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17 September, 2017 00:00 00 AM
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16 years later: The war on terror has become a major failure

We need our leaders and policymakers to be courageous and not fall into the trap of following fear
Vincent Lofaso

The United States has not been directly attacked by a foreign organization since September 11, 2001. But many European cities like Barcelona, Paris, Manchester, London, Brussels, and Berlin have endured many attacks that are causing security problems in Europe.

In addition, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, and Yemen have become battlegrounds for extremist groups like the Islamic State and Al Qaeda where there is little hope to address these security concerns in this War on Terror.

President Trump attended ceremonies at the 9/11 Memorial in New York and the Pentagon in Virginia where he vowed that terrorists will never hit the homeland ever again, ”The terrorists who attacked us thought they could incite fear and weaken our spirit. But America cannot be intimidated, and those who try will join a long list of vanquished enemies who dared test our mettle.”i President Trump told the public that he would be deploying more troops to Afghanistan to stabilize the war-torn country and train Afghan troops in its battle against the Taliban.

At the same time, President Trump has tried to ban immigration from about half a dozen predominately Muslim countries. Last week, a court rejected some of his restrictions, but late on Monday, a Supreme Court justice blocked that decision from going into effect while the court considers the legal challenges to Trump’s travel ban. Trump was also a person who campaigned heavily on defeating terrorism and his voters are expecting him to make huge progress.

The question we should be asking ourselves is have we effectively decreased the root causes of terrorism that threaten the United States and the world? The War on Terror has become a complete failure for U.S foreign policy. There are several reasons for this. First, U.S foreign policy practices like regime change have exacerbated the terrorism problem in the seven countries that the United States bombed including Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Pakistan.ii It is true that the United States has not had a significant terrorist attack to the scale of September 11, but Washington has always exaggerated the actual threat terrorism poses.

Second, politicians are fearful of another incident like 9/11 happening again and they are also fearful of being blamed for the nation’s security concerns. There is also a tendency for powerful leaders to demonstrate that they take the threat seriously by taking military action even if it does not actually solve the problem. The threat of terror is a manageable problem, and it cannot be won with military action being so effective that the costs outweigh the benefits.

Most importantly, we need smarter, reasonable people who can ask and answer the hard questions of how to deal with terrorism, but we also need to take into consideration the lives of U.S soldiers and the trillions of dollars that are being spent to military operations. Our government should not be spending billions of taxpayer dollars on foreign policy adventures in the Middle East and North Africa, since four of the seven countries the U.S bombed since 9/11 are in this region, but we need to help with humanitarian assistance and create free and fair institutions for everyone in the region.

US government officials must be responsible and have the obligation of explaining the facts to the American people which are that terrorism is a low probability threat in the United States and it should not be in the costs of trillions of dollars and the loss of many American soldiers (that were a result of elective foreign wars) to keep the war of terror from expanding into something that is infinite. We may be a nation that holds democratic freedoms and civil liberties, but these values do not reflect the realities on the ground in the seven countries the U.S bombed since 9/11.

    Eurasia

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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