The September 11 Terrorist Attacks Essay

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The September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001 on the United States, marked the beginning of the war on terror in the international system. Al Qaeda emerged as the group who took responsibility for the attacks. In response to these attacks the United States began their campaign in Afghanistan where Al Qaeda was based (Andreani, 2004, p. 32). The United States wanted to eliminate the Taliban and to give back power to the Afghan government (Elshtain, 2003, pp. 2-4). However, the United States’ motives behind moving into Afghanistan was primarily to maintain the state’s security. Therefore, Realism is the theoretical tradition that can most adequately account for the actions that the United States undertook in response to terrorism which marked the beginning of the war on terror.

Sovereignty is essential in maintaining order. The ability to uphold order is completed through the use violence. Without the state there would be no order. The state has the ability to reason (Raison d’état) and therefore provides order to the international system (Bull, 2002, p. 19). There is only order within the state, not out-side of it, therefore security can only be guaranteed when it is controlled by the state (Armigage, 2013, p. 72).

Another central idea that supports order in the realist tradition is power. Maintaining the balance of power and hegemony are two elements that contribute to sustaining international order (Hurrell, 2002, p. 201). September 11 enforced the idea…

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