In the immediate aftermath of the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, the Bush administration announced a war on terrorism. The stated objectives of the war were to protect America, break up terrorist cells in the U.S., and disrupt the activities of the international network of terrorist organizations made up of a number of groups under the umbrella of al-Qaeda.
But, the term and the policies it denotes have been a source of ongoing controversy, as critics have argued that it has been used to justify unilateral preemptive war, human rights abuses and other violations of international law.
The Global War on Terrorism assembles research studies that analyze the goals and strategies of global terrorism. Theses studies, reports, and analyses were conducted by governmental agencies, and private organizations under contract with the Federal government. They represent the most rigorous and authoritative research on the global war on international and domestic terrorism.
The documents in this collection are diverse in scope and emphasis. They dissect specific terrorist events, explore the goals beyond the violence, illuminate the psychology of terrorism, trace the origins and development of terrorist movements, particularly al-Queda, compare state-sponsored and independent terrorist activities, and address the formidable problem of developing feasible counterterrorist measures and polices.
The value of these materials is both immediate and historical. They provide up-to-date information on the global war on terrorism, while documenting the manner in which terrorism has been perceived and addressed over more than three decades. These seminal studies are important now and will remain of value in the future.