The War on Terror and the Imposition of Cultural Change Analytical Essay by Nicky

An argument against the United States' military approach to terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan.
# 151199 | 3,016 words | 6 sources | APA | 2012 | US

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


The paper discusses how the invasions of both Iraq and Afghanistan have failed in their stated goals to establish democracy and to instigate the embrace of Western cultural values. The paper goes on to argue that not only are these populations farther away than ever from adopting the values and practices of Western culture, but centuries of their own heritage have been disrupted, dismantled and distorted in the process. The paper contends that a more intuitive approach to Muslim culture would see the United States approaching the improvement of human rights and political representation in the contexts where it has instead pursued brutal militancy. The paper makes it clear that this is not a charity to those who would harbor terrorists; rather, it is a response to the understanding that violence and isolation are the very cultural conditions which have stimulated terrorism.

From the Paper:

"This contrast between symbolic and actual behavior would be revealing of American priorities and simultaneously predictive of the actual culture realities that would be instigated by the invasion. As the text by Vlahos (2004) tells, there was in the aftermath of the invasion a palpable sense that though the United States had only superficially permeated the country, that it was prepared to declare the achievement of broad and unrealistic cultural goals. Vlahos characterizes the attempts at foisting cultural change upon the Iraqis as both poorly conceived and philosophically misguided. As the Vlahos article observes, "victory itself has been fundamentally misunderstood. In war the relationship with the enemy and his world defines both the narrative of the conflict and the parameters of victory. In Iraq the United States ignored the centrality of its relationship with the Muslim World and instead reflexively replayed its own cherished story line of World War II. In doing so we are unconsciously participating in --and legitimating --the enemy's story." (Vlahos, 1)
"Such is to say that the perception of the Iraqi and Afghani people--that the United States was a ruthless and greed-driven foreign invaders--was being shown as warranted in the conflict. The cultural perception of the West would taken on even more monstrous proportions, directing those formerly of a moderate theological or military disposition toward a far more dramatic cultural stance against the U.S. In the midst of this distortion of intrinsic cultural values, the invasion of Iraq would set off another kind of cultural destruction as well."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Gottschalk, P. & Greenberg, G. (2005). Islamophobia. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
  • Hoge, J.F. & Rose, G. (2005). Understanding the War on Terror. Foreign Affairs.
  • Iraqi News (IN). (2008). Experts assess extent of Iraq's cultural catastrophe five years after the US invasion. Iraqi News. Online at
  • Mamdani, M. (2004). Good Muslim, Bad Muslim. Random House.
  • Roberts, L.; Lafta, R.; Garfield, R.; Khudhairi, J. & Burnham, G. (2004). Mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: cluster sample survey. The Lancet, 364(9448), 1857-1864.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

The War on Terror and the Imposition of Cultural Change (2012, May 29) Retrieved July 02, 2022, from

MLA Format

"The War on Terror and the Imposition of Cultural Change" 29 May 2012. Web. 02 July. 2022. <>