This seminar explores the historical and political origins of 9/11 and America’s subsequent global response, the War on Terror (sometimes referred to as the Global War on Terror). It begins with the backstory: the rise of political Islam—both moderate and militant—in the Middle East, the militant turn from the “near enemy” of regional governments to the “far enemy” of the West, and the successful Afghan war against Soviet occupation, which served as an inspiration and training ground for al- Qaeda’s global jihad. Then the focus turns to America’s decades-long WOT that resulted in two U.S.- led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with temporary occupations and faltering attempts at nation- state building in both countries; massive loss of life, especially among local populations; expenditure of trillions of dollars; and the creation of an extra-legal detention center at the Naval Station Guantanamo Bay (Cuba) to hold “terrorists.” This event history provides the opportunity 1.) to discuss and debate Islamist ideology, the rise of global jihad, and Western foreign policy in the Muslim world; and 2.) to wrestle with some important and uncomfortable questions: Did U.S. foreign policy play a role in 9/11? Was the WOT necessary or legal? Is America safer as a result? Is the Middle East more stable? Has “terrorism” diminished?
Kenney, Jeff, "REL 197C FYS 9/11 and the War on Terror Kenney Fall 2023" (2023). Course Syllabi. 64, Scholarly and Creative Work from DePauw University.