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The Most Significant War Since World War II

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The horrific acts of terrorism inflicted on American soil on 11 Sep 2001 have hurled this Nation to war because the conditions necessary to safeguard and enhance Americans survival and well-being no longer exist in the face of modern terrorism. In short, Americas most vital national interest has been defiled, and the threat to this interest unmistakably remains. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard B. Meyers, described Americas war on terrorism best, during the 18 Oct 2001 Department of Defense press briefing, when he said that this is the most significant war since World War II. The first battle began on 07 Oct 2001 with strikes against the Taliban Regime in Afghanistan. The United States is utilizing the full spectrum of its military capability against low-technology threats and an enemy that lacks formal armies, navies, and air forces. Finding the right capabilities and enough of them to produce the desired military effects that accomplish military objectives in support of U.S. political objectives is challenging at best. The character and conduct of war have dramatically changed in what the Bush administration aptly describes as a new kind of war. This paper attempts to identify and analyze the interplay between U.S. military objectives and political objectives under the backdrop of this evolving new kind of war. If the proper strategies are not used in this war, the risks of competing political and military objectives may not serve to secure U.S. vital national interests. The paper discusses the George W. Bush administrations political and military objectives, the military campaign in Afghanistan, the role of Pakistan in the military campaign and what the U.S. Government needs to do to keep Pakistan as an ally, balancing competing political goals, and humanitarian goals.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Unconventional Warfare

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