I do not think that the term ‘War’ should be applied to the coming offensive against terrorism that the US government making plans for. In war one has a common enemy. If we approach the problem of terrorism like we approached the drug problem in the 1980’s we will again find ourselves in a war with no real battles, no victories and no chance for success, only casualties.
I think that while there is a common cause and a feeling of unity among most of the countries of the world we should seek to set a new international precedent. The United States should not take one the responsibility of riding the world of terrorism through a war of vengeance. This is a situation where the workings of a small number of people and countries are acting against other countries, a situation for which one organization needs to step up and perform the tasks for which it was meant. The US should not lead a war against terrorism, the United Nations should enforce it’s jurisdiction. The United Nations was designed to deal with international problems, and acts of systematic violence by citizens or nationals of one country against the people and territory of another sovereign country are international acts.
Here is a chance to set a true international precedent for the UN. Now while most of the member countries agree on a problem, the United Nations should come together to form a unified stance against international terrorism. While civil unrest and violence within the borders of a country by citizens of that country (rebellion & revolution) is something outside the jurisdiction of the UN (unless the people and sovereignty of another country is threatened) true international terrorism is outside the jurisdiction of any one country and the only organization which is in a position to deal with a problem like this is the United Nations.
Up till now the United Nations has been more of a policing agency over civil wars. While I agree that when a civil war threatens the lives of people in many countries the world should intervene, I think that a country should be allowed to deal with most of it’s own internal strife (not to say that there are not situations where the international community should not step in, things like systematic human rights violations, or genocide, et cetera.) Now is where the UN should take a more proactive roll in the world, instead of ‘peace keepers’ a military task force under the flag and control of the UN could be used to hunt down and eliminate (through arrests or violence if needed) international terrorist.