Terrorism's War with America: A History

By Dennis Piszkiewicz | Go to book overview

Epilogue

America finally got around to declaring war on terrorism on September 14, 2001, three days after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Congress passed a resolution that authorized the President “to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, and persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.” 1 The resolution gave the president unprecedented authority to act against unnamed enemies and discretion in how to wage the war.

Within weeks, Al Qaeda’s bases in Afghanistan were rubble, its organization in disarray, and its leader, Osama bin Laden, nowhere to be found. The fundamentalist Taliban regime, which had been Al Qaeda’s protector, was destroyed. An indigenous government cobbled together from the leadership of often feuding local factions replaced the Taliban. American troops stayed in Afghanistan to protect and stabilize the new Afghan government.

A year and a half later, American troops with the support of a much smaller contingent of British forces and the backing of a mostly symbolic coalition of other nations invaded Iraq for the purpose of—according to United States leaders—removing the threat of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Within a few weeks, the major fighting was over, and American troops controlled Iraq’s major cities and roads. Saddam Hussein had disappeared in the fog of war.

Although Iraq had used poison gases during the 1980s and was developing biological and nuclear weapons in that decade (see chapter 8), as of this writing, no credible evidence of WMD have been found in Iraq. It

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Terrorism's War with America: A History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Chapter 1 - Skyjackers 1
  • Chapter 2 - Who Are the Terrorists? 9
  • Chapter 3 - Nationalists, Communists, and Insurgents 15
  • Chapter 4 - The Palestine Liberation Organization and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine 21
  • Chapter 5 - The Holy War 37
  • Chapter 6 - Reagan Takes on Terrorism 43
  • Chapter 7 - Muammar Qaddafi 61
  • Chapter 8 - Saddam Hussein 71
  • Chapter 9 - The Blind Sheikh and the Mastermind of Terror 83
  • Chapter 10 - America in Retreat 99
  • Chapter 11 - Osama Bin Laden 107
  • Chapter 12 - Al Qaeda’s War 113
  • Chapter 13 - The Past and the Future 127
  • Epilogue 137
  • Appendix 1 141
  • Appendix 2 145
  • Appendix 3 147
  • Appendix 4 165
  • Selected Bibliography 191
  • Index 195
  • About the Author 203
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