On September 11th 2001, tragedy struck. During President George W. Bush’s administration the worst bombing in history took place that will not be forgotten a decade later! It was with immense horror and shock, persons from every nation world wide watched as two aircrafts entered the World Trade Centers in New York and also damaged the pentagon. Thus resulting in the US government waging war against “TERROR.”
The ghoulish 9/11 terrorist attacks left a mixture of emotions world wide including fear, disbelief, anger, resentment towards muslims, shock, depression, and I shall not forget to mention these attacks literally shattered the high regard in which the U.S. regarded their security system!
Ever since it has been an on going battle, between the US and the Middle East some ten(10) years later. Not a dollar has been spared in tracking down and executing Osama Bin Laden, the man behind this catastrophe. Bushed asked for;
An astounding $20.8 billion dollars to launch the war on Afghanistan
$13 billion for enhanced security for military bases. Shortly after the Taliban government was replaced with Hamid Karzai.
In October 2002, he received Congressional approval for the Iraq War. In November 2002, Congress passed the Homeland Security Act establishing a stand-alone with Cabinet-level departments in an attempt to unify 22 agencies that handled domestic security. A total of $33.8 billion was spent that year alone.
Shortly after Afghanistan was attacked. A military air strike was released above, This shattered their defense! Soldiers stormed Afghanistan and began taking prisoners. Afghanistan posed no major problem for the U.S. The Afghan army crumbled and some ten(10) years later, their commander and chief Osama Bin Laden was tracked down and eliminated.
One year later, the U.S. launched the War in Iraq on March 19 with “Shock and Awe,” costing $53 billion. The Hussein regime toppled in April. The U.S. spent $14.7 billion, even while it announced the War in Afghanistan was over, and NATO took over as a peacekeeping mission. Additional defense security spending was $13.5 billion. Homeland Security officially opened its doors in March. A total of $81.2 billion was spent on that endeavor. Iraq was then invaded and the first strike was delivered by the U.S who, released a military air strike over Iraq. A total of 12,125 civilians and soldiers were killed! That left a massive dent in their plans for attack!
In 2004 the War in Iraq escalated to control insurgents, costing $75.9 billion. Afghanistan created a Constitution, while Bin Laden threatened another terrorist attack. The U.S. spent $14.5 billion on Afghanistan and $3.7 billion on enhanced security. A total of $94.1 billion was spent. An additional $20.1 billion was spent in 2005, to protect Afghans from Taliban attacks for their first free election. Spending in Iraq increased to $85.5 billion, while extra security spending dropped to $2.1 billion. This resulted in a total of $107.6 billion spent that year. A total of 11,654 iraq civilians were killed!
In 2006 funding for the War in Iraq escalated to $101.6 billion, funding for The War in Afghanistan dropped slightly to $19 billion, and security measures to $800 million. A total of $920.6 billion was spent. That’s on top of $474.2 billion spent for the Department of Defense. A total of 29,400 civilians were killed!
The following year Bush announced a “surge” of 20,000 additional U.S. troops to help transition power to Iraq leaders, boosting Iraq spending to a record $131.2 billion. The Afghan War spending nearly doubled, to $39.2 billion. A total of $170.9 billion PLUS $671.6 billion for the DoD base budget was spent. That year a total of 25,968 civilians were killed!
In 2008 violence escalates in Afghanistan, boosting costs to $43.5 billion. Iraq costs rose to a new record, $142.1 billion. A total of $185.7 billion PLUS $549.6 billion for DoD. In order to help de-escalate the violent uprising, Obama sends 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan in April, promising to send another 30,000 in December. This boosts spending to $59.5 billion, while costs for fell for the first time to $95.5 billion. A total of $155.1 billion. That’s in addition to $513 billion for the DoD base budget. A total of 10,237 civilians were killed!
During the Bush administration (2001-2009) a total of $850 billion was spent on the War on Terror and a total of 123,976 civilians killed. At the same time, the DoD base budget also grew. The Bush Administration did not separate out addition spending to support defense, such as Veterans Administration costs to care for returning servicemen or expanded Homeland Security expenses.
The following year elections changed the course of history forever! In 2010 the Bush administration crumbled and a new leader was chosen. This leader was Barack Obama and he is to lead the U.S to victory. Never before had such a huge responsibility been put on the shoulders of a light skinned/blackman! He did not backdown from this new responsibility, instead he rose up and took on the challenge! No longer was the U.S bound by white supremacy. Now the power belonged to a light skin man! In his first year Obama spent $850 billion on defense. This included $530.1 billion for the DoD base budget, and $152.7 billion to fund other departments, such as Homeland Security and the Veterans Administration. He doubled the amount for the Overseas Contingency Operations, to $167.3 billion, to fund an orderly wind-down to end the War in Iraq.
