One way the world has changed since 9/11 is that it has increased violence in world politics. America has attacked Afghanistan to get rid of the Taliban’s plus their training camps, with their own agenda to end terrorists but they ended more than that. Their aim was to find Osama Bin Laden as Afghanistan were accused of hiding him. The U.S. was supported by many countries including the UK (BBC News, 2017). Between 10,960 and 49,600 (Dummies, 2017) people have been involved, more people were injured than killed, but the American troops left thousands homeless. The total death toll since 2001-2016 has been 111,442 (CNN, 2017). There were more than 10,000 troops (Begins, 2017) deployed in Afghanistan. It started with a bombing attack on the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul and by mid-December, the city was destroyed. Osama Bin Laden had fled to Pakistan where it was hard for American troops to get into due to political reasons. Pakistan was the safe haven for the Taliban’s across the Pak-Afghan border. The Afghanistan-American war is the longest war in history now leading onto 17 years, there are 8,400 troops still in Afghanistan this year (CNN, 2017). The reason why the war is still ongoing is that America is afraid if they leave space for them, ISIS or a new group could plan a plot against America like 9/11.
The second major attack was on Iraq, America threatened to attack if they didn’t abandon their nuclear weapon programmes (Jenkins, 2011:15). It first started with an air campaign, then by a ground invasion that was led by U.S. forces. Al-Qaeda wanted Saddam Hussein gone and America did their work for them unintentionally. America wanted to remove Saddam Hussein from power as he threatened America in various ways (Quoracom, 2017). He was captured by U.S. forces in December 2003 and executed by Iraqis in 2006. Between 392,979 and 942,636 (Dummies, 2017) Iraqi civilians and combatants were injured/killed in the process. The invasion was carried out to promote change, in their sense to have peace in an Islamic extremist-free world. However, it wasn’t exactly a win for America, they lost approximately 4400+ soldiers (Ricks et al., 2017). Iran gained an ally with the new Iraq once Saddam was hanged, their relationship was the winner of the war. The Iraq war became a gateway for IS to exist and once they came into existence, the special air service was sent to the outskirts of Baghdad, Iraq to attack jihadists. Later, they organized into Al-Qaeda and then Islamic State and since 2013, ISIS (BBC News, 2017).
America’s ground invasions on countries like Iraq have destabilized not only the region but also the Middle East. No one can accuse America to say this was one of their foreign policy goals as there’s no proof, however, if they did then it was unintentional. A big reason why the Middle East is destabilized is because of the decline of American foreign policy (Quoracom, 2017). Rather than bringing freedom and peace to Iraq, America brought more trouble. America’s biggest failure when it comes to foreign policy was that the Iraq war unintentionally let things go out of control, with this the rise of Islamic State also came. Americas main goal post 9/11 regarding foreign policies in Afghanistan has been to make sure that the country doesn’t become a safe haven for terrorist groups (Felbab-Brown, 2017). Another example of America’s foreign policy in the Middle East is in Syria. An article of Newsweek (18 November 2017) said:
“Assad previously said he would welcome U.S. troops in Syria to fight ISIS—under the condition that they coordinated their campaign with his ally, Russia”.
America wants Assad removed from power. From Russia’s end, they have said that their support for Assad is only conditional (Graham-Harrison, 2017). Russia has been backing Assad’s regime for a while and it started from the cold war days (BBC News, 2017). After this, countries tore a policy change. The main goal of American foreign policy is:
“Preserving the national security of the United States”. (Ushistory.org, 2017)
President Trump has been attempting to achieve that goal. Earlier this year he signed an order, which states that all refugee admissions must be stopped, he temporarily banned seven Muslim countries. If anyone does arrive from any of the countries they face a 90-day visa suspension (BBC News, 2017). On 5th December 2017, the BBC said:
“The US Supreme Court has ruled President Donald Trump’s travel ban on six mainly Muslim countries can go into full effect, pending legal challenges”.
He said that he was doing this for national security for his own country and gave examples of the terrorist attacks that have happened earlier this year in Paris and London. The countries affected are Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. The BBC also stated that:
“Federal judges have cited Mr. Trump’s campaign description of his policy as a “Muslim ban” and his call for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States””.
In relation to foreign policies, the goals the country has set e.g. working with allies to solve international problems mainly revolves around co-operation from other nations (ushistory.org, 2017). America’s foreign policy has influenced other countries such as the UK and France. In the UK, the coming of British Jihadists is evolving an example being Salman Abedi who was responsible for the Manchester bombing (BBC News, 2017). In October 2001, Bush launched ‘operation enduring freedom’ with allies such as France, Germany and the UK to punish those responsible for 9/11 (E-International Relations, 2017). Maybe because of this, these British Jihadists or attacks in France are happening e.g. Paris attacks (2015) and Germany e.g. the Berlin attack in 2016. Not only Europe but it created power vacuums in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Libya. The power vacuums allowed the terrorists to move in and do their work.