In pursuing its war on terrorism, the Bush administration faces daunting military and diplomatic challenges. But need it also worry about mobilizing public support? With the latest polls showing the public giving the president 90 percent approval ratings and endorsing the use of force at the same level, could the White House possibly hope for any more backing from the American people?
President Bush seems to think so. Every speech he gives appears to be primarily concerned with shoring up public opinion, warning us about the difficulties ahead and purposefully praising Americans for their "patience and resolve." The administration understands a basic truth about leading a democracy in war: Public support must never be taken for granted.
Even in allegedly "easy-to-support" wars, like World War II, political leaders have found it necessary to adjust the military tempo to boost public morale. All the more so in the current campaign, where the course is uncertain and the prospects for immediate success are bleak. Ironically, the initial wave of solidarity behind Bush actually intensifies concern, because there is no way the president can hold on to stratospheric approval ratings. As his support returns to more realistic levels, the headlines could become "Bush Approval Plummets." Implicit message: "Bush Is Losing the War."
Research has shown that public support of a military campaign is chiefly a function of the mission's perceived stakes, the prospects for victory and the anticipated costs. Since the Persian Gulf War (though the seeds can be traced as far back as Vietnam), a myth has taken root among policymakers that only the costs matter -- that the publi...
... middle of paper ...
...mas, Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations.
President Bush has repeatedly said this war will be long and we should get on with our lives. In other words, the terrorists started Cold War II, not World War III. The president must stir national vigilance well beyond the levels of post-Cold War complacency, but he can't have the entire country on a permanent high war footing.
Yet precisely because the war will be long, it is that much harder to get on with our lives without seeing something that indicates we have started to win. For that we will need to see demonstrable progress toward the three clear goals outlined above. If it looks like America is winning, the president will have all the support he needs to make the victory complete. Without evidence of progress, however, even the rock-solid support he enjoys today could erode significantly.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- “The war we are fighting today against terrorism is a multifaceted fight. We have to use every tool in our toolkit to wage this war - diplomacy, finance, intelligence, law enforcement, and of course, military power - and we are developing new tools as we go along.” This meaningful quote was expressed by Richard Armitage. Terrorism is a terrible thing that the United States has been fighting for several years. A tragic event occurred on September 11, 2001. We know this as 9/11, when two belligerent pilots bashed through the Twin Towers causing a frenzy of collapsing buildings.... [tags: Terrorism, September 11 attacks]
1279 words (3.7 pages)
- Terrorism The Good, the Bad, the Terrorist. Terrorism by nature is difficult to define. Acts of terrorism conjure emotional responses in the victims as well as in the practitioners. No two writers agree on what is terrorism. Even the U.S. government cannot agree on one single definition. The old adage, "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" is still alive and well today ("Terrorism Research Center: Definitions" 1).... [tags: Terrorist]
1603 words (4.6 pages)
- In September 2001, the United States suffered an attack in New York City that would firmly place fear in the hearts of Americans. 9/11 marks the beginning of the terror age in US History. The War on Terrorism has been fought for over a decade to try and bring an end to this foreign disease and to eradicate terrorists as a whole. However, the current United States counterterrorism policy should be amended as it is counterproductive; and if it continues, our world will soon be filled with terrorists.... [tags: Terrorism, Counter-terrorism, United States]
1302 words (3.7 pages)
- Introduction There are many differing definitions of terrorism. What is terrorism. How do we define it. Why is one man’s terrorist another man’s freedom fighter. These are just a few of the questions that face the world on a daily basis. There are many challenges that face the international community when it comes to how to define terrorism and what it constitutes. This paper will explore the challenges facing scholars when it comes to labeling terror and discuss potential ways to properly define it.... [tags: American History, Terrorism]
1071 words (3.1 pages)
- Since 1996, the Taliban has created an environment of terror and disorder within the country of Afghanistan. Although terrorists within Afghanistan and of the Islam religion believe that they are justified in their actions, it is made clearly apparent that Terrorism must be stopped altogether. Defining the Issue Terrorism is translated to mean ‘army in the shadows’ and is defined as the threat or use of violence to win certain rewards or goals ( Dictionary.com, 2010). The earliest known Terrorist organization similar to those of today was the Zealots of Judea, formed when fanatics of the Jewish faith revolted against the of the Roman oppression.... [tags: terrorism, war on terror]
3763 words (10.8 pages)
- In liberal democracies, most political acts are indeed legal, yet some instead decide on another way of influencing political decisions. Terrorism, is a seemly violent method intravenously employed by marginal groups to gain the focus of others on their case. Dyck defines terrorism as “the threat or use of violence, usually directed at civilian populations, in order to create some form of political change” (Dyck 401). The acts of terrorism that took place in the United States on September 11, 2001 are a powerful mementoes of how some choose to engage in violence in order to make a political statement.... [tags: Terrorism ]
1808 words (5.2 pages)
- Watching an acquaintance or friend achieve a goal they set for themselves is very rewarding. When the goal is achieved, you would consider them successful. Success is a term with many definitions. Many people think that success is determined by the amount of money one makes, or how many people they boss around each day. This is the opposite of how success is defined. Success is about being happy with an outcome and doing something correctly. It is about feeling accomplished when something is finished.... [tags: success, happiness, respect]
557 words (1.6 pages)
- Terrorism is focused on a one-sided belief that dictates massive destruction of institutions, foundations and national symbols. It represents a philosophy, which does not comply with common sense. Terrorism acts are a matter of individual psychology, relentless ideology, religious commitment, or political passion. The most devastating terrorism attack in the United States was on September 11, 2001. Other U S attacks were the Manhattan attack in 1997, the Anthrax attack in 2001, a prior World Trade Center attack in 1993, the Wall Street Bombing attack in 1920, and the Kalama City bombing in 1995 (Askshintala, 2013).... [tags: Terrorism and International Law]
2708 words (7.7 pages)
- Following the attacks by the terrorist organization Al Qaeda on September 11, 2001 the United States entered into a war that can be best described as ubiquitous and ambiguous. The declaration of the “War on Terrorism” is quite literally as open ended of a declaration as one could possibly imagine given the interpretation of winning a war relies on the defeat of an enemy. Clausewitz describes war as “an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will” (Clausewitz, 75) and perhaps the most commonly quoted portion of his theories of warfare being “war is merely the continuation of policy by other means” (Clausewitz, 87).... [tags: Al-Qaeda, United States, War on Terrorism]
726 words (2.1 pages)
- The attack heard around the world that no one saw coming took place on September 11, 2001, in New York City. It was masterminded by a terrorist group known as Al Qaeda. The attack left American citizens in a devastated and bewildered state of mind. Al Qaeda managed to kill 2,996 innocent people. This first attack served as a ripple effect for many years to come. Al Qaeda also managed to indirectly kill 48,644 Afghan, 1,690,903 Iraqi, and 35,000 Pakistani people. A majority of these were killed in the crossfire of U.S retaliation following the September 11 attack.... [tags: George W. Bush, War on Terrorism, United States]
1121 words (3.2 pages)