American History Week 34 Wars on Terror

Prompt: “Was it worth $4 trillion lifetime expenses, 4,424 deaths, and 31,952 wounded to invade Afghanistan and Iraq?”

Both the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq began after 9/11, using the tragedy as reasoning for the invasion. Osama bin Laden was linked to the attack in 2001, though the FBI had very little substantial proof of his involvement. In 2003 Saddam Hussein was also blamed for the attack, again with very little concrete evidence. Hussein was also speculated to have weapons of mass destruction, but a CIA analyst in 2016 disproved this theory.

So with shaky reasoning to begin with the longest modern war the US has been involved with began. The war on terror cost over $4 trillion dollars, cost the lives of thousands of Americans, left tens of thousands of Americans severely injured, and took the lives of over two hundred thousand innocent civilians. Even after Osama bin Laden had been reported dead US troops remained in Afghanistan. Michael Meacher wrote in a 2003 article of The Guardian that “the so-called “war on terrorism” is being used largely as bogus cover for achieving wider US strategic geopolitical objectives.” The massive supply of oil in the middle east would be an incentive for the US, an incentive to obtain greater control of the region.

The war on terror was said to be fighting for peace, but that wasn’t the result. Conflicts in the middle east continue to this day, and the refugee crisis that grew from the wars left many without homes. This leads of conflicts around the world, as refugees struggle to escape the destruction of their homeland and find safe refuge in other countries. War often creates more war, destruction breeds more destruction. That is the most visible result of these wars. I wonder what the middle east and the US’s relationship with it would be today if these wars never took place.

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