Has the U.S.’s anti-terrorism program worked? Nope. In fact, terrorism has dramatically increased since the war began.
A Dec. 15 breakdown by CBS’ Ben Swann showed that deaths from terrorism in the Middle East increased by 4,500 percent between 2002 and 2014. If the goal of the War on Terror is to reduce terrorism, it is an abysmal failure. Whoops.
In the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, President George W. Bush announced that the United States would respond to the attacks by launching an anti-terrorism program sometimes known as the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). The War on Terror included massive increases in military and intelligence spending, curtailing of civil liberties through surveillance, suspending international human rights commitments, and the military invasion of two countries in the Middle East.
The anti-terrorism program was complemented later by President Barack Obama with increased use of drones strikes, expansion of military operations into over 140 countries, and usurping authority to conduct extra-judicial executions of American citizens.
Swann’s investigation was a response to a statement made by Republican presidential candidate and senator Ted Cruz claiming that the Middle East would be more stable and secure if the U.S. had not toppled Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, as well as helped destabilize the government of Syrian President Bashir al-Assad.
One of the metrics Swann used to measure the increase in terrorism is the rise in suicide terrorist attacks — the method essentially used on 9/11. Before the U.S. invasion, there had reportedly never been a suicide bombing in Iraq. Since the U.S. invasions, there have been 1,892. Similar increases have been seen in Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Nigeria, and Syria.
Though “overthrowing dictators” and “bringing democracy” may be a psychologically satisfying fantasy for some, the actual results of those policies have led to more misery, death, and chaos for those people being “liberated,” as well as costing the U.S. trillions of dollars of tax money and thousands of U.S. soldier’s lives.
The War on Terror is only increasing terrorism and making the world less secure and free. And yet, despite all the clear evidence, there seems to be no interest among U.S. policymakers and war planners in even a basic examination of the assumptions of the U.S. War on Terror/anti-terrorism program. The establishment will not even admit there is a problem, let alone seriously consider ways of addressing it. The failed war shall go on.