The domestic and international politics of the USA largely influence the political strategies of other states and the military-political interrelations between the countries. The main concepts of the US political and military strategy are formulated in the National Military Strategy of the United States of America (NMSUSA) and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) adopted by Obama administration in 2011 and 2012. The main goal of the strategy is the renewal of the national laws for the recovering of global leadership. Nowadays, the crucial objectives of the US military strategy are the confrontation to the violent extremism, the retention of the aggressor, and the consolidation of international safety.
One of the main differences between war in its traditional sense and war against terrorism is in the principles of actions and objectives. Wars usually take place between the States and their leaderships in the context of the unresolved conflicts. War is a specific state of the society and the country that leads the war; it is a specific violent form of interrelations between the nations and the specific form of the conflict resolving. According to the Military Strategy (2011), the main strategic principle of the US war against terrorism is the detention of aggressive forces and extremism. It is said that the direct military impact on the terrorists is highly challenging; therefore, the main approach applied by the USA, in this case, is the influence on other states and the participants of the international relations. Along with the detention of aggressors, the US strategy includes the destruction of the aggressive forces, but, in the contrast to the traditional wars that are aimed at victory, the military strategy of struggle against terrorism is primarily focused on the prevention of wars (The NMSUSA, 2011).
The controversy arises because of the character of the counter-terrorism policy that is deeply interrelated with the political issues – it is directed against terrorism as a negative force threatening the political power and social well-being. The distinction can be drawn only in the extents and the objectives of the actions. In war, the main object that is exposed to the attacks is the official leadership of the State, but the measures undertaken in the fight against terrorism include the struggle against individual terrorists, the perpetrators involved in the terrorist acts, and the struggle against the leaders and ideologists of terrorism. For example, according to sections 1031 and 1032 of the Act, the foreigners and the US citizens can be detained for an indefinite period of time by the US Army under the martial law without a trial or provision of legal protection if they fall under the category of “covered person,” which means that a person is suspected of being connected with the terrorist organization (Goetting, 2011). In section 1031 of the Act, it is mentioned that the covered person concept is related to the individuals who had planned the terroristic attack on September 11, 2011, who knew about it beforehand and helped to fulfill it. Anyone who falls into this category can be imprisoned for an unlimited and undefined period of time until the end of the confrontation.
The modern terrorism, in contrast to the earlier terrorist attacks, results in considerable damage. It involves the increasing number of people, and it actively evolves due to the development of informational technologies. The US military strategy is aimed at the free access to the cyberspace and global resources because it will allow the prevention of the terrorist ideology dissemination and the recruitment of individuals (The NMSUSA, 2011).
Although the war against terrorism and the traditional wars are related to the field of politics and are associated with the military measures, they differ in the objectives. While war is aimed at the subversion of the official national leadership, the counter-terrorist policies fight against ideologies and are aimed at the prevention of terroristic attacks. In this way, there is a significant difference in the implications of two types of wars.
Goetting, N. (2011). The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2012: Battlefield Earth. National Lawyers Guild Review, 68(4), 247-255. Web.
The National Military Strategy of the United States of America. (2011). Web.