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foreign policy

a policy pursued by a nation in its dealings with other nations, designed to achieve national objectives.

guerilla warfare

the use of hit-and-run tactics by small, mobile groups of irregular forces operating in territory controlled by a hostile, regular force. (ex. Vietcong vs US, mujahadeen vs Soviets, Taliban and or Al Qaeda vs US)


improvised explosive device

counterinsurgency (COIN)

effort to combat guerillas, often including programs to "win the hearts & minds" of rural populations so they stop sheltering guerillas


Muslim warrior, holy warrriors. Fought against the Soviets in the 80's. Some moved on to join the Taliban, AL Qaeda while othes joined the Northern Alliance to fight against those two groups.


strict Muslim group in Afghanistan that has imposed rigid rules on Afghan society (1996-2001), including prescribed clothing styles for men and women, restrictions of the appearance of women in public, and regulations on media; allowed Al Qaeda sanctuary

Hamid Karzai

Afghan President & US ally, currently fighting a resurgent Taliban, fighiting courruption in his govt and restoring power.

Osama bin Laden

founder of Al Qaeda, his organization adhere to a particularly conservative brand of Islam, known as Wahhabism. Fought against the Soviets in 1980's, and best known for planning 9-11. Wanted for several other attacks against US embassies and the USS Cole. Believed to be on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border.

Al Qaeda

terrorist group that uses suicide bombers and simultaneous bombings. Known as "the base" and is responsible for 9-11-01 along with several other attacks on US embassies. It operates as a network comprising both as a multinational, stateless army, and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad (Holy War)

USSR invades Afghanistan

Soviets invade in 1979, war lasts to 1989. Russia was supporting a leader who leaned to the same idealogy of the Russians. Different tribes banded and fought together.- the mujahadeen fighters defeated the conventional army of the Soviets with aid from Pakistan and US. The stinger weapon helps shift the balance. Soviets lose the war and shortly after the USSR breaks up entirely- bankrupted and morally defeated.

Taliban runs Afghanistan

Taliban won control over other tribes and ruled from 96 to 2001. Imposed their view of Islam- Wahhabism. A strict and violent interpretation. US attacks after 2001- Operation Enduring Freedom due to Pres. Bush's foreign policy on harbring terrorists.


members of Al Qaeda hijacked 4 planes on 9-11. 2 planes hit the Twin Towers of New York, one crashed into the Pentagon, and the last in a field of Pennsylvania (believed to be going to the White House.) 3,000 + died, and President Bush responded by announcing the War on Terror and enacted the Patriot Act


translates to "struggle" Different interpretations, but terrorist groups use it as a declaration and duty to fight for Islam. it is an armed struggle against persecution and oppression

Predator drone

unmanned remote controlled plane used to fight the War on Terror. Has been used to aid the men on the ground due to Afghan geography which makes parts impossible to pass due to mountains, these planes can get where men can not.

isolationism (Loner)

foreign policy of avoiding political or military involvement with other countries

Multilaterism (Team Player"

foreign policy of being a team player ex: working in cooperation with other countries to influence world affairs

Internationalism "World Policeman"

foreign policy of intervening in other countries; affairs to promote important national interests and/or safeguard national security.

Imperialism (Bully)

foreign policy of extending your rule over foreign countries either by annexing them (permanently making them part of your nation), or by overly dominating their economic or politics


when one country decides and acts on a plan without working with other countries

pre emptive

attacking a country or group first because of an imminent (about to happen) attack -- the nation has to fight out of necessity

preventative war

Attacking an opponent because of a possible, anticipated, or feared attack. This is war of 'choice'

Pottery Barn Rule

you break it, you bought it - commonly attributed to Colin Powell in his warnings about an invasion of Iraq

national interest

an approach to foreign policy where you think about what's good/important to your own country when deciding to do things around the planet

Basic Needs

Many conflicts come from fights over ;basic needs&- which are belonging, power, freedom, and fun


Mickey Mouse (the U.S.) has tough decisions to make in foreign policy - why we should do things, what we should do, and to think through the consequences of our actions. Values like freedom, security, and democracy, tolerance, equality, have often been used to justify why

the enemy of my enemy is my friend

Sometimes we make teammates (allies) with unlikely people/groups - often because we share a common enemy. For example, when we teamed up with the mujahideen in their fight against the Soviet Union.


weapons of mass destruction

George H.W. Bush

President when Cold War ended and when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, sent troops to Iraq to fight and win the Persian Gulf war

George W. Bush

President when 9/11 hit, led the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, altered U.S. foreign policy w/the Bush Doctrine

Barack Obama

President leading the fight against ISIS/ISIL, his term in office also saw the Afghanistan & Iraq Wars and the killing of Osama bin Laden


Majority of Muslims worldwide. Follow the elected Caliphs, successors of Muhammad are to be chosen by the community

Shia (Shiites)

Minority branch in Islam whose members acknowledge Ali and his descendants as the rightful successors of Muhammad


Started as an al Qaeda splinter group. Also known as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Islamic State (IS). The aim of ISIS is to create an Islamic state (caliphate) across Sunni areas of Iraq and in Syria. ISIS is known for extreme violence and is now is targeted for destruction by an international effort.

Syrian War

Brutal civil war between the Syrian government, various rebel groups, and ISIL. This war is still ongoing from 2011.

Edward Snowden

American computer specialist who worked for the CIA AND NSA; leaked details of top secret US and British government to the press

Persian Gulf War

(1990 - 1991) Conflict between Iraq and a coalition of countries led by the United States to remove Iraqi forces from Kuwait which they had invaded in hopes of controlling their oil supply. A very one sided war with the United States' coalition emerging victorious.


Central Intelligence Agency


National Security Agency

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