In Biden’s September address to the United Nations, United States President Joe Biden announced, “For the first time in 20 years, the United States is not at war.” However, unfortunately, that is at the wrong end of the truth spectrum. In the wake of pulling out of Afghanistan, one would assume we are at least done there, but that is not the case; the president has authorized continued bombing in A
nt initially insists the target was the home of a terrorist but later acknowledges they made a significant error and the victims were all simply innocent American civilians.
fghanistan — with predictably terrifying results.
Picture this: a quiet, blue-collar neighborhood not far from LAX, a 37-year-old father and husband gets home from the office on a Monday evening. As he drives down his street and eventually pulls his truck into the garage, his kids go out to greet him in the yard. Then, flying in from the sky, an enemy military drone shoots a rocket at home, destroying the home and taking the lives of nine people — seven children and two adults; five of those kids were younger than six years old. The enemy preside
That is precisely what occurred time and time again; however, it was an American drone, and the victims were in Afghanistan. Or Pakistan. Or Somalia.
This narrative is nothing new.
This identical story gets replayed frequently: a marriage ceremony in Yemen, a funeral in Kenya, harvesting crops in Syria. U.S. airstrikes have annihilated at least 22,000 innocent non-combatants since September 11th.
Currently, U.S. military personnel lead combat movements in Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Niger, Kenya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Philippines. Moreover, the United States operates missions in areas we are not aware of currently. There is limited public knowledge and poor oversight of the CIA’s secret drone conflicts.
If another nation were bombarding the United States — even if the likely targets were officially labeled terrorists — our nation would label it an act of war. Furthermore, if the U.S. president’s administration had requested a different country to attack us, Americans would turn against their government rather quickly. Then again, we have seen minimal mental capacity from certain groups, e.g., particular message boards/theorists, who believe in wild ideas.
The American public and our Congress need to face the facts: the worldwide “War on Terror” was a sanctimonious shame, a diplomatic fiasco, and a humanitarian tragedy. The post-September 11th wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have killed more than 929,000 people, driven at least 38 million civilians to escape their homes, and stripped American taxpayers of more than $8 trillion. Meanwhile, the amount of armed Sunni Islamist organizations that participate in terrorist acts has grown.
Moreover, climate change, racial injustice, and steep inequality have mainly gone unaddressed the more significant global difficulties.
According to the U.S. Attorney General and Homeland Security Secretary, the most notable national terror threat facing our nation comes from extremist groups, like white supremacists.
Finishing the War on Terror does not equate to neglecting menaces to our national security. On the contrary, it involves putting the hurdle of transnational terrorism in its proper setting with other more urgent perils and utilizing all the non-lethal and non-military devices at our disposal to deny terror cells access to capital, communications, weapons, and soldiers. Moreover, international law enforcement and legal intelligence networks must observe, prevent, capture, and prosecute alleged terrorists per internationally acknowledged human rights and democratic principles.
Ultimately, U.S. Congress will have to abolish the law that provides these infinite and ever-growing wars: the 2001 Authorization for Using Military Force. Nevertheless, repeal attempts will not work until the American public and Congress acknowledge that aerial bombings and drone strikes are legitimate acts of war.