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US-led War on Terror in Afghanistan (2001-2008) Part-4

US-led War on Terror in Afghanistan (2001-2008) Part-4

Bush’s Team and War Cabinet Role:


During the presidency of Bush there were many difficulties in the war cabinet of US.Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell were the main members of the cabinet and they faced a lot of problems before the horrible incident of 9/11. Donald Rumsfeld had made many reforms in the military setup of US. According to his reforms the traditional ways of war were changed into the new structures which were more flexible and mobile. These reforms were made to meet the challenges of twenty first century. Due to his reforms the Army disliked the radical ideas and ways of thinking. Many members of Congress who were defense-oriented had negative feelings about these reforms. It was assumed that Donald Rumsfeld might resign from his duties in the end of year 2001.

The selection of Colin Powell as a State Secretary was based on his past workings and standing. Although, he was not a close advisor of Bush but he supported him in campaign. Karl Rove did not satisfy with efforts as he had not spent much time with the President.

Colin Powell had not performed well in his first 6 months in the office as he had missed important several minor foreign policy skirmishes. He had to face many enemies in the office just because of his radical ideas and military reforms. Due to these critical situations he was marginalized which ultimately affected his performance. Time Magazine wrote a story on him because of his bad performance in such kind of titles, “Where Have You Gone, Colin Powell?” According to Bob Woodward, “It was a very effective hit by the White House,” that is, by staffers who wanted to undermine Powell.


Condoleezza Rice was the national security advisor to the President H.W. Bush and had been working for the betterment of Brent Scowcroft. She was a key member of war cabinet of US President Bush. She had left the advisory and returned back to Stanford. She was the professor of political science and promoted as a provost of the University. She was the first forty six years old woman who had appointed as assistant to the president for national security affairs. After appointment of this highly status job, she had resigned from Stanford in 1999.

The incident of September 11 had totally distorted the world due to sudden terrorist’s attacks. These attacks terrified the US nation in every aspect of life. The political scenario had immediately changed by these attacks. The public approval poll increased very speedily after theses tragic incidents. The significant rise in the public approval Gallup poll had affected the President Bush and his administration to think about these terrorist attacks. The significant rise of 35% public approval pushed him to take revenge from terrorists.The Gallup poll shifted 51% to 86% within a few days.

The situations of sadness, anxiety, and the significant political support of the public established a background for the fight against terrorism. President Bush ultimately,had brought together his War Cabinet to launch military operation against terrorists. The War Cabinet had consisted of key personnel likeCheney, Rice, Powell, Rumsfeld, Card, and Director of Central Intelligence, George Tenet. Bush made Rice to chair the War Cabinet in his absence.

There were many options to adopt for controlling the terrorism. Al-Qaeda was a big threat for America which was active in Afghanistan.  The War Cabinet decided to attack Al-Qaeda and its main leader Osama Bin Ladin.  The strategic policy indicated that there would be better to attack the enemy by “boots on the ground” with cruise missiles in Afghanistan. After this US soldiers were sent to take command in Afghanistan.

The President Bush had personal access to his advisory system instead of following the rules and regulations. He personified the security affairs without taking into consideration the peaceful ways of solutions. He had taken the confidence of UN before launching the military operation in the Afghanistan. He did not care about the Charter of UN at that time. He had depended upon his personal advisory team to counter the terrorism. He had to consider the formal policy makers to resolve the issues.



President Bush had failed in achieving his planned goals of military intervention in Afghanistan. His aim to establish democracy in Middle East remained unsuccessful. US has promoted democracy in Iraq which is not working properly because of ethnic and sectarian conflicts. The rule of democratic parties is impossible in Iraq as there are many political and group interests of the Iraqi people.

Similarly the case of Afghanistan is not so significant in regard of political reforms. The efforts of American and NATO forces have not been proved to be successful. The processes of democratization are not achieved in the Middle East till now. The most democratic progress is expected in Pakistan with social disorder and disequilibrium.


See Peter J. Boyer, “A Different War,” The New Yorker(1 July 2002), pp. 54-67; Vernon Loeb and Thomas E. Ricks, “Rumsfeld’s Style, Goals Strain Ties in Pentagon,” Washington Post(16 October 2002), p. A1.

Time Magazine (10 September 2001), cover

Bob Woodward, Bush at War(NY: Simon & Schuster, 2002), p. 14.

See Nicholas LeMann, “Without a Doubt,” The New Yorker(14 and 21 October 2002), p. 164.

Gallup Organization.2001. Poll Trend, Presidential Ratings – Job Approval website, 12/12/01. Available from www.gallup.com.

Woodward, Bush at War, pp. 37-38.

Woodward, Bush at War, pp. 79-80.

James P. Pfiffner, President George W. Bush and His War Cabinet, February 7, 2003, p 14.

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