The “war on terrorism” was launched by the administration of George W. Bush in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. The word war was applied in the metaphoric sense, as in the “war on drugs” and the “war on poverty,” and the campaign has embraced a variety of policies and governmental efforts focused on dealing with the problem of terrorism. These efforts have included military ventures, policing efforts—both international and domestic—and policies designed to make the country more secure and less vulnerable to terrorist attack.

The chief military venture of the “war” was the invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001. It was established that the 9/11 terrorists were linked to and apparently trained by Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda, a ...

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