Monday 20 September 2021


With the current climate twenty years on and comparable numbers of lives lost and lives impacted on a daily basis due to the pandemic and our trenchant, asocial behaviour and a resurgent Taliban controlling Afghanistan, it feels a bit hollow marking the anniversaries of the events that unfolded domestically and internationally in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 Attacks. The Bush doctrine, however—first characterised to the press as a “war of terrorism” on 16 September and then presented formally as a global “war on terror” in an address to a joint-session of the US Congress on this day in 2001, labeling “our enemy is a radical network of terrorists and every government that supports them” has an outsized legacy that impacts nearly every aspect of our lives.   Despite consternation and criticism with this approach, the policy went forward with consequences around the world. Though his predecessor, US President Barak Obama, avoided the term and declared the conflict over on 23 May 2013, stating the that the US military forces and intelligence agencies could not and would prosecute a war against a tactic, instead styling the commitment as world police as Overseas Contingency Operations and substantively continuing, even expanding America’s role.