Global Policy Studies & International Security

Ten Years of War


Ten years ago George W. Bush was sitting in a Florida classroom with a 51 percent approval rating. When the dust had cleared at the end of the day, three buildings had collapsed into rubble and 3,000 Americans were dead. American foreign policy would never be the same.

America needed a leader, and Bush was it. By 9/12 Bush’s approval rating skyrocketed to 90 percent, the highest of any president in U.S. history.

Bush and Cheney were so giddy with their newfound popularity and power that they couldn’t wait to take America to war, wars which proved financially beneficial to both Cheney’s former company, Halliburton, and the Carlisle Group, a defense contractor partially owned by the Bush family.

They were so eager to go to war that they did not want to waste precious time researching who attacked the United States and why. Bush had already sent troops to Afghanistan to hunt down Osama bin Laden before Bush had even assembled the 9/11 Commission in late 2002. And before the 9/11 Commission had finished their report, Bush had invaded Iraq.

Both of these wars continue today.

The war in Afghanistan has cost America $451 billion and the Iraq War has cost $797 billion. And these numbers do not include the future health care costs of veterans and the interest on the money borrowed from China to fund these wars.

Over 1,700 American soldiers have died in Afghanistan and more than 3,500 soldiers have died in Iraq. Two thousand more Americans have died fighting the war on terror than died on 9/11.

The zeal of going to war before understanding the situation is not limited to Republicans. Barack Obama, a peace-loving Democrat who promised to bring troops home as soon as he took office, chose to involve America in the Libyan conflict before we even knew who the rebels were or what they stood.

The ramifications of haphazardly going into war are clear – the wars don’t end.

Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, Green Party members, and those choosing not to associate with a party, we all need to band together and demand that our government stop recklessly taking us to war.

It is immoral, irresponsible, and unjust for the government to send young Americans off to die in foreign wars when the bureaucrats have not bothered to do their homework.

America does not want to fight another Vietnam, though I fear that we are already fighting two.

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