'Global war against terrorism' (GWAT) was a direct result of the terrorist attacks on the United States by Islamic fundamentalists in September 2001. The aims of GWAT formulated during the presidency of George W. Bush related to two time horizons (short-term and long-term) and two planes of involvement (military and propaganda). The article focuses entirely on presenting the range and effects of the USA's involvement in GWAT on the military plane. The USA's strategic aim was to fight Islamic terrorists and regimes supporting them (e.g. the Taliban regime in Afghanistan or Saddam Hussein's in Iraq). The change of name from GWAT to 'overseas special operations' (OSO) during Barack Obama's presidency mirrors the American administration's evolving perception on of the USA's involvement in contemporary asymmetrical conflicts. Attention is also drawn to the positive effects of American military operations in the Philippines and the so-called Horn of Africa, both in the aspect of strategy and operation.
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