These attacks are usually meant to coerce authorities into giving into the political, religious, and social goals of the terror groups. Therefore, terming the fight against terrorism as “war” eludes logic.
As a counterterrorism measure the “combat on terror” has various questionable aspects. The main problem with the approach by the United States is that terrorism is viewed as a factor that can be dealt with through military action. According to Reese & Lewis, in 2003, United States soldiers invaded Iraq on grounds that Saddam Hussein was manufacturing weapons capable of mass destruction and that he was linked to the September 11 attacks (779). The result of the invasion was mass deaths of civilians and the abuse of human rights. Critics of this invasion, according to Reese & Lewis state that the United States was not averting any terror threats; rather, the invasion was an excuse for imperialist activities in Iraq (779).
The problem with viewing terrorism as being synonymous with the September 11 attacks is that it distorts the meaning of terrorism to the general American population. According to Pillar, most Americans view terrorism almost entirely in relation to the September 11 attacks (1). The difference with the 9/11 attacks and other terror attacks is that most terrorist activities are not as organized and lethal as the 9/11 attacks. The reason for this difference is that most terror groups have neither such sophisticated weaponry nor such detailed planning. Since 9/11, almost all counterterrorism measures are equated with the fight against the Al-Qaeda, with every terror-related incident being examined for possible links with Al-Qaeda. To date, most of the counterterrorism resources are channeled towards making sure that the Al-Qaeda does not reestablish itself (Pillar 2).
The practice to equate terrorism with Al-Qaeda is misinformed considering that there are numerous other terror groups the world over. For example, Pillar writes