Rise to prevent another conflict
The cost of the Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Syria wars totals $5.9 trillion
By Samia Shah
Despite being the largest military power on the earth and having immense wealth, the United States has failed in providing protection to its people and preventing various natural disasters that wracked havoc in various parts of the country. One of the factors leading to this inability of the sole superpower in battling the natural catastrophes is said to be the lack of funds but interestingly the American ruling elite that complains about having the lack of resources to deal with this situation pumps trillions of dollars into wars and destruction that not only squanders American tax payers’ money but also bring miseries to the countries where such wars are fought. So, fighting for peace becomes necessary.
The mandarins of American states always try to hide the whopping amount that the US spends on defense, wars, conflicts, spying and plots to trigger chaos in various parts of the world to change unwanted governments. For instance, the people are only told about the budget of Pentagon but associated expenses are not completely revealed. However, a research report of Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affair gives us an idea about the senseless spending on wars and conflicts.espite being the largest military power on the earth and having immense wealth, the United States has failed in providing protection to its people and preventing various natural disasters that wracked havoc in various parts of the country. One of the factors leading to this inability of the sole superpower in battling the natural catastrophes is said to be the lack of funds but interestingly the American ruling elite that complains about having the lack of resources to deal with this situation pumps trillions of dollars into wars and destruction that not only squanders American tax payers’ money but also bring miseries to the countries where such wars are fought. So, fighting for peace becomes necessary.
The findings of this report are not only stunning but they are also a source of concern for the pacifists across the world. The research focusses on casualties in wars and its costs since the September 11 attacks. The members of the research project want to trigger a debate about the costs of the post-9/11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the related violence in Pakistan and Syria. They claim there are many hidden or unacknowledged costs of the United States’ decision to respond to the 9/11 attacks with military force. Through their sheer hardworking and altruistic efforts, they exposed American ruling elite informing people about the real costs of these conflicts and wars that have turned the lives of millions into a hell.
Some of the Costs of War Project’s main findings include: over 480,000 people have died due to direct war violence, including armed forces on all sides of the conflicts, contractors, civilians, journalists, and humanitarian workers. It is likely that many times more have died indirectly in these wars, due to malnutrition, damaged infrastructure, and environmental degradation. As many as 244,000 civilians have been killed in direct violence by all parties to these conflicts. Over 6,950 American soldiers have died in the wars. It is not exactly clear as to how many US service members returning from these wars became injured or ill while deployed. The research claims many deaths and injuries among US contractors have not been reported as required by law, but it is likely that at least 7,800 have been killed.
The report further asserts 21 million Afghan, Iraqi, Pakistani, and Syrian people are living as war refugees and internally displaced persons, in grossly inadequate conditions. “The US government is conducting counterterror activities in 76 countries, vastly expanding the counter-terror war across the globe. The wars have been accompanied by erosions in civil liberties and human rights at home and abroad. The human and economic costs of these wars will continue for decades with some costs, such as the financial costs of US veterans’ care, not peaking until mid-century.”
The report also makes startling revelations about the extent of corruption in the invaded countries. It says, “US government funding of reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan has totaled over $170 billion. Most of those funds have gone towards arming security forces in both countries. Much of the money allocated to humanitarian relief and rebuilding civil society has been lost to fraud, waste, and abuse.”
The stunning part of the report is related to the real cost of these wars and conflict arising out of these carnages. The report says that the cost of the Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Syria wars totals about $5.9 trillion. “This does not include future interest costs on borrowing for the wars, which will add an estimated $8 trillion in the next 40 years. The ripple effects on the US economy have also been significant, including job loss and interest rate increase. Both Iraq and Afghanistan continue to rank extremely low in global studies of political freedom. Women in Iraq and Afghanistan are excluded from political power and experience high rates of unemployment and war widowhood. The report concludes that compelling alternatives to war were scarcely considered in the aftermath of 9/11 or in the discussion about war against Iraq. Some of those alternatives are still available to the US.”
It seems that the report has been ignored by mainstream American corporate media that in connivance with military industrial complex always drums up support for senseless wars of American ruling elite. Such a whopping amount could have diverted to much-needed forest departments of various states that have been finding it hard to tide over the phenomenon of fire eruption both natural and unnatural. It could have been used for millions of Americans living on the bottom layer of social stratification. Such a huge investment in wars and arms could have been diverted to education departments of federal and various states to disburden students from heavy loans that they seek to get education. Even a fraction of this could have helped millions of American who cannot pay their health bills.
Ironically the US not only did not do anything like this but on the contrary Trump and his tedious acolytes are now planning more wars and conflicts. His pro-Israeli policy has already encouraged the racist ruling elite of Tel Aviv to unleash a reign terror in occupied areas of the Palestine. The war-mongers sitting in Western capitals pampered the fanatical jihadis in Syria that not only caused the killings of over 500,000 people but also displaced more than 11 million hapless souls. The war also destroyed a massive infrastructure in the Arab state that would require over 200 billion dollars to be rebuilt. The war-mongers of the Western world also reduced Iraq to the level of stone-age, exterminating around 2.5 million people in that country, wounding and displacing several millions besides sowing the seeds of hatred and sectarian wars that led to the creation of the ISIS. The unfolding humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen is also to be blamed on these war-mongers who threw their support behind the barbaric bombardment by Saudi Arabia on one of the most impoverished countries on the face of the earth.
These so-called civilized people have blood on their hand. Their thirst for blood has not been quenched by a myriad of wars that were imposed on various states in the last seven decades. It seems that the destruction of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya has not satisfied them. Now, they want to impose another war in the Middle East. A top Iranian leader has warned that the battle against Iran would be the mother of all wars. Therefore, it is important that the American masses reign in their unbridled political and military leaderships, preventing them from triggering another conflict that is likely to push not only one country but several towards an irreversible conflagration. It will definitely drag other regional or possibly superpowers in it, which means that the conflict has the potential to trigger a global conflict. Such a situation warrants urgent attention of all peace-loving people. Therefore, they should come out and resist this rapaciousness of belligerent elements hiding in London, Paris and Washington.