4.7 The ‘War on Terror’ and social harm
In this section you have explored the social harm approach and its application to the ‘War on Terror’. A theme running throughout this section has been the question of how policies and responses that have been designed to respond to wide-scale harmful events (such as the events of 9/11) might, themselves, be harmful both directly and indirectly. In particular, you have considered the harms created by military action in the ‘War on Terror’ and the hidden costs of security policies. You have also considered how the harms of such policies are often borne by the socially and economically marginalised, both within states, and, as the John Pilger film demonstrated, internationally, thus highlighting issues of inequality and global aspects of this topic. Throughout the section the harms sometimes caused by the exercise of power by states have been critically examined, questioning a sometimes seemingly exclusive focus on the harms caused by ‘terrorists’.