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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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Ondrej Ditrych: Afghanistan Now! A Study of the Microcosmos of Global Disorder


69 Afghanistan Now! A Study of the Microcosmos of Global Disorder Ondrej Ditrych The global war on terror (GWOT) is not over. Nor is the fundamental in- ternational disorder that ultimately, as this chapter will argue, made it pos- sible. Even if one is inclined to believe that language is ontologically sig- nificant, that it “gives to airy nothing a local habitation and a name,”1 it would be naïve to assume that with a few strokes of pen in White House language code a phenomenon such as that could disappear.2 Not even in a world according to Foucault. The GWOT continues, the death of archenemy notwithstanding, and it will continue until the sound of drones delivering justice to the enemies of mankind3 will be heard from Yemen to Waziristan – and their sound is heard ever more often.4 It has become, to borrow Foucault’s concept, a constitutive element of global dispositif – a power management apparatus, a “heterogeneous ensemble” of discourses, institutions, laws, administra- tive measures, scientific statements or philosophical propositions, “a set of strategies of the relations of forces supporting, and supported by, certain types of knowledge”5 that coerce and discipline global politics and legiti- mate violence vis-à-vis both pariah States in this hegemonic order and in- dividual human bodies constituted as enemies. This global dispositif is in a continuous need of critique. A symptom of the constitution of this dispositif has been widening and broadening security, i.e. expansion of security agenda to cover new issues (“adjectivization...

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