Contrary to popular belief, we are not living in a civilized world - and evidence of that lies in the existence of perpetual war. Now don’t get me wrong, we’ve learned a lot together in our long history: how to explore space, create medicine and bring a new meaning to the term "addiction" by inventing the internet. However, one thing we haven’t learned from is the horrors of warfare, and this is a great shame because more often than not, attempting to resolve an international conflict by using aggressive military force is the same as attempting to fix your laptop’s cracked screen by throwing it down the stairs: it makes the problem worse and the culprit look like an idiot.
Nevertheless, in retaliation to the devastating events on 9/11, the US declared a “global war on terror” and, leading a coalition of the willing, launched military interventions in Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya and Syria. Almost 15 years on and the war has indeed been impactful: hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians have lost their lives, trillions of dollars have been wasted and the Middle East is immensely more unstable. Despite these tragic facts, the war on terror continues to plague the world to this day, with countries like Australia, France, the Netherlands and Canada all coordinating with the US to continue military strikes in Iraq and Syria.
This piece will examine the ramifications of the war on terror and highlight 10 reasons why military intervention in the Middle East makes us less safe.
10 Collateral Damage
Accumulatively, the war on terror has resulted in over a million deaths and many more injuries. Unfortunately, it’s civilians that make up the majority of those dead and injured.
9 Creates More Radicals
8 Strengthens Our Enemies
7 The Middle East Is Worse Off Today Than it Was Before Intervention
Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is repeating the same actions and expecting different results. This logic could be applied to the war on terror: if intervention and occupation failed in diminishing the threat of terrorism, how can anyone expect that repeating these same tactics will result in a different outcome?
One of the primary reasons the Middle East is worse off today than it was before the intervention is because the war on terror weakened the power of governments in the region. Consider the Iraqi government for example: it’s been so devastated by the war that it’s been left with virtually no means to combat ISIS militants. In fact, in June 2014, the Iraqi military capitulated and fled from fighting ISIS militants in Mosul due to the fact they were running “low on supplies and bullets,” as well as suffering from “low morale and poor training.”
6 The War Was Based on Lies
5 Harms International Reputation
4 Creates Problems at Home
2 Waste of Money
1 Learning From History
Winston Churchill once said that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Now although there’s a slim chance Churchill may have been referring to his struggle overcoming alcoholism, this quote is more relevant than it’s ever been. For instance, the collapse of the Roman Empire was, in large part, due to the fact they over expanded their military and accumulated massive amounts of debt by invading Afghanistan. Also, despite the colossal differences between Britain and Russia today, the last two centuries have proved that the British Empire and Soviet Union shared quite a lot in common: they both justified invading Afghanistan on the grounds of national security interests and both marched home in humiliating defeat. In fact, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan is widely considered to be one of the major catalysts behind their collapse in 1989. For these reasons, It’s no surprise that historians consider Afghanistan to be the “graveyard of empires.” With trillions of dollars worth of debt and an over expanded military, it would be wise for the US to learn from the lessons of history and discuss more effective ways to fight the war on terror.
Sources: cnn.com, deepjournal.com, cbsnews.com, truthinmedia.com, vice.com, rt.com, rasmussenreports.com, wmtc.ca, time.com
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