Terrorism and Afghanistan: a new form of war?
In this section, we look at how publics in the various countries concerned, but in the United States and Europe in particular, reacted to the problem of international terrorism, as it manifested itself (again) suddenly with the attacks on New York and Washington of September 2001. The central question we discuss here was whether war was considered by the public to be an effective and justifiable instrument to combat terrorism. The war against Taliban in Afghanistan, which followed these attacks, was seen by many as one - if not the - central theater in, and an integral part of, the global 'war on terrorism' that was unleashed shortly afterwards.
Therefore, we start by paying separate attention to the phenomenon of terrorism and the question of how to deal with it, and then turn to the war in Afghanistan - or rather its first phase - in the fall of 2001. This, in turn led to a new phase of violent conflict in the course of 2005, in which many countries besides the US have been participating. Public opinion on this conflict is examined in the next section.