war on terror, officially the Global War on Terrorism ( GWOT), is an ongoing international counterterrorism military campaign initiated by the United States following the September 11 attacks. The main targets of the campaign are  militant Islamist and Salafi-Jihadist armed organisations such as Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State and their international affiliates; which are waging military insurgencies to overthrow governments of various Muslim countries.  
War on terror Photographs, clockwise from top left: Aftermath of the September 11 attacks; American servicemen boarding an aircraft at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan; an American soldier and Afghan interpreter in Zabul Province, Afghanistan; explosion of an Iraqi car bomb in Baghdad. Map: Countries with major military operations of the war on terror. Belligerents
Other participant countries:
(note: most contributing nations are included in the international operations)
Commanders and leaders
Joe Biden (President 2021–present) Rishi Sunak (Prime Minister 2022–present) Emmanuel Macron (President 2017–present) Élisabeth Borne (Prime Minister 2022–present) Vladimir Putin (President 2000–2008, 2012–present, Prime Minister 2008–2012) Mikhail Mishustin (Prime Minister 2020–present)
Burhanuddin Rabbani (President 1992–2001) Hamid Karzai (President 2001–2014) Ashraf Ghani (President 2014–2021) Abdelaziz Bouteflika (President 1999–2019) Abdelkader Bensalah (President 2019) John Howard (Prime Minister 1996–2007) Kevin Rudd (Prime Minister 2007–2010, 2013) Julia Gillard (Prime Minister 2010–2013) Tony Abbott (Prime Minister 2013–2015) Malcolm Turnbull (Prime Minister 2015–2018) Scott Morrison (Prime Minister 2018–2022) Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa (Prime Minister 1970–2020) Shahabuddin Ahmed (President 1996–2001) Latifur Rahman (Prime Minister 2001) Khaleda Zia (Prime Minister 2001–2006) Badruddoza Chowdhury (President 2001–2002) Muhammad Sircar (President 2002) Iajuddin Ahmed (President 2002–2009, Prime Minister 2006–2007 ) [note 6] Fazlul Haque (Prime Minister 2007) Fakhruddin Ahmed (Prime Minister 2007–2009) Zillur Rahman (President 2009–2013) Guy Verhofstadt (Prime Minister 1999–2008) Yves Leterme (Prime Minister 2008, 2009–2011) Herman Van Rompuy (Prime Minister 2008–2009) Elio Di Rupo (Prime Minister 2011–2014) Charles Michel (Prime Minister 2014–2019) Sophie Wilmès (Prime Minister 2019–2020) Blaise Compaoré (President 1987–2014) Honoré Traoré (President 2014) Yacouba Isaac Zida (President 2014) Gilbert Diendéré (President 2015) Michel Kafando (President 2014–2015, 2015) Roch Marc Christian Kaboré (President 2015–2022) Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba (President 2022) Peter Mafany Musonge (Prime Minister 1996–2004) Ephraïm Inoni (Prime Minister 2004–2009) Philémon Yang (Prime Minister 2009–2019) Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister 1993–2003) Paul Martin (Prime Minister 2003–2006) Stephen Harper (Prime Minister 2006–2015) Idriss Déby † (President 1990–2021) Jiang Zemin (General Secretary 1989–2002) Hu Jintao (General Secretary 2002–2012) Joseph Kabila (President 2001–2019) Poul Nyrup Rasmussen (Prime Minister 1993–2001) Anders Fogh Rasmussen (Prime Minister 2001–2009) Lars Løkke Rasmussen (Prime Minister 2009–2011, 2015–2019) Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Prime Minister 2011–2015) Hosni Mubarak (President 1981–2011) Mohamed Hussein Tantawi (President 2011–2012) Mohamed Morsi (President 2012–2013) Adly Mansour (President 2013–2014) Negasso Gidada (President 1995–2001) Meles Zenawi (Prime Minister 1995–2012) Girma Wolde-Giorgis (President 2001–2013) Hailemariam Desalegn (Prime Minister 2012–2018) Mulatu Teshome (President 2013–2018) Paavo Lipponen (Prime Minister 1995–2003) Tarja Halonen (President 2000–2012) Anneli Jäätteenmäki (Prime Minister 2003) Matti Vanhanen (Prime Minister 2003–2010) Mari Kiviniemi (Prime Minister 2010–2011) Jyrki Katainen (Prime Minister 