This article does a good job of outlining the war on terror, noting progress made and the speed bumps along the way. Interestingly enough, this article also points out major factors that have contributed to public perception on the war on terror, and how that perception differs from the reality of the situation.
This article takes a similar stance as the previous article, outlining the war on terror, how it started, and where it is now. Additionally, however, this article shows how the US response to 9/11 actually created the ideal conditions for terrorist groups to exist and expand, having the opposite effect then what we were aiming for.
My knowledge of the Global War on Terror was limited to what I had personally seen, first as a child when the towers fell, and second as a soldier operating in Afghanistan. These articles have broadened my viewpoint to include the forest, not just the trees. I didn’t know that ISIS only exists because the US destabilized Iraq and the Syrian civil war destabilized that region, which gave them the opportunity to expand. And while terrorist operational capabilities remain limited, they make use of cyber activism to recruit insurgents and inspire lone wolf terrorist attacks all over the world. Something else I was unaware of was how “at risk” the typical American thinks we are. I know that terrorists have limited means to strike at the US, but the average American only has the media to depend on for such information, and the media paints a fairly dark and scary picture, that the public has eaten up. I had no idea that 50% of Americans think we could be the victim of another “9/11” style terrorist attack. But, that’s the point, though, isn’t it? As long as Americans think terrorists are a real threat, they can be used as political leverage to get any number of bills or proposals passed, as long as they “improve American security”, capitalizing on a politically realist perspective that has been cultivated by the media. The big take away though, is that even though we’re 16 years into this Global War on Terror, and even though we have our opponents cornered, we’ve still got a lot of work to do if we intend to see this through to the end.