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Within a week of taking power his administration took concrete steps to roll back certain practices of the Bush administration, ordering the phase-out of the Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp and announcing the country's re-adherence to the third Geneva Convention.However, it remains an open question how far the new administration will be able to achieve real and substantial change.Indeed, in subsequent years many supporters of this new war would compare it to the earlier struggle against communism. Indeed, other countries also told their own versions of the global war on terror story, even while referencing longstanding conflicts with specific local explanations, whether involving national identity, political franchise, or resources.
Ethically, as a recent report from the International Commission of Jurists sets out, it has undermined its moral authority by having flouted the internationally accepted rules of war.
In the 2008 presidential campaign, candidate Barack Obama signaled his intention to review policies introduced in the name of the war on terror.
Although Bush presented military action as only one thrust of the new war, which also entailed diplomacy, intelligence, and law enforcement efforts, the war would nonetheless be most deeply associated with the military for both of the administration's terms.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld helped support the tendency to conflate the symbolic war with actual warfare.
Thus, the al-Qaeda perpetrators of September 11 and Saddam Hussein were organized into seamless and coherent chapters in the same account.
The war on terror narrative led directly to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, to the establishment of an archipelago of detention camps, and to a vast expansion of surveillance systems inside the United States. Politically, the United States has forfeited its reputation as an icon for democracy and justice, even among its closest allies.The turn toward counterinsurgency in Iraq helped produce a new way of thinking about the global war on terror as a whole.This premise soon received intellectual elaboration from a new group of theorists with experience in Iraq, who posited the existence of a global insurgency.While some of these provisions were ultimately stripped from the 1996 act, this piece of Clinton-era legislation provided the first clue as to how the growing centrality of counterterrorism in U. domestic and external policy would lead Congress to lower its guard, and the public to tolerate reductions in their rights and liberties.The Bush Administration: The Plot Unfolds For Bush, the new narrative literally fell from the sky on September 11, 2001.Narrative itself plays a special role in the intelligence profession for, despite efforts to make it a science, intelligence is in large part the art of creating a compelling story by connecting disparate pieces of data in a logical sequence.To do so well requires the capacity to see data dispassionately, knowledgeably, and with an awareness of one's own frames of reference.Further structural modifications expanded the scope of domestic data collection at state and national levels and encouraged greater information sharing. The tremendous patriotic resonance of the global war on terror narrative made it easier for the intelligence community to justify their excesses as legitimate and necessary.As we now know, commitment to preventing further attacks led to departures from legal and ethical norms in the detention and interrogation of individuals both inside and beyond the United States, as well as to the lowering of standards for the treatment of the personal information of U. Moreover, the prevailing narrative, as promoted by the Bush administration, arguably overwhelmed the capacity of the intelligence community to bring to bear its normal standards of discrimination.While the study's authors acknowledge that "not all violence against the political status quo in the Muslim world is energized, much less controlled, by global jihadism," they nevertheless make the case for "interpreting organized Islamic violence as insurgency," thus opening the door to considering any such violence a target of counterinsurgency operations.The report also suggests the need to broaden information acquisition and dissemination capabilities globally through ID cards and improved population registries.