Terror Groups -Global War on Terrorism - Combating a Modern Hydra - Al Qaeda and the Global War on Terrorism - Sean N. Kalic. Global War on Terrorism Occasional Paper 8. On 11 September 2001 a new epoch in warfare emerged. With Al Qaeda’s attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington DC, the United States suffered one of the most catastrophic attacks on the continental United States in the nation’s history. Nineteen days after the attacks, President George W. Bush addressed a joint session of Congress and stated, “Our war on terrorism begins with Al Qaeda, but does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated.”I n essence, the president confirmed the opening of the US-led global war on terrorism (GWOT). Unlike previous experiences in which the United States has gone to war, in this new era of warfare, the enemy is fundamentally different. In the past, the United States went to war against nations, regimes, and alliances. In stark contrast within the parameters of the GWOT, the enemy is not a traditional nation-state, regime, or alliance structure. Rather, non-state actors seek to use terrorism and violence to advance their political, theological, and ideological agendas. Since the entire international community structure has been and is based upon traditional nation-states, the GWOT era presents some specific legal, political, and social complications. The objective of this study, however, is to analyze how the terrorist organizations have adapted to the actions taken by the United States and its international allies to win the war on terrorism. Since 11 September 2001, the United States and its allies have pursued terrorist organizations by using a wide variety of law enforcement, financial, military, and diplomatic tools. While the conglomerate of actions taken by the US-led coalition have impacted the organizational structure, finances, and operations of terrorist regimes, these non-state actor remain flexible, resilient, and adaptive in the current security environment.
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