For the United States and other countries at risk of terrorism, the issue of insecurity remains a major challenge. For a long time, the government has preferred to use military resources to carry out mass attacks, particularly as the number of terrorist groups grows year after year. The initiatives have had a much smaller effect than anticipated. As a result, strategies should be multifaceted and involve a variety of stakeholders in order to address the problem. The preferred method should place a premium on power in negotiations in order to facilitate amicable resolutions. Efforts should also be made to withdraw the troops and make greater use of the military allocation funds to provide social amenities to the affected populations. Through such mechanisms, it is warranted that there will be peaceful coexistence that will boost peace efforts.
Reducing Terrorism in the US
The September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Centre exposed the seriousness of the threat of terrorism in the U.S. In response, President Bush stated: “Americans are asking: How will we fight and win this war?” (The Guardian, 2001). The trends of terrorism in the U.S. and other parts of the world have always followed a specific pattern where civilians would be targeted. The challenge and violence associated with this issue have overall created fear in the country and resulted in the need for the government to institute measures that are targeted at reducing – if not ending – the attacks on civilians. Following the nature of the risk that is apparent, it is important that the government goes to the further limits possible without restrictions, providing that the measures will guarantee the safety of the American citizens (Benjamin, 2013). The U.S. has focused primarily on carrying out air strikes in the areas that are inhabited by the extremists – a move that has yielded little impact. The extent of overcoming terrorism in the U.S. should involve peaceful negotiations with the enemy.
One of the plausible mechanisms of managing the problem is carrying out ground attacks that are intended to flush out the terrorists from their hiding positions. A moratorium of drone attacks appears a real solution because they are the primary recruiting tool for extremists and it is important that the U.S. uses a similar approach in overcoming them. It is reported that “One of the reasons Osama bin Laden said he hated the United States was that the US had military bases in the Holy Lands in Saudi Arabia” (Benjamin, 2013). It is important that the military sets out efforts that will ground the enemies faster and eliminate them in the process. For example, it has been noted that the head of Al-Qaeda Ayman al-Zawahiri has called on the jihadists to set for a retaliation after it became apparent that there were US attacks targeting Afghanistan, Yemen, and Pakistan. It is also suggested that when the enemy does not show signs of baulking at the war or holding negotiation, the use of ground attacks is priority. It is, thus, important that in the process of overcoming the terrorist attacks, efforts should be directed at carrying out ground attacks. It must, however, be noted that the U.S. has been using similar efforts for the last decade and there have been varying results as it has not been the most reliable way (National Academics of Sciences, 2008).
The withdrawal of troops is also a viable solution in addressing the challenge of terrorism on American soil. The Afghanistan case is always the closest in understanding how failed the previous efforts have been in the realization of peace and fight against extremism. The idea has been described as a “zero-option” and would greatly help in the initiation of efforts to make peace with the enemy and in the process of guaranteeing safety for American citizens. The 11-year occupation by the U.S. in Afghanistan has had little impact and it is high time other ideas are taken into consideration. For example, it is argued that if the U.S. had not occupied Afghanistan, the Taliban would not be trying to cross the Pakistani border with the aim of killing the American soldiers. While President Obama had previously considered this option, he ended up leaving thousands of troops and military contractors behind – a move that has been highly criticized (Schmid, 2004). It is, therefore, important that the U.S. government takes into consideration the need to remove troops as the enemy tends to use it as an excuse for constant warfare.
Another primary way that the U.S. government should consider in the realization of a world that is free from terrorism is to apologize to the nations where innocent victims have been targeted. It is reported that “There is a perception in the Muslim world that the US government does not value their lives” (Benjamin, 2013). In fact, the process should not involve apologizing but it should go as far as compensating the families whose relatives have been killed despite being innocent. It is common to hear of many civilians that have fallen due to the attacks that the U.S. had launched. Research shows that some Muslim countries think that the U.S. are so inhuman that they do not value their lives. It comes from the fact that the U.S. military has for a long time used airstrikes in targeting the terrorist spots. Unjustified killings create a feeling of unfairness when perceived from a victims’ point of view; and it results in need of compensation.
It is further suggested that in seeking to overcome the threat of terrorism the efforts to create a peaceful dialogue should be instituted. Despite the long-standing animosity between the U.S. and the Middle East nations, the Taliban have ensured that they cooperate by creating opportunities for dialogue. In June 2013, the Taliban are reported to have opened an office that is designed to be used for long-standing talks with the U.S. While efforts were almost proving to be successful, there have been minor setbacks with the most apparent being President Karzai’s objections. In fact, research backs the use of dialogue as a preferred way of ending guerrilla groups because, according to the Rand Corporation, 43% of radical groups ended up joining the political process (Benjamin, 2013). Meanwhile, 40% were resolved through better policing while paltry 7% were achieved through military action. In fact, considering the fact that it has been over a decade of military action that has yielded little impact, it is high time that the U.S. government explore the option of reasoning with the enemy.
A related effort that is designed to end the threat of terrorism is channeling resources to help the poor in the areas supposedly inhabited by the enemy. It is noted that “For a fraction of the money we keep wasting each month on the failed war in Afghanistan.” (Benjamin, 2013). It is thought–provoking that the U.S. has placed security at the top of its budget allocation and, thus, ended up carrying out a great number of endless fights. Therefore, there is a need to channel the foreign aid money on sectors such as education and healthcare and in the process lift people out of poverty. This approach would be benefiting as it entails a fraction of the money wasted every month on a failed war which even sometimes extended to supporting a wealthy Israeli military. Helping Yemenis who are facing poverty, enabling them to get education, improving their access to water, and providing humanitarian aid to Syrian and Afghanistan seem more realistic ways of relating to the outside world that through war. In fact, the U.S. will end up making many friends through such mechanisms when the focus is on electrical grids, clinical improvement, wells, and schools as opposed to the use of force.
In summary, it is important to underscore the fact that the problem of security in the U.S. continues to be a challenge that poses a huge risk for citizens. The recommendation, thus, follows that the U.S. should consider the use of peaceful negotiations by making friendly alliances with the enemy and admit the use of attacks to be unreliable. The most preferred effort should, thus, involve removing the military troops from the warzone, reconciling, and compensating those who have been killed innocently. It is also advised that there should be peaceful negotiations with the enemy to determine how workable political relations can be despite the long-standing war lasting for over a decade. Finally, the use of finances in a more reliable and profiting manner is perceived to be a solution in the effort to overcome the threat posed by extremist groups. It is, therefore, important that the U.S. government considers all the available options that are attainable to guarantee safety for American citizens.
Benjamin, M. (2013). 10 Ways to Reduce the Threat of Terrorist Attacks on Americans. Common Dreams. Retrieved from https://www.commondreams.org/views/2013/08/06/10-ways-reduce-threat-terrorist-attacks-americans
National Academics of Sciences. (2008). The nature of the terrorist threat to the United States. Scoping the Issue: Terrorism, Privacy, and Technology. Retrieved from https://www.nap.edu/read/12452/chapter/3
Schmid, A. P. (2004). Frameworks for Conceptualising Terrorism. Terrorism and Political Violence, 16(2), 197–221. Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.1080/09546550490483134
The Guardian. (2001). Text of George Bush’s speech. Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/sep/21/september11.usa13