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New Dangers: Post Cold War


  • Just as WWI sowed seeds for WWII and WWII had links to the Cold War, so the Cold War had a legacy leading to a different type of conflict in the 1990s and beyond.

Cold War: New Dangers

Outline the main conflicts in the world after the end of the Cold War [5]

  • Sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland between Catholic Nationalists and Protestant Unionists - leading to acts of Terror by the IRA (Irish Republican Army) to force the British out of N.Ireland.
  • Ethnic conflict in the former Republic of Yugoslavia - in the 1990s Nationalism pulled Yugoslavia apart and led to bitter conflict including ethnic cleansing.
  • An ongoing conflict between Jewish Israel and the Arab-States in the Middle East over Palestine.
  • Civil War in Afghanistan where the Taliban became the most influential faction.
  • Gulf War prompted by the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein of Iraq.

New Danger: Post Cold War World

What was was al-Qaeda? [5]

  • al-Queda was an organization that had its roots in the war in Afghanistan. Its name translates as ‘The Base’ or ‘Foundation’
  • It was a militant Sunni Islamist multi-national organization founded in 1988.
  • It claimed to be avenging wrongs committed by Christians and Jews against Muslims over the ages.
  • It roots lies in the war in Afghanistan where it followers were volunteers with the Mujahadin,
  • They believed Islam was threatened by enemies everywhere and had to be defended - all Muslims should embark on JIHAD, or Holy War.
  • In the 1990s al-Queda grew as an organization thanks to having a charismatic leader in Osama bin Laden, great wealth (from bin Laden) and funding from supporters in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, as well as proceeds from the drug trade in Afghanistan.
  • In the 1990s it embarked on terrorist operations, was a network for helping to share militant Muslim views to allow others to carry out acts of terror and it was a rallying point for modern militant Islam.

New Dangers: Post Cold War

Describe what happened in the 9/11 attack [5]

  • Morning of 11 September 2001 Two hijacked jet airliners were deliberately flown into the TWIN TOWERS of the World Trade Centre in New York This was an act of terrorism by a group known as al-Qaeda. 3,000 people were killed in the attack.
  • Another plane also targeted the Pentagon, US Military HQ and a fourth crash landed.
  • President George Bush demanded the Taliban leadership hand over Osama bin Laden - it refused. Bush declared a ‘war on terror’. (Known as the Bush Doctrine)
  • Bush organized a coalition force (including Britain) to support opponent of the Taliban in Afghanistan and invaded 2001 (October)
  • Taliban bases and camps were quickly destroyed - by November Kabul (the capital fell) Taliban and al-Qaeda forces fell back to the mountain strongholds of Tora Bora.
  • Taliban leader Mullah Omar and Osama Bin Laden evaded capture and went into hiding.
  • The US-backed coalition was now faced with a war against insurgents. The Taliban insurgency involved the increasing use of roadside bombs and suicide attacks.
  • In a covert operation, US Navy SEALs (a special operations force) and CIA operatives killed Osama Bin Laden on 2 May 2011, in his residential compound in Pakistan.
  • In 2002 Bush called Iran, Iraq, and N.Korea an axis of evil - that harboured terrorists
  • In March 2003 a US-backed coalition invaded Iraq - because it was thought there was a link between Iraq and the September 2001 attacks.

New Danger: Post Cold War World

Explain why al-Qaeda attacked the US on September 11 2001. [10]


Firstly, a key explanation is that there was a clash of beliefs. As a fundamentalist group, al- Queda believed that the USA was a threat to Islam and that it was al-Qaeda’s responsibility to resist this by carrying out a jihad (Holdy War) against the US. aL-Qaeda resented US global influence, especially in Saudi Arabia For this reason, the attack was planned and carried out.