2011–2014) Alexander Stubb (Prime Minister 2014–2015) Juha Sipilä (Prime Minister 2015–2019) Antti Rinne (Prime Minister 2019) Eduard Shevardnadze (President 1995–2003) Nino Burjanadze (President 2003–2004, 2007–2008) Mikheil Saakashvili (President 2004–2007, 2008–2013, Prime Minister 2005 ) [note 7] Zurab Zhvania (Prime Minister 2004–2005 ) [note 8] Zurab Nogaideli (Prime Minister 2005–2007) Giorgi Baramidze (Prime Minister 2007) Lado Gurgenidze (Prime Minister 2007–2008) Grigol Mgaloblishvili (Prime Minister 2008–2009) Nika Gilauri (Prime Minister 2009–2012) Vano Merabishvili (Prime Minister 2012) Bidzina Ivanishvili (Prime Minister 2012–2013) Giorgi Margvelashvili (President 2013–2018) Giorgi Kvirikashvili (Prime Minister 2015–2018) Mamuka Bakhtadze (Prime Minister 2018–2019) Giorgi Gakharia (Prime Minister 2019–2021) (Chancellor 1998–2005) Gerhard Schröder Johannes Rau (President 1999–2004) Horst Köhler (President 2004–2010) Angela Merkel (Chancellor 2005–2021) Jens Böhrnsen (President 2010) Christian Wulff (President 2010–2012) Horst Seehofer (President 2012) Joachim Gauck (President 2012–2017) Konstantinos Stephanopoulos (President 1995–2005) Kostas Simitis (Prime Minister 1996–2004) Kostas Karamanlis (Prime Minister 2004–2009) Karolos Papoulias (President 2005–2015) George Papandreou (Prime Minister 2009–2011) Lucas Papademos (Prime Minister 2011–2012) Panagiotis Pikrammenos (Prime Minister 2012) Antonis Samaras (Prime Minister 2012–2015) Alexis Tsipras (Prime Minister 2015, 2015–2019) Prokopis Pavlopoulos (President 2015–2020) Vassiliki Thanou-Christophilou (Prime Minister 2015) K. R. Narayanan (President 1997–2002) Atal Bihari Vajpayee (Prime Minister 1998–2004) A. P. J. Abdul Kalam (President 2002–2007) Manmohan Singh (Prime Minister 2004–2014) Pratibha Patil (President 2007–2012) Pranab Mukherjee (President 2012–2017) Ram Nath Kovind (President 2017–2022) Megawati Sukarnoputri (President 2001–2004) Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (President 2004–2014) Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer (President 2004–2005) Ayad Allawi (Prime Minister 2004–2005) Jalal Talabani (President 2005–2014) Ibrahim al-Jaafari (Prime Minister 2005–2006) Nouri Al-Maliki (Prime Minister 2006–2014) Fuad Masum (President 2014–2018) Haider al-Abadi (Prime Minister 2014–2018) Barham Salih (President 2018–2022) Adil Abdul-Mahdi (Prime Minister 2018–2020) Mustafa Al-Kadhimi (Prime Minister 2020–2022) Moshe Katsav (President 2000–2007) Ariel Sharon (Prime Minister 2001–2006) Ehud Olmert (Prime Minister 2006–2009) Shimon Peres (President 2007–2014) Reuven Rivlin (President 2014–2021) Naftali Bennett (Prime Minister 2021–2022) Yair Lapid (Prime Minister 2022) Carlo Azeglio Ciampi (President 1999–2006) Silvio Berlusconi (Prime Minister 2001–2006, 2008–2011) Giorgio Napolitano (President 2006–2015) Romano Prodi (Prime Minister 2006–2008) Mario Monti (Prime Minister 2011–2013) Enrico Letta (Prime Minister 2013–2014) Matteo Renzi (Prime Minister 2014–2016) Paolo Gentiloni (Prime Minister 2016–2018) Giuseppe Conte (Prime Minister 2018–2021) Mario Draghi (Prime Minister 2021–2022) Laurent Gbagbo (President 2000–2011 ) [note 9] Junichiro Koizumi (Prime Minister 2001–2006) Shinzo Abe (Prime Minister 2006–2007, 2012–2020) Yasuo Fukuda (Prime Minister 2007–2008) Tarō Asō (Prime Minister 2008–2009) Yukio Hatoyama (Prime Minister 2009–2010) Naoto Kan (Prime Minister 2010–2011) Yoshihiko Noda (Prime Minister 2011–2012) Yoshihide Suga (Prime Minister 2020–2021) Fayez Tarawneh (Prime Minister 1998–1999, 2012) Ali Abu Al-Ragheb (Prime Minister 2000–2003) Faisal Al-Fayez (Prime Minister 2003–2005) Adnan Badran (Prime Minister 2005) Marouf al-Bakhit (Prime Minister 2005–2007, 2011) Nader Al-Dahabi (Prime Minister 2007–2009) Samir Rifai (Prime Minister 2009–2011) Awn Al-Khasawneh (Prime Minister 2011–2012) Abdullah Ensour (Prime Minister 2012–2016) Hani Mulki (Prime Minister 2016–2018) Omar Razzaz (Prime Minister 2018–2020) Nursultan Nazarbayev (President 1991–2019) Daniel