Today, on the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the United States stands poised to embark on yet another long war. The President’s proposed campaign of bombardment in Iraq and Syria aims to confront the group that calls itself the “Islamic State.” That group needless to say is brutal. It needs to be stopped. However, another war—or a re-start of our so recently concluded war in Iraq— is not the answer.
It’s crucially important to pause on this, the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, to reflect on the lessons we’ve learned from our foreign policy choices over the past 13 years.
4 Lessons We (Should Have) Learned
1. U.S. military power is far more limited in its capacity to bring about change in other countries than our leaders claim.
2. Bombardments fuel resistance and rage. They inevitably kill large numbers of civilians including children…fueling opposition to our presence and fueling violent resistance.
3. Wars don’t go as planned. President Bush’s promised short and affordable foray into Iraq became a $3 trillion disaster that left that country in utter disarray. That war created the conditions for the current crisis.
4. Our service men and women and their families pay a terrible and disproportionate price for our foreign policies.
I fear it’s a slippery slope to boots back on the ground.
Voices of peace and voices of skepticism have been proven correct again and again when it’s come to our military interventions in the Middle East over the past 13 years.
Listen to those voices today who are asking tough questions. And ask some tough questions yourself.