In 2011 the War in Iraq finally ended! Obama increased spending to $838 billion. It included $159.4 billion in contingency funds to beef up initiatives in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He announces he will withdraw 10,000 troops at the end of the calendar year. A total of 4,153 civilians were killed!
Obama further increased security spending to $909 billion. This included $530.4 billion for the DoD base and $126.5 billion in OCO for the War in Afghanistan. Spending by other departments to support defense was $153.6 billion. Homeland Security was $39.9 billion and the Veterans Administration was $58.7 billion. He announced the withdrawal of another 20,000 troops in the summer, leaving left 70,000 troops remaining. (Source: NYT, Afghanistan War Timeline, June 22, 2011)
Defense spending dropped to $780.7 billion. This includes the DoD base at $525.4 billion and OCO at $96.7 billion. The costs from other departments that support defense totals $158.6 billion, plus Homeland Security ($39.5 billion) and Veterans Affairs ($61 billion).
The new cost of the Military budget by this time is $745.2 billion. The DoD base budget was $525.6 billion. The OCO was budgeted at $92.3 billion, although that might change once the President announces when the U.S. will pull out of Afghanistan sometime during the year. Since the War is ending, the costs of other departments’ defense programs dropped to $25.4 billion. Homeland Security costs will stay the same, at $37.4 billion, while Veterans Administration ($63.5 billion) will rise.
Contingency funds for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq from 2010 – 2014 was $642.2 billion, three-fourths as much as Bush spent on the “War on Terror” initiative in eight years. President Obama campaigned on defense reduction, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for pulling troops out of Iraq. However, his military-related spending made him look like a hawk.
All in all when you add it up the total spent on Overseas Contingency Operations to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was $1.492 trillion. Expensive, I know. No one ever said war was cheap. Way more was spent on war than educating the American Citizens. The cost of freedom certainly isn’t cheap! The War in Iraq lasted longer than the Vietnam War. More important, 4,488 U.S. soldiers were killed and 32,226 were wounded. More than $700 billion was spent on the Iraq War alone. (Source: ABC News, Final U.S. Troops Leave Iraq, March 19, 2013) but was it worth it? What does the U.S. have to show for their decade of fighting? Some of you may be asking.
Well the tracking down and execution of Osama Bin Laden off-course was a major success! He was the main one behind the planning and funding of the 9/11 bombings, so there was no question that there was going to be some retaliation from the U.S. The question was not if they were going to but when and how it would be carried out as well as what the impact on ordinary Afghans would be. The U.S. knew they had to take revenge and that’s just what they set out to do inevitably. The U.S. Army took out an estimated 400,000 to 900,000 civilians in Iraq! Compared to the 3,000 dead bodies that resulted from the bombings, that’s another major success. Every year since 2003, onwards the U.S. army has taken out a total of 29,400 civilians, Thats way more bodies dropped than on 9/11 . The Iraq people will be feeling this blow for years to come.
Persons may be of the opinion that this war was a burden on the economy, it has affected the way we travel, our safety has been compromised, this ordeal has really taken a toll on persons and their belief and trust in security in airports in the United States. Many persons just don’t feel safe anymore! They don’t trust that they metal detectors and dogs can do the job any more in protecting their lives, so they opt out of traveling as much no and find other means of traveling/ getting around. They may also express that this war has brought about the loss of jobs, has cost the government trillions of dollars, loss of many lives and soldiers, hatred and a rise in those who think most muslims are terrorists, the decline in U.S global power, but I disagree. Men and women were sent to fight for our security and freedom for 10 plus years now and we must honor and remember them, for they did what most of you can only dream of doing. Killed more persons than you can kill in any of the games you play. They deserve recognition and special place in your heart! Now we have our peace of mind back! Now you can sleep well at night knowing that you are safe, and no terrorists shall come bomb you any given night! That’s what this war has done!
This war has opened the eyes of many world wide and shown what the U.S. are really capable of. It is not yet possible to know who is actually winning the war on terror, but from all the information stated above it is safe to say the U.S is dominating this one! They are the better equipped one. Needless to say Iraq and the taliban is in turmