What if the US hadn’t gone to war after 9/11?

New research offers an alternative to the war on terror as the Biden administration rethinks its CT playbook


…by Nick Turse

ON SEPTEMBER 19, 2001, CIA officers collected cardboard boxes filled with $3 million in nonsequential $100 bills to buy off Afghan warlords, beginning America’s martial response to the 9/11 attacks.

A day later, President George W. Bush stood before Congress and declared a “war on terror” that would “not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated.”

Over the next 20-plus years, the tab on that conflict, which began in Afghanistan but spread across the globe to Burkina Faso, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Niger, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen, has ballooned to more than $6 trillion.

The payoff has been dismal: To date, the war has killed around 900,000 people, including more than 350,000 civilians; displaced as many as 60 million; and led to humanitarian catastrophes and the worst U.S. military defeat since the Vietnam War.

American cash has built armies that have collapsed or evaporated when challenged; meanwhile, the number of foreign terrorist groups around the world has more than doubled from 32 to 69.

“Counterterrorism strategies which address the root causes of terrorism, rather than the organizations and people that commit it, might end the waves of terrorist violence.”

It didn’t have to be this way, according to a new study of counterterrorism approaches from Brown University’s Costs of War Project.

“Terrorism is a political phenomenon,” writes researcher Jennifer Walkup Jayes in “Beyond the War Paradigm: What History Tells Us About How Terror Campaigns End,” which was shared exclusively with The Intercept ahead of its release on Tuesday.

“Counterterrorism strategies which address the root causes of terrorism, rather than the organizations and people that commit it, might end the waves of terrorist violence.”  Read more…



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  1. That is the objective. The pentagon is really a satanic pentagram and its luciferian goal is to turn earth into hell… But we have to do it to ourselves. The war on drugs has turned once sleepily peaceful latin america into one big ghetto. Hence the massive migration of desperate refugees. Yet if you ask the typical American, he’ll swear they’re good people…the best. Yet to see any of that goodness. If WW3 starts, America as we know it we’ll be gone forever. These satanists have a massive complex of Deep Underground Military Bases (DUMB) where they will be safe from the nuke ICBMs. I did hear they were sabitaged but if Americans really agree to go to war again, they deserve it. Only way they’ll change.

  2. Our Owners win the wars that We lose.
    That’s since Wellington vs. Napoleon.
    Pray that they are kind rulers once We return Khazaria to them.

  3. let us not to stay fools for ever, and admit/Accept it:
    they who did it “won” that was the real MIGA…
    they made the United Swamps of A. to sacrifice their children AGAIN for them (go to kill millions and get killed) for THEM AGAIN…
    how much did it cost them? a little Peanuts of all the money you pay them allways…
    just be honest with yourself an see how stupid you as a nation are to belive you “are” the gratest…
    maybe “their” gratest “slaves”?

  4. 9/11 was on the day of Imox. Number 11 of the I-Ching. “6. The sixth six, divided, shows us the city wall returned into the moat. It is not the time to use the army. (The subject of the line) may, indeed, announce his orders to the people of his own city; but however correct and firm he may be, he will have cause for regret.”

    We had the worst reaction to the obvious incitement, and it changed us fundamentally. If we had not gone to war, we would be far better off, and so would the world. Any child would know better.

  5. It’s nothing short of amazing that after twenty years an otherwise solid alternative-media writer like Nick Turse still has to dance around the actual truth of 9/11, that it was really Israel that attacked us on that day, not 19 Arabs led by Osama bin Laden holed up in a cave in Afghanistan. The real “what if” is this: What if instead of rushing off to war after 9/11 a real evidence-based investigation was done that fingered the real perps of that horrible false-flag event? Of course that would insure that Nick Turse would be blacklisted from our illustrious MSM forever.

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