arap Moi (President 1978–2002) Mwai Kibaki (President 2002–2013) Uhuru Kenyatta (President 2013–2022) Kim Dae-jung (President 1998–2003) Roh Moo-hyun (President 2003–2008) Lee Myung-bak (President 2008–2013) Park Geun-hye (President 2013–2017 ) [note 10] Hwang Kyo-ahn (President 2016–2017) Moon Jae-in (President 2017–2022) Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah (Emir 1977–2006) Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah (Prime Minister 1978–2003, Emir 2006) Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (Prime Minister 2003–2006, Emir 2006–2020) Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah (Prime Minister 2006–2011) Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah (Prime Minister 2011–2019) Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah (Prime Minister 2019–2022) Askar Akayev (President 1990–2005) Ishenbai Kadyrbekov (President 2005) Kurmanbek Bakiyev (President 2005–2010) Roza Otunbayeva (President 2010–2011) Almazbek Atambayev (President 2011–2017) Sooronbay Jeenbekov (President 2017–2020) Talant Mamytov (President 2020–2021) Émile Lahoud (President 1998–2007) Rafic Hariri (Prime Minister 2000–2004) Omar Karami (Prime Minister 2004–2005) Fouad Siniora (Prime Minister 2005–2009, President 2007–2008 ) [note 11] Saad Hariri (Prime Minister 2009–2011, 2016–2020) Michel Suleiman (President 2008–2014) Tammam Salam (Prime Minister 2014–2016, President 2014–2016 ) [note 12] Michel Aoun (President 2016–2022) Hassan Diab (Prime Minister 2020–2021) Charles Taylor (President 1997–2003) Moses Blah (President 2003) Gyude Bryant (President 2003–2006) Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (President 2006–2018) Mahathir Mohamad (Prime Minister 1981–2003, 2018–2020) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (Prime Minister 2003–2009) Najib Razak (Prime Minister 2009–2018) Muhyiddin Yassin (Prime Minister 2020–2021) Ismail Sabri Yaakob (Prime Minister 2021–2022) Alpha Oumar Konaré (President 1992–2002) Amadou Toumani Touré (President 2002–2012) Amadou Sanogo (President 2012) Dioncounda Traoré (President 2012–2013) Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (President 2013–2020) Bah Ndaw (President 2020–2021) Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya (President 1984–2005) Ely Ould Mohamed Vall (President 2005–2007) Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi (President 2007–2008) Ba Mamadou Mbaré (President 2009) Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz (President 2008–2009, 2009–2019) Abderrahmane Youssoufi (Prime Minister 1998–2002) Driss Jettou (Prime Minister 2002–2007) Abbas El Fassi (Prime Minister 2007–2011) Abdelilah Benkirane (Prime Minister 2011–2017) Saadeddine Othmani (Prime Minister 2017–2021) Joaquim Chissano (President 1986–2005) Armando Guebuza (President 2005–2015) Wim Kok (Prime Minister 1994–2002) Jan Peter Balkenende (Prime Minister 2002–2010) Helen Clark (Prime Minister 1999–2008) John Key (Prime Minister 2008–2016) Bill English (Prime Minister 2016–2017) Jacinda Ardern (Prime Minister 2017–2023) Mamadou Tandja (President 1999–2010) Hama Amadou (Prime Minister 2000–2007) Seyni Oumarou (Prime Minister 2007–2009) Albadé Abouba (Prime Minister 2009) Ali Badjo Gamatié (Prime Minister 2009–2010) Salou Djibo (President 2010–2011) Mahamadou Danda (Prime Minister 2010–2011) Mahamadou Issoufou (President 2011–2021) Brigi Rafini (Prime Minister 2011–2021) Olusegun Obasanjo (President 1999–2007) Umaru Yar'Adua (President 2007–2010) Goodluck Johnathan (President 2010–2015) Jens Stoltenberg (Prime Minister 2000–2001, 2005–2013) Kjell Magne Bondevik (Prime Minister 2001–2005) Erna Solberg (Prime Minister 2013–2021) Qaboos bin Said (Sultan 1970–2020) Pervez Musharraf (President 1999–2008) Zafarullah Khan Jamali (Prime Minister 2002–2004 ) [note 13] Shujaat Hussain (Prime Minister 2004) Shaukat Aziz (Prime Minister 2004–2007) Muhammad Mian Soomro (Prime Minister 2007–2008, President 2008) Yusuf Raza Gilani (Prime Minister 2008–2012) Asif Ali Zardari (President 2008–2013) Raja Pervaiz Ashraf (Prime Minister 2012–2013) Mir Hazar Khan Khoso (Prime Minister 2013) Nawaz Sharif (Prime Minister 2013–2017) Mamnoon Hussain (President 2013–2018) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi (Prime Minister 2017–2018) Nasirul Mulk (Prime Minister 2018) Imran Khan (Prime Minister 2018–2022) (President 2001–2010) Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (President 2010–2016) Benigno Aquino III Rodrigo Duterte (President 2016–2022) Aleksander Kwaśniewski (President 1995–2005) Lech Kaczyński (President 2005–2010) Bronisław Komorowski (President 2010–2015) António Guterres (Prime Minister 1995–2002) Jorge Sampaio (President 1996–2006) José Manuel Barroso (Prime Minister 2002–2004) Pedro Santana Lopes (Prime Minister 2004–2005) José Sócrates (Prime Minister 2005–2011) Aníbal Cavaco Silva (President 2006–2016) Pedro Passos Coelho (Prime Minister 2011–2015) Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (Emir 1995–2013) Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani (Prime Minister 1996–2007) Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani (Prime Minister 2007–2013) Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani (Prime Minister 2013–2020) Bernard Makuza (Prime Minister 2000–2011) Pierre Habumuremyi (Prime Minister 2011–2014) Anastase Murekezi (Prime Minister 2014–2017) Fahd bin Abdulaziz (King 1982–2005) Abdullah bin Abdulaziz (Crown Prince 1982–2005, King 2005–2015) Sultan bin Abdulaziz (Crown Prince 2005–2011) Nayef bin Abdulaziz (Crown Prince 2011–2012) Muqrin bin Abdulaziz (Crown Prince 2015) Muhammad bin Nayef (Crown Prince 2015–2017) Abdoulaye Wade (President 2000–2012) Abdiqasim Salad Hassan (President 2000–2004) Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed (President 2004–2008) Aden Madobe (President 2008–2009) Sharif Sheikh Ahmed (President 2009–2012) Muse Hassan Sheikh Sayid Abdulle (President 2012) Mohamed Osman Jawari (President 2012) Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (President 2017–2022) Thabo Mbeki (President 1999–2008) Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri (President 2008) Kgalema Motlanthe (President 2008–2009) Jacob Zuma (President 2009–2018) José María Aznar (Prime Minister 1996–2004) José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (Prime Minister 2004–2011) Mariano Rajoy (Prime Minister 2011–2018) Chandrika Kumaratunga (President 1994–2005) Mahinda Rajapaksa (President 2005–2015) Maithripala Sirisena (President 2015–2019) Gotabaya Rajapaksa (President 2019–2022) Omar al-Bashir (President 1993–2019) Bakri Hassan Saleh (Prime Minister 2017–2018 ) [note 14] Motazz Moussa (Prime Minister 2018–2019) Mohamed Tahir Ayala (Prime Minister 2019) Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf (President 2019) Abdalla Hamdok (Prime Minister 2019–2022) Göran Persson (Prime Minister 1996–2006) Fredrik Reinfeldt (Prime Minister 2006–2014) Stefan Löfven (Prime Minister 2014–2021) Magdalena Andersson (Prime Minister 2021–2022) Muhammad Mustafa Mero (Prime Minister 2000–2003) Muhammad Naji al-Otari (Prime Minister 2003–2011) Adel Safar (Prime Minister 2011–2012) Riyad Farid Hijab (Prime Minister 2012) Omar Ibrahim Ghalawanji (Prime Minister 2012) Wael Nader al-Halqi (Prime Minister 2012–2016) Imad Khamis (Prime Minister 2016–2020) Benjamin Mkapa (President 1995–2005) Jakaya Kikwete (President 2005–2015) John Magufuli (President 2015–2021) Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (President 1987–2011) Mohamed Ghannouchi (President 2011) Fouad Mebazaa (President 2011) Moncef Marzouki (President 2011–2014) Beji Caid Essebsi (President 2014–2019) Mohamed Ennaceur (President 2019) Ahmet Necdet Sezer (President 2000–2007) Abdullah Gül (President 2007–2014) Saparmurat Niyazov (President 1990–2006) Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow (President 2006–2022) Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (President 1971–2004) Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum (President 2004) Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (President 2004–2022) Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (President 2022) Islam Karimov (President 1991–2016) Nigmatilla Yuldashev (President 2016) Ali Abdullah Saleh (President 1990–2012) Abdul Qadir Bajamal (Prime Minister 2001–2007) Ali Muhammad Mujawar (Prime Minister 2007–2011) Mohammed Basindawa (Prime Minister 2011–2014) Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi (President 2012–2022) Abdullah Mohsen al-Akwa (Prime Minister 2014) Khaled Bahah (Prime Minister 2014–2016) Ahmed Obaid Bin Dagher (Prime Minister 2016–2018) All various former world leaders
East Turkestan Islamic Movement
Abdul Haq (Emir of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement) † Abdullah Mansour (Emir of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement)
Casualties and losses
900,000+ people killed At least 37 million people displaced  (Per Costs of War) 
The "war on terror" uses
war as a metaphor to describe a variety of actions which fall outside the traditional definition of war taken to eliminate international terrorism. 43rd President of the United States George W. Bush first used the term "war on terrorism" on 16 September 2001,  and then "war on terror" a few days later in a formal speech to  Congress.  Bush indicated the enemy of the war on terror as "a radical network of terrorists and every government that supports them."   The initial conflict was aimed at al-Qaeda, with the main theater in  Afghanistan and Pakistan, a region that would later be referred to as " AfPak". 
The term "war on terror" was immediately criticized by individuals including
Richard Myers, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and eventually more nuanced terms came to be used by the Bush administration to define the campaign. While "war on terror" was never used as a formal designation of U.S. operations,  a  Global War on Terrorism Service Medal was issued by the U.S. Armed Forces.
On 23 May 2013, President Obama announced that the Global War on Terror was over,
 indicating that the U.S. would not wage war against a tactic but would instead focus on a specific group of terrorist networks.   The rise of the Islamic State led to the global  Operation Inherent Resolve, and an international campaign to destroy the terrorist organization.
The notion of a "War on Terror" was contentious, with critics charging that it has been used to reduce
civil liberties and infringe upon human rights, such as controversial actions by the U.S. including surveillance, torture, and  extraordinary rendition, and drone strikes that resulted in the deaths of suspected terrorists but also civilians.   Many of the U.S.' actions were supported by other countries, including the 54 countries that were involved with  CIA black sites, or those that assisted with drone strikes.  
Criticism of the war on terror has focused on its morality, efficiency, and cost. According to a 2021 study conducted by the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, the several post-9/11 wars participated in by the United States in its war against terror have caused the displacement, conservatively calculated, of 38 million people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Philippines and Pakistan; 26.7 million people have returned home following displacement. The study estimated these wars caused the deaths of 897,000 to 929,000 people, including over 364,000 civilians, and cost $8 trillion.   Critics accuse participating governments of using the "War on Terror" to repress minorities or sideline domestic opponents,   of mainstreaming  Islamophobia, and have criticized negative impacts to health and the environment, resulting from the "War on Terror".    Critics assert that the term "war" is not appropriate in this context (much like the term "  war on drugs") since terror is not an identifiable enemy and it is unlikely that international terrorism can be brought to an end by military means.