The Permanent State of War

The United States has been at war in Afghanistan since October 7, 2001. As of today, this war has gone on for eleven years, two months and one day.

In comparison, the time the U.S. was engaged in war in the Civil War, WW-I and WW-II combined was nine years, seven months and seven days.

Since the invasion of Afghanistan, the United States has been operating under emergency wartime powers granted under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force. This authorization grants the president and the federal government extraordinary authorities. It effectively suspends civil liberties for anyone the government considers an enemy.

We call this the “War on Terror.”

The Civil War and the two World Wars ended when a capitulation treaty was signed by the warring powers. There was a clear end to those wars. We knew when they were over. In the War on Terror, we’re fighting terrorists. While we have decimated many terrorist organizations, killed or captured many leaders, a whole new generation of youth has grown up to join the enemy. We will never completely eradicate al-Qaeda. We will never sit down with an al-Qaeda leader at a surrender meeting and sign a treaty. There will be terrorists in the world. We are not going to eradicate them all, especially not with guns and drones. We can only cripple their organizations, keep them down and on the defensive, and we can educate the countries that harbour them so their safe havens slowly disappear.

This War on Terror has cost us about $2 trillion so far, and it’s ongoing.

We can’t afford education in our country, and we continue to cut education budgets.

We can’t afford maintaining our infrastructure.

We can’t afford healthcare coverage for all.

But apparently we can afford foreign wars that get us nowhere, that cannot ever end, and that no longer make sense.

2 thoughts on “The Permanent State of War

  1. Norbert, as a Combat Veteran who served in Iraq, I couldn’t agree more. Although we claim to be “Fighting Terror”, there are obvious hidden agendas driving this “War”.

  2. Pingback: The Permanent State of War « The Writing Chair

Leave a Reply