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Europe, the Middle East, and the Global War on Terror

Critical Reflections

Edited By Ondrej Beranek

After 9/11, the (Global) War on Terror started as a military campaign waged against al-Qaeda and other organizations. This campaign was led by the United States though included NATO and a wide assortment of other actors. Originally, it was supposed to last «until every terrorist group of global reach had been found, stopped, and defeated». However, the campaign has been criticized on various grounds by security experts, politicians, scholars, and others. Eventually, Barack Obama and the new US administration declared the War on Terror over. This book deals with various Western perspectives on the campaign and its impacts on the larger Middle East. It includes chapters written by experts on international relations and the Middle East from various institutions (SOAS, University of London; Metropolitan University Prague; Charles University in Prague; and the Institute of International Relations in Prague), all of which gravitate around delving into the complexities of understanding the Global War on Terror and its conclusion.

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Mitchell A. Belfer: The Geopolitics of Bandits & Bureaucrats: The EU’s “War on Terrorism”

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13 The Geopolitics of Bandits & Bureaucrats: The EU’s “War on Terrorism” Mitchell A. Belfer Introduction While the scholarly discipline of international relations continues to be mired in the politics of politics, few have noticed that the world it purport- edly examines has reverted back to the cusp of the 20th century when the (then) principle actors (the UK, Imperial Germany, France, Imperial Rus- sia, the Ottoman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire) whitewashed their geopolitical ambitions in the logic of mission civilisatrice; bringing Imperial or Republican values with them on the march to colonise the claimed “uncivilised” (re: non-White, non-European) world.1 While it would have been impossible for decision-makers in the formative years of the 20th century to envision the devastation geopolitics would bring to the “civilised” world, it is interesting that the vast majority of scholarly re- search into decolonisation focuses on the actual processes of splitting “slave” from “master” and then reverts to examining the post-colonial enti- ties independent of each other. This is odd for two reasons: first, the Euro- pean states and empires that lost their colonies (in and after both WWI and WWII) may also be cast as “post-colonial;” and second, the post-colonised were, and continue to be, largely defined, even if subtly, by their relation- ship to their former colonial master. This is particularly visible in the forms of ideology and geopolitical awareness that emerged as the European states contracted, leaving a legacy of fractured, unstable, ethnically divided poli- ties. With the conclusion of WWII,...

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