The terrorist threat directed toward the United States and Allies is a constant and, on face value, appears to be increasing in severity with the global rise of ISIS.
Terror attack justifications have varied within the United States – some have been coordinated and planned by ISIS operatives, while others have transpired by way of radical inspiration. America’s war on Terror, especially with the recent rise in terrorist related violence, evokes a perplexing sentiment, rife with anxiety and fear. However, while a response should be swift and strong, it has to take into account a myriad of human factors. This includes societal realities, such as racial and religious demographics.
More recently, mainstream politicians on both sides of the aisle have found it politically beneficial and prudent to focus on the seemingly perpetual terror threat. In particular, Donald Trump has bloviatingly advocated a registry for immigrants coming from predominantly Muslim nations, which would effectively monitor those of the Muslim faith, and possibly prevent some Muslim immigrants from entering the country.. And while Trump has “strategically” steered away from this proposal after cruising through the Republican Primary, his passionate, and at times, bigoted base, still views strictly controlled immigration as imperative in preventing future attacks on American soil. But, one of the most pressing questions to answer is, “what led to this increase in violent hostilities?”
While not simple to answer, one of the primary reasons for the current instability in the Middle East was the removal of Saddam Hussein by Coalition Forces, i.e., mainly the United States. The invasion of sovereign Iraq was incessantly pushed forward by the reckless Bush Administration, but the legal merits for the War itself were misdirected, and thus, false. After the fall of Iraq, the US – going against historic invasion precedent I might add – permitted a 2-3-month power vacuum whereby the US and Coalition Forces were directed not to intervene in the ensuing chaos. Museums were looted, government buildings were destroyed, and the rule of law ceased to exist.
Even worse, mid-level government employees weren’t allowed to remain in their positions in order to ensure some level of post-invasion stability – an invasion tactic that’s historically commonplace. What’s more, the Iraqi military was completed dismantled without adequately considering the impact of displacement. The two aforementioned policies stripped many prideful, and innocent Iraqis of work, leaving millions to fends for themselves. With the country in shambles, extremist elements came to fruition as the power vacuum afforded terrorists groups the capacity to sway those suffering from economic distress.
As the illegal occupation went on, a major rise in violence challenged the occupying forces and bolstered terrorist entities within Iraq. Toward the end of the Bush Administration, insurgent violence reached a crescendo. The anger and resentment against the United States proliferated around the Middle East due to Bush’s disastrous foreign policy decision, with this hate culminating in the Arab Spring and ISIS forming a caliphate.
Domestic policies were problematic as well. After 9/11, the US government rushed to find a solution to the worst attack in American history. In came the intrusive Patriot Act. This major piece of legislation expanded the power of the executive branch in fighting the war on terror, but also restricted the Bill of Rights. Furthermore, it broadened the powers of the CIA, FBI, and NSA. In a state of fear. Essentially, Americans unwittingly gave the government a green light to tap phones, store data, and hack personal computers, all in the name of national security.