people for the cause.


#4 Post by Doc »

The next main thing to challenge the USA (the colonial rebelious turncoat barstewards) is Posh and Becks.

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#5 Post by harry hackedoff »

and a deeper understanding of what it means to be completely homosexual.
I`m so glad I`ve come out 8)

As the great Tom Robinson once said to a dear dear friend of mine,
"Who are you looking at Artist you cooont?"


#6 Post by Artist »

1. Obesity.
2. Mr Bush's IQ.
3. Mrs Bush's Apple Pie.
4. British Tourists.



#7 Post by Wholley »

Artist wrote: 4. British Tourists.
"Will the last American to leave Florida please bring the flag" :P


#8 Post by Doc »

Canada is something facing the USA, especially if they all look to the south.

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Re: What are the main challenges facing the United States...

#9 Post by Dangermouse »

Prm wrote:....and its allies in the global 'war on terrorism'?

An essay question I was recently given, thought it might provide a good discussion point for these forums.... as well as give me a few ideas, cant blame a fella for trying. :wink:
1) You can't wage war on a tactic.
2) Sinse you can't go after terrorists in a war, and since the word 'terrorist' is merely used to vilify an enemy, you have to go after an entire global insurgency - which is what al Qaedism really is.
3) Insrugents employ 4GW (see the Sling and the Stone by Thomas X. Hammes), and 3GW is inneffective against it. (a good book to read is Robert Taber's Guerrilla Warfare Theory and Practice)
4) Winning hearts and minds is completely out of the question, as al Qaedism is in its basic form an anti-imperialist ideology - one of resistance. In the west, people merely view al Qaedism as a terrorists netork. It is not. al Qaedism is an idea that is airborne, and is nothing like the pre-9/11 al Qaeda. As a global insurgency, it will employ both active and passive resistance/methods of attack. Terrorism being the most extreme. In my opinion, the al Qaeda ideology will go back to its original form as an anti-imperialist ideology, terrorism will be frowned upon and the idea itself will gain legitimacy. The founder of al Qaedism, Abdullah Azzam, was probably assassinated by bin Laden because Azzam did not advocate aggressive Jihad, terrorism or suicide operations.
5) Iraq.


#10 Post by flighty »

George Bush.

Pure and simple.

Puppet and numpty or the first order. I lost many hours of sleep when Ronnie and Maggie had their fingers hovering over buttons. They did, at least, attempt to justify their stances.

This git, however, is shameless in his thickness.

He terrifies the crap out of me and has done more to discredit and destabilise (sic) moves towards World Peace since .......... ever!



#11 Post by Wholley »

Your Maiden names not Fonda is it? 8)

Exit stage left at the double,Forgetting coat. :wink:


#12 Post by Scooby »

I don't think the so-called war against terror can be won, worse I think the people we call terrorists are winning and that the war is going to be around for a very, very longtime, far longer than most people will realise.

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#13 Post by harry hackedoff »

Dubya wants Bliar for the world bank gig after Wolfabich gets sacked.How`s that for a conceptual challenge :o

Farking cracking one-liner though 8)

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