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Are We Winning The War On Terrorism?

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Are we winning the war on terrorism? There are two different views on how we should deal with terrorism in the long term. The first view being that we should destroy everything and everyone in that terrorist group or anyone working with them. The second view being that we should eliminate the root causes of terrorism on a global level. Even if you can decide on which view to choose, how do know if you are winning the war or not? Is it how many terrorist attacks have arisen since 9/11 or do you go by the body count theirs verses ours? We are presented with two arguments one saying yes we are winning the war on terrorism. The second being no, we are not winning the war. I will start with Douglas J. Feith, who believes we are winning the war on terrorism. Then I will summarize John Gershman's argument.

Feith believes the terrorist who attacked us on 9/11 took advantage of Americas open nature. Just because they attacked us we should not let that make us become a closed nature society, and make us go on the defensive. We do not have the ability to stop all terrorist attacks. So, Feith agrees with the Presidents decision to go on the offensive and try to attack the terrorists on their own land and not ours. Feith, says that the Presidents three part strategy is a good one and we should continue with this strategy. Part one of the strategy is that we must disrupt and destroy the terrorists infrastructure. We have been doing this by capturing some of al-Quidas top advisors, and by interrupting the finances. The second part of the strategy is to make terrorism look like a bad thing to do. We have done this by endorsing the Iraqi government to take control of their country, and fight against terrorist in their own country. The third part is to secure American soil. This has been done by starting the Department of Homeland Security. They have also made it so that intelligence flows easier between countries that we allied with. Feith also says that weapons of mass destruction (WMD) are bad and provide a threat to our national security. Iraq, who could have possibly had WMDs posed a serious threat to us. By taking Saddam Hussein out of power, we have taken away a financer and a supporter of terrorist. This also allowed for democracy to take place in Iraq, and give democracy a foot hold in the Middle East. This will be a long and costly road but we must stay on it, and we will keep the world safe from terrorism.

Now I shall give the point of view from those who believe we are not winning the war on terrorism. This will come from John Gershman. He says that Americans are now more vulnerable because of President Bush's failure of leadership. Gershman believes that with the occupation of Iraq we have given people a reason to join and made it easier to join terrorist groups. He does say that the President has done a few god things like improved our international intelligence sharing, and improved airline and border security. The President has also cracked down on terrorist finances, arrested some of al-Quidas high members, and has disrupted planned terrorist attacks. Even with that being said, this should not cover up the fact that the President has made U.S. Citizens more vulnerable. Gershman has set six reasons why President Bush's approach has failed.

The first reason is that President Bush is making the military number one on the budget, and in his tactics in dealing with terrorist. The second reason is that the national intelligence sharing is still as bad as it always has been. The third reason is that the PATRIOT Act has undermined our civil liberties and through increased secrecy, he has undermined our democracy. The fourth reason is that there are two flaws with homeland security. First, it has not secured the infrastructure owed by the nation's private sector. Secondly, he has not met the needs of emergency responders. The fifth reason that the Presidents approach has failed and that his administration has been hostile to the International Court, and with many of our treaty holders dealing with Arms Control. The final reason is that the President has failed to recognize the root causes of terrorism like poverty, repressive regimes, and inequality.

Gershman then sets out his plan, which contains four different parts in how we should counter terrorism. The first part is that we must strengthen homeland security. To do this we must do five things. First, we must improve the intelligence gather by making it easier to coordinate with other agencies. We must also increase congressional oversight on intelligence operations. Second, we must rise funding for the border agencies and programs. Third, we must protect our nuclear and chemical plants. We need to secure our information technology and let the food and agriculture check for chemical and biological threats. Fourth, we need to raise funding for emergency responders so they can have better training and have better equipment, also to improve emergency response plans. Fifth, we must prevent arms getting into the hands of terrorist, by monitoring Russia's weapons, ending the Star Wars program, and to fortify international conventions.

The second part of Gershman's plan is to hold terrorists accountable by strengthening the legal system both on a national and international level. To do this we must do four things. The first being that we must expand international police cooperation. The second being we should promote the Princeton Principles on Universal Jurisdiction. Next, we must create a special tribunal to put terrorist under

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