For both the individual and the nation, America’s Founders believed, it is necessary to regularly look around and ask why what is being done is being done, this to ensure that genuine interests are being addressed. For an individual such a review may lead to an assessment that all is well, or it may detect a need to change course, perhaps a decision to quit smoking, to recant support for the Boston Red Sox, or to refuse to hold your tongue for fear of hurting daintily effete sensibilities.
There seems to be great Republican resistance to the idea that their interventions in Iraq and the Muslim world are the main cause of both the mess in Iraq and the growing and increasingly powerful worldwide Islamist movement. To the extent that Hillary Clinton and other Democratic senators and congressmen joined the Republicans in illegally delegating the war-declaring power to George W. Bush there is a point to the Republicans’ resistance. The correct formulation of the statement is that both parties are equally responsible for the mess in Iraq and for the formidable Islamist foe that now exists. Also a correct statement is that the bulk of both parties now want the United States to become an even stronger motivator of and recruiter for the Islamists by expanding the military re-intervention in Iraq that began in the summer of 2014. Before that occurs it would be best to review a few facts:
One: Reintroduce 10,000 ground troops and Marines to retake Ramadi and Anbar, and thousands more to retake Mosul and cleanse Iraq of ISIS. Another surge, like 2007.
Yet that does not solve the problem of the Islamic State, which would retreat to Syria and wait for the Americans to leave Iraq again.
Two: Adopt a policy of degrade-and-contain by continuing air strikes on the Islamic State in Iraq, while training and backing the Iraqi army and Kurds in keeping ISIS out of Baghdad and Irbil.
Three: Accept the inevitable — that the Shiite-led Iraq we created by dethroning Saddam and smashing his Baathist state and army is going to be in the orbit of Iran. For we cannot now, without a major and indefinite reintroduction of U.S. forces, alter the existing balance of military and political power in Iraq.
Neocon Harper has announced he is going to ignore international law and start bombing Syria as well as Iraq
Prime Minister Stephen Harper laughed off concerns Wednesday that Canada is about to flout international law by launching airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria.
Harper announced Tuesday that the government would extend Canada’s mission against ISIL, which so far has been limited to Iraq. The Tories intend to bomb ISIL targets in Syria but do not plan on asking president Bashar al-Assad for his consent.
The wars begun in 2001 have been tremendously painful for millions of people in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, and the United States, and economically costly as well. Each additional month and year of war adds to that toll. Moreover, the human costs of these conflicts will reverberate for years to come in each of those four countries. There is no turning the page on the wars with the end of hostilities, and there is even more need as a result to understand what those wars’ consequences are and will be.
The goal of the Costs of War Project has been to outline a broad understanding of the domestic and international costs and consequences of those wars. A team of 30 economists, anthropologists, political scientists, legal experts, and physicians were assembled to do this analysis. Their research papers are posted and summarized on this website.
What have been the wars’ costs in human and economic terms?
How have these wars changed the social and political landscape of the United States and the countries where the wars have been waged?
What have been the public health consequences of the wars?
What will be the long term legacy of these conflicts for veterans?
What is the long term economic effect of these wars likely to be?
Were and are there alternative less costly and more effective ways to prevent further terror attacks?