Fractured Fairy Tale: The War on Terror and the Emperor's New Clothes
Lustick, Ian S.
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The War in Iraq has become politically radioactive. It is a burden, not a boon, to any politician associated with it. Not so the War on Terror. It continues to attract the allegiance of every politician in the country, whether as a justification for keeping U.S. troops in Iraq (to win the 'central front' in the War on Terror), or as a justification for withdrawing them (to win the really crucial battles in the War on Terror at home and in Afghanistan). Both official rhetoric and practice, including wars abroad, massive surveillance activities, and colossal expenditures, have bolstered the reigning belief that America is locked in a death struggle with terrorism. Since 2001 the entire country, every nook and cranny, has been officially deemed to be exposed to at least an 'elevated' risk of terrorist attack''' 'Threat Condition Yellow''''with episodes and particular locations sometimes labeled as Orange, meaning 'severe' risk of terrorist attack. By mid-2006 the United States had spent at least $650 billion on the War on Terror, including expenditures linked to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
This article appeared in Homeland Security Affairs (February 2007) v.3 no.1
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