Generation Kill: Anti-Terrorism Fight After 9/11


Terrorists unleash indiscriminate violence to create fear and, consequently, attain economic, religious, or political objectives. Both government and non-state organizations employ the term terrorism to handle opposing groups. Many states have adopted laws that categorize terror campaign as a criminal activity (Cronin, 2015). This essay answers five questions that are based on the case study analysis of McChrystal’s interview.

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How did the battle against terrorist organizations/insurgencies change after 9/11 and from what factors do they draw their strength?

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S., the nation’s military changed how it executed operations against terrorism. It dawned on the United States of America that the problems attributed to al Qaeda and other outlawed groups were more complicated than the government had thought. In addition to dealing with a complex battlefield, it has also become important to solve social issues and sectarian violence.

The government intended to use coordinated operations that could be effective in multiple geographical areas. For example, at one point in 2003, military units were in twenty-seven nations at the same time. Strength of the Special Forces was drawn from precise intelligence, speed, modern equipment, and technology. All these factors helped the military to form a network across several areas of the battlefield and dismantle insurgent organizations. Moreover, a strategy that revolved around finding, fixing, finishing, exploiting, and analyzing was an essential source of operations strength (McChrystal & Rose, 2013). This involved understanding, locating, capturing or killing the target, scrutinizing intelligence, and repeating the cycle.

What technological methods are used in Afghanistan and Iraq and how have they been used tactically? Have they been successful?

The employment of technologies by American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan has helped to achieve critical goals in the short and long run. First, positioning systems were utilized to make navigation on the battlefield easier. Second, night-vision goggles as well as night-vision apparatus on aircraft have ensured that Americans in the operations can see their targets and aim at them during the hours of darkness. Third, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles assisted in capturing and transmitting real-time data (McChrystal & Rose, 2013). This information is important in analyzing and comprehending war situations.

The utilization of technologies has been successful in both Iraq and Afghanistan. For example, in the past, 120 commandos would be required to conduct a raid, but the adoption of modern warfare equipment made it possible to deploy 20 military officers to kill or capture the target (McChrystal & Rose, 2013). In addition, the war paraphernalia have resulted in simultaneous hitting of terrorists and making them hard to regenerate.

What is the risk of using technological capabilities against terrorists?

Unfortunately, using technological capabilities against enemies on the battlefield could be associated with risks. For instance, military units might be overconfident that equipment is all they need to dismantle insurgent groups, and they rule out other approaches. In most cases, information analyzed from modern technologies offers quick fixes that are not practical in the long run. Many new American presidents believe that the intelligence they get from the Central Intelligence Agency is all they would use to launch and win a war, but that is not always the case (McChrystal & Rose, 2013). In addition, technological capabilities that have helped to attain success in one country cannot be utilized in a different nation to achieve the same results.


In conclusion, terrorism is a global issue that ought to be handled by different stakeholders using various tactics and strategies. The 9/11 attacks changed how Americans viewed terror campaign and the Special Forces embarked on the use of new methods to launch raids in Iraq and Afghanistan. Notably, the deployment of modern war technologies by these forces has resulted in the desired outcomes.

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Cronin, A. K. (2015). ISIS is not a terrorist group: Why counterterrorism won’t stop the latest jihadist threat. Foreign Affairs, 94(3), 87-93.

McChrystal, S., & Rose, G. (2013). Generation kill: A conversation with Stanley McChrystal. Foreign Affairs, 92(2), 2-8.

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