The Irish Anti-War Movement

The War on Terror Ten Years On – Shannonwatch

The War on Terror Ten Years On

Shannonwatch: Fri, 23/09/2011

The War on Terror Ten Years On

Shannonwatch: Fri, 23/09/2011
Original article at http://www.shannonwatch.org/blog/war-terror-ten-years. Please link to this if re-posting. 
A brief war in Afghanistan is shortly to enter its second decade, seven years of war in Iraq have yet to bring a lasting peace, and Pakistan remains deeply unstable. Meanwhile, groups linked loosely with the al-Qaida movement make progress in Yemen, Nigeria, Algeria and the Horn of Africa.
This is one of the conclusions of a recent security briefing by Paul Rogers for the Oxford Research Group. The briefing says that it has become increasingly clear over the last decade that the United States and its partners must learn from the failure of the so-called ‘war on terror’  by paying more attention to the underlying causes of conflicts, especially the factors motivating young paramilitaries to take extreme action.
The briefing, entitled A War Gone Badly Wrong – The War on Terror Ten Years On, notes that atrocities in New York and Washington on 11 September 2001 led to protracted wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It assesses the consequences of the response from the US and its coalition partners ten years after the attacks, and questions whether the response was either appropriate or wise. It also questions whether the results so far have been counterproductive and may even indicate the need for a changed security paradigm.
In addition to the political consequences for al-Qaeda, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran (all of which he says were wholly unexpected by the wars’ architects) Rogers looks at the direct human and economic costs of the wars. Citing the Eisenhower Research Project at Brown University he notes that
  • the overall death toll of the war on terror, including civilians, uniformed personnel and contractors, is 225,000
  • if the long term care of thousands of maimed US personnel is included, the wars have so far cost between $3.2 and $4.0 trillion dollars. This includes the estimated $600 to $950 billion federal obligations to veterans.
  • there have been 7.8 million refugees created among Iraqis, Afghans and Pakistanis
  • the wars are being funded substantially by US borrowing, with $185 billion in interest already paid
Rogers concludes that the outlook is somewhat bleak. The US and its coalition allies have indeed started to learn from a decade’s failures he says; but the lessons they are drawing show them still to be rooted in what he calls a “control paradigm”: keeping the lid on conflicts (“liddism”), rather than preventing their emergence. Worryingly he says tha rather than a reliance on “boots on the ground” and troop “surges”, and the sustained use of air-power and precision-guided munitions, we are likely to witness a blurring of the roles between the military and agencies such as the CIA; an assumption of paramilitary roles by intelligence agencies; and a deployment of the military’s special forces in “taking out” threats whenever and wherever they arise.
After another decade we may well be looking at evidence of these assassination crews having been facilitated at Shannon – just like the airport facilitated rendition crews in the last decade. That is unless we change Irish government policy relating to the mis-use of the airport now
Original article at http://www.shannonwatch.org/blog/war-terror-ten-years. Please link to this if re-posting.

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