Comparison of senators barack obama and john mccain positions on anti-terrorism strategies

Comparison of senators Barack Obama and John Mccain positions on anti-terrorism strategies


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           Terrorism in our contemporary world has become an issue of great concern - Comparison of senators barack obama and john mccain positions on anti-terrorism strategies introduction. Terror attacks that are perpetrated by international terrorism organizations like Al Qaeda or individuals has continued to threaten the security of so many citizens globally(Audrey, p 30).Many nations in efforts to protect their citizens from terror attacks have developed and adopted anti-terrorism strategies. These strategies aim at effectively combating terrorism. For instance, the United States government has developed and implemented anti-terrorism strategies, which are collectively put under the phrase “War on terrorism” strategies or the “anti-terrorism campaigns”. America is an example of one of the world’s nations that has experienced some of the most devastating and horrifying terror attacks. The most recent and considered to be one of the worst in history was the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US. The attacks are believed to have been coordinated and perpetrated by the Al Qaeda terrorist organization, led by Osama bin Laden. An estimated 2,974 people died during the attacks. The United States response to these attacks led to the launching of the “War on Terrorism”.However, some of the anti-terrorism strategies that the US government has used have been considered ineffective and having failed. The issue of anti-terrorism strategies has become a political issue in the US, which has led to a hot debate as the American citizens prepare to go to the polls. In this paper, Barack Obama and John McCain positions on the issue will be discussed.

Thesis Statement

        There is no doubt that the issue of anti-terrorism is very important in the American politics. It is therefore very critical for the government to develop effective anti-terrorism strategies. With the US elections expected to usher in a new government either headed by Senator John McCain or Barack Obama, the issue of anti-terrorism has sparked off a hot debate in the political circle.Both McCain and Obama have to some extent agreed and also differed on the best anti-terrorism strategies that the US government should adopt, especially in Afghanistan, Iraq, and on Iran which is considered to possess nuclear weapons.


       One major similarity between McCain and Obama on the issue of anti-terrorism is that, the anti-terrorism strategies must be effective and should be based on genuine reasons. The effectiveness of the strategies will ensure that the US government manages to fully combat terror attacks that can put the security of the American citizens at risk. This consequently will guarantee the American citizens of their security.Obama and McCain’s belief and conviction in putting into place effective anti-terrorism strategies has made the two presidential candidates to have similar position on the issue. In addition, the two agree that the strategies should be developed and adopted based on facts. For instance, the US attacks on Iraq are considered to have been ingenuine.The US launched military attacks on Iraq, with the government confirming that Iraq was making and possessing nuclear weapons, allegations that have been claimed to be false according to Senator Obama. Due to such cases, McCain and Obama agree that any military operation against terrorism should be based on facts.

              During the recent US presidential debates and campaigns, both Obama and McCain have stated their different positions on the Iraq war. While John McCain has stated his support for American troop’s invasion in Iraq, Obama has failed to support the invasion. John McCain has recognized that the troops have made great achievement, and he fully supports the presence of the American troops in Iraq. In addition, he is of the view that there is need for the American government to win the Iraq war, and hence the troops should not be withdrawn from Iraq. By winning the Iraq war, McCain sees this as America’s great step towards winning the war against terrorism. On the other hand, Obama does not support the Iraq war, and never supported it as it began. He has continued to condemn the US troops invasion in Iraq (Collinson, np).To him, the Iraq war should never have been started, as he confirmed during the Oxford(Mississippi) presidential debate.Obama has justified his position by saying that, the reasons that were given by the US government to justify the launch of  the war have never been proved right. Senator Obama considers McCain’s opinion that the Iraq war would be easy and quick wrong. Furthermore, the Bush administration has failed to provide proof that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

         Senators Obama and McCain have also differed on the issue of using a certain level of diplomacy when it comes to fighting terrorism.Obama has suggested that, the American government should consider using a certain level of diplomacy when fighting terrorism. To him, integrating diplomacy when discussing issues that touch on “war on terrorism” could improve the effectiveness of the anti-terrorism strategies. McCain does not support this kind of strategy, and instead has taken a non-diplomacy stand, where the government should not dialogue with the nations they perceive as terrorists or supporting terrorism. For instance, McCain states that under no circumstances can the US dialogue with its enemies (Iran.).

          About the US war on Afghanistan, Obama is convinced that the US government should beef up its war against the Al Qaeda and Afghanistan, rather than focus on the Iraq war. Senator Obama feels that the US war on terrorism should not focus on the Iraq war, but on pursuing the Al Qaeda. On the other hand, McCain has insisted that the government should maintain focus on winning the Iraq war, which he has continued to support. To Obama, the Taliban and Al Qaeda group are regrouping in Afghanistan while the US government concentrates on the Iraq war. Furthermore, the Al Qaeda is exploiting the ongoing US war in Iraq to recruit more terrorists. For instance,Obama  introduced to the US Senate a plan to redeploy the US forces from Iraq through the  “Iraq War De-escalation Act of 2007”(Zalman,np).According to this bill, it would have  been good for the US government to remove its troops from Iraq within a duration of  16 months by the 2010 summer.

   The Media Outlets Presentation on the issue of US Anti-terrorism Campaigns

           Different media outlets in the US have also made their contribution on the issue of America’s war on terrorism, by adopting various ways of presenting the issue. For instance, the FoxNews, New York Times, MSNBC and the National Review media houses have presented the issue through the opinion of various senior US personalities. For example, the Fox News media outlet has written articles on the anti-terrorism ID programs in the US. One article done by the media outlet has focused on informing people on anti-terrorism ID programs that aim at preventing terror attacks on the American Transportation system through check ups at the airports (, np). In addition, the media outlet has a web link ( War on Terror Center) which keeps citizens aware of the US government fight against terrorism. The Fox News media outlet has invited respected political leaders such as Joe Biden to discuss the issue of anti-terrorism bills and the Saudi Arabian connection to the Taliban.

       The New York Times in an article published on September 28th 2006(Rushing off a Cliff) points out that the Bush administration has failed to effectively combat terrorism by conducting illegal detention and convicting terror suspects through an illegal system of Kangaroo courts(New York Times,np). Some anti-terrorism bills that have been adopted according to the article have serious flaws. The MSNBC media outlet has also presented the anti-terrorism issue by airing different opinions about the issue (Meeks, np). An article by Meeks who is a Chief Washington Correspondent confirms the US government commitment to fight terrorism by upgrading the security. Putting into place these measures will increase the effectiveness of war on terrorism.


       The US anti-terrorism campaign was launched to   fight terrorism and since the launching of the campaign, the government has continued to undertake military operations to stop the terrorism international organizations or those who support the terrorists. However, some strategies that have been used to fight terrorism have been considered to be ineffective and the need to develop effective anti-terrorism strategies has made the two presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain, to give their position on the way forward about the issue. Their positions about the most effective anti-terrorism strategies are different, though minor similarities have emerged. The media outlets such as the Fox News and MSNBC in the US have also contributed to the issue.

Works Cited

Audrey, Cronin. Behind the Curve; Globalization and International Terrorism. International      Security Vol 27, No.3.2003, pp 30-58

Collinson, Stephen. McCain, Obama Battle on Economy, War in First Debate. September          2008.  

          Accessed on November 3, 2008 ID Programs Show Little to No Progress.Wed, October 25 2006,2933,225218,00.html .   Accessed on November 3, 2008

Meeks, Brock.Anti-terrorism Costs hidden in Utility Bills
  Accessed on November 3, 2008

Rushing Off a Cliff. New York Times. September 28, 2006 .  Accessed on November 3, 2008

Zalman, Amy. October 22, 2008.Obama on Terrorism

       Accessed on November 3, 2008


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