9/11 “War on Terror” has come with a hefty price
Eleven years ago al Qaeda’s attack struck the hearts of America. The fall of the towers and the stories of heroism from ordinary citizens and first responders inspired a splintered country, to unite behind its new President George W. Bush who turned to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to avenge the brazen terrorist attacks.
Elite military forces descended into the tribal caves in Afghanistan and in the words of former CIA Officer in charge Cofer Black, “We’ll get them…and they’ll have flies walking on their eyeballs.” The no nonsense CIA leader trained 300 army Special Forces, 110 CIA officers and brought Afghanistan to its knees in 10 weeks. The cities and government were toppled, America’s swift and decisive action brought justice and victory to the shiny city on the hill.
Black further explained, “It would have been catastrophic to take our time and send in the conventional military, to do an imitation of the Soviet army getting chewed up in Afghanistan — 10 years, 10,000 killed and 30,000 wounded.” Not to mention they left bankrupt.
Unfortunately, both Presidents Bush and Obama didn’t listen to the man who brought a swift and strong response to the terrorists who murdered 2,996 people on 9/11.
It has been no secret that al-Qaeda expanded its successful (and U.S. supported) Afghanistan tactics against the Russians in its move to punish the U.S. for desecrating Islam’s holiest place, Saudi Arabia. The cave-dwelling extremists successfully launched numerous small attacks against the western world to hamper American’s ability to be at all places, all the time.
From the first New York Trade Center bombing in 1993, to the attack on the USS Cole in 2000 and 9-11 attack (al Qaeda’s timeline), al-Qaeda has sought to entice the Americans to commit military forces in the Middle East where they could be targets for an unconventional war. The major purpose of this escalation was to unite all Muslims against America by exploiting war atrocities in propaganda through the Internet, which was used as a recruiting tool to fight their great war.
So how successful was al Qaeda’s plan? The “War on Terror,” Obama’s kill lists and drone strikes have been recruiting goal mines for al Qaeda. Abu Ghraib, water boarding, rendition, Guantanamo detention facility, drone strikes, to name a few, have all been public relations nightmares for America.
Perhaps more predictably, the U.S. defense industry kicked into high gear to exploit the new “War on Terror.” And the costs have been staggering, over the last decade the Department of Defense (DoD) budget exponentially increased in order to fight the perpetual war. In FY2000 the DoD’s budget was $398.8 billion, it peaked in FY2008 at $718.4 billion and this year the Pentagon raked in $676.2 billion taxpayer dollars. Budget hawks can also visit the “Cost of War” website to monitor the war-debt clock.
To date, the U.S. has increased its national debt from $5.6 trillion in 2000 to more than $16 trillion in 2012. The hidden costs (like life long medical care) of the War on Terror have yet to be realized but conservative estimates are $3-5 trillion according to experts. But ultimately the 6,600 soldier deaths and thousands more wounded can never be replaced.
The constant fear mongering by both political parties has resulted in the adoption of the oppressive Patriot Act. Congress authorized and expanded “security” measures to protect Americans from future terror attacks, but the real consequence has been changing the way we live. This drastic change was al Qaeda’s second objective in their mission statement.
A post 9/11 world has consolidated dozens of agencies into super intelligence gathering machines, that have perfected warrantless searches, instituted eavesdropping programs to monitor phone calls, texts, and emails. Americans also learned last week that the FBI is launching a national billion-dollar face-recognition system throughout the U.S. to track the whereabouts of American citizens.
The focus of the “War on Terror” shifted from addressing the intelligence failures that led to 9/11 to a new “national war” on American citizens. Fueled by fear, the government has “justified” the implementation of the most oppressive national intelligence gathering and detention program in world history. The dictators of Germany and Russia would have been stunned by the enormity of this technological concentration and well-organized attack on the individual freedoms of all Americans.
Was al-Qaeda prescient in adopting its strategic goals as described by John Brennan, DNI (details here), of financially bankrupting the U.S. and changing the way we live by engaging in perpetual war or did they just know us better than we know ourselves?
Or perhaps al Qaeda’s objective of changing the way we live on the world stage can serve as a wake-up call for Americans to reassess the unbridled power of the government when constitutional safeguards are tossed aside and the subjective determinations of bureaucrats are substituted for the Rule of Law.
© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.