The war on terror is more important than it may seem on the surface. At first it appears to be a simple imperialist move by the United States that has massively destabilized the middle east. But I think that is somewhat shortsighted of the actual intention.
Our world is now 100% organized by the state system. Every piece of land on this earth is identified by a state it is part of. Why? Well, in your history class you will see that this was the best system we could think of to keep violence between people to a minimum. By using states, wars could be fought between countries and decided by the leaders of those states. This idea was quickly adopted following some of the most vicious wars in Europe which helps to make sense of why it caught on.
While some may be skeptical of the usefulness of states to prevent violence, it is easy to see that some states are much stronger than others and can take advantage of weaker ones. We call those states first world nations. The little guys they pick on are called third world nations.
Now for the interesting part. What do you call a group of people who don’t believe in states? Terrorists. It’s almost amazing how a small band of brutal murderers could gain such widespread attention in such a short time. The problem facing US strategic planners is simple yet troubling. How do you deal with an enemy that is not a state without admitting that the state system has failed?
You may wonder why this even matters. Well, again, for the US and other first world nations to be able to milk third world nations for resources and such, the state system must prevail. Otherwise, it will be much more difficult for them to do these extractions without being imperialists or empire builders. For all the times that the US disrespects the UN, it never talks about why the UN is unable to fix anything (besides the fact that the five nations on the security council are never able to agree…).
I simply propose a re-examining of the state system to see if it is indeed the best way to reduce violence in our world. I’m sure many ethnic groups in Africa and the Middle East would be very interested in such a study as it would possibly solve many of their grievances which perpetuate the ideology of the terrorists and add so many to their ranks.