We have just ended, so they say, America’s longest war, in Afghanistan. Like many I am wondering why we even went to war in that country. They say it was because of what happened in New York on September 11, 2001.
My question is this:
Were the terrorist who flew planes into the world trade center towers, the pentagon and the open field from Afghanistan or were they from Saudi Arabia?
A brief history
On September 11, 2001, 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al Qaeda hijacked four airplanes and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Two of the planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Almost 3,000 people were killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which triggered major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism and defined the presidency of George W. Bush.
The hijackers were Islamic terrorists from Saudi Arabia and several other Arab nations. Reportedly financed by the al Qaeda terrorist organization of Saudi fugitive Osama bin Laden who was also from Saudi Arabia. He is the 17th of 52 children of construction magnate Muhammad Awad bin Laden, an immigrant from neighboring Yemen, who runs a construction company, the Saudi bin Laden Group. In 2009, the Bin Laden family was listed as the 5th wealthiest Saudi family by Forbes magazine, with a reported net worth of $7 billion.
So, again, why were we in Afghanistan to begin with?
Some say it was to get Bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda. However, he was actually killed May 2, 2011, in Abbottabad, Pakistan – Not in Afghanistan.
How much did we spend on this war?
According to AP News 08/16/2021; the cost of this war is as follows:
- Estimated cost of war to US as of 2020 that was financed by debt = $2,000,000,000,000 (that’s $2 Trillion Dollars)
- Estimated interest costs by the year 2050 = $6,500,000,000,000 (that’s $6.5 Trillion Dollars)
- Total Cost of this war in dollars to the US = $8,500,000,000,000 (that’s $8.5 Trillion Dollars).
Therefore the cost of this war breaks down to the following (assuming 20 years and not having 2021 numbers available):
Every minute spent in Afghanistan potentially costs taxpayers $41,000 per minute, 24 hours per day 365 days per year.
If our only goal was to get bin Laden couldn’t we have done so at much less cost than what we spent? Remember bin Laden was not in Afghanistan … he was killed in Pakistan.
What was the Human Costs?
- American Service Members killed in Afghanistan through April = 2,448 (add the latest 13 to this and this number comes to 2,461).
- U.S. Contractors killed = 3,846
- Afghan National Military and Police = 66,000
- Other allied service members, including from other NATO member states = 1,144
- Afghan civilians = 47,245
- Taliban and other opposition fighters = 51,191
- Aid Workers = 444
- Journalist = 72
- Others who died as of latest bombing in Kabul Airport = 60 (and still counting)
If you are keeping score that is total loss of life of 172,463 souls lost needlessly — and this does not include all the lives destroyed from injury that still could end up in death. Remember there are 58,282 names on the Vietnam Memorial Wall of US Soldiers who died in the Vietnam conflict which does not include the names of the thousands that have died since the war from war related injuries, illness or suicide.
Is Congress doing their job?
I found these interesting facts in the AP Article I read as well:
- Date Congress authorized U.S. forces to go after culprits in Sept. 11, 2001, attacks: Sept. 18, 2001.
- Number of times U.S. lawmakers have voted to declare war in Afghanistan: 0.
- Number of times lawmakers on Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee addressed costs of Vietnam War, during that conflict: 42 (and that war was about 10 years long)
- Number of times lawmakers in same subcommittee have mentioned costs of Afghanistan and Iraq wars, through mid-summer 2021: 5. (for a war that lasted two times as long as Vietnam)
- Number of times lawmakers on Senate Finance Committee have mentioned costs of Afghanistan and Iraq wars since Sept. 11, 2001, through mid-summer 2021: 1.
It seems congress did not really care about anything to do with the war once they authorized our attack on the terrorist and their leaders! And again, why was the war there and not in Saudi Arabia. Could it have something to do with MONEY???
The war was uncalled for … but there was a better way!
What was the positive outcome of this war? I don’t know of any. It was not to get Osama bin Laden since he was actually killed in Pakistan. It was not to end the Taliban since they are the ones in control of Afghanistan now. It was not to stop ISIS since the Taliban have allowed and even encouraged the formation of ISIS-K by letting out thousands of ISIS prisoners (and they say ISIS is their enemy).
No … it was a waste of Money, a waste of time and most important a waste of HUMAN LIFE for no compelling reason. NOT TO MENTION THE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF MILITARY EQUIPMENT WE SIMPLY GAVE THE TALIBAN AND ISIS-K!
America has the most sophisticated, the strongest and most war ready military in the world … yet we are losing wars. Why? Because wars are being fought by politicians and not the military. If we are not going to war to win … then we should not be going to war at all – regardless of the reason. We cannot win a war by being on defense. Football games, Basketball games and other sports may be won because of defense … but war is not a game. War is only won by Offense. The first, the strongest and the most active … wins all the wars.
Now it appears, as I write this, that the House Freedom Caucus is calling for the Resignation of President Biden and the Impeachment of Secretary Blinken and others. Not that I disagree with them … but I have to ask … where in the hell have they been for the past 20 years while we were wasting lives and money? And do you believe that simply asking for a resignation by this President is going to do anything or get anything accomplished? Seems to me your just wanting your 15-minutes of fame.
Is there a better way to take out enemies without declaring war?
Certainly there is. It may not be “Politically correct” but it is correct and it sure is less expensive in the form of money and lives. If you really just wanted the death of Osama bin Laden (and incidentally the death of Saddam Hussein that took 5 years in Iraq to accomplish) all you had to do was this:
Hire a couple of good Mercenaries and pay them a couple million dollars each to take the rats off the face of the earth by turning them into the dust of the earth. You would have saved trillions of dollars and a lot of lost lives and thousands of injuries. You would not have to declare war … just make it a black ops operation and wash your hands of it. You would have been able to accomplish the same thing in far less time at much less expense.
Think politician … think. That’s why we pay you! Turn the killing over to killers and turn the wars over to the military and get the hell out of the way.
This article was written by a Vietnam Veteran who’s mad as hell that we are walking away (no running away) from wars with our tail between our legs that we could easily win if we really wanted to.
There is no war that can’t be won by the extremely trained US Military except The war between what is right and our stupid moronic politicians!