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War On Terror Research Paper

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Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, then President George W. Bush stated “[o]ur war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated” (Bush, 2001, p. NA). The nature of the war on terror has changed dramatically since its inception in 2001. With al Qaeda decimated, its remaining leaders, members and supporters have fractured into several splinter groups each with their own aspirations. With varying ideologies, tactics and techniques, the strategy for dealing with these groups must be as complex and comprehensive as the groups themselves. The War on Terror is a war of ideology. A war of ideas between Western…show more content…
What are centers of gravity? In his seminal work On War, Carl Von Clausewitz (1832) defines Centers of Gravity as “the hub of all power and movement, on which everything depends…the point against which all our energy should be directed” (pp. 595-596). What he meant is debatable, however, one interpretation embraces the notion that a center of gravity is a holistic focal point upon which a strong enough blow could throw the enemy off balance or cause their entire system to collapse (Echevarria, 2003, p. 115). Furthermore, Joint Publication 5-0, Joint Operations Planning, (2011) define centers of gravity as “a source of power that provides moral or physical strength, freedom of action, or will to act” (p. xxi). If we combine the three, we can further simplify the definition to be a central source or sources of power necessary to achieve a desired end state (ours or theirs) and upon which focused opposition can prevent freedom or action or eliminate the desire to…show more content…
First, a detailed and comparative center of gravity (COG) analysis of the Islamic State (I.S.), al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and al-Shabaab will be completed. The analysis will deftly identify the critical capabilities (CC), critical requirements (CR) and critical vulnerabilities (CV) of these three groups as well as the COG or COGs which the United States should target in order to defeat each group. Second, an attempt will be made to link the objectives in the current National Strategy for Counterterrorism to one or more COGs. Finally, where deficiencies exist, some recommendation will be made to bridge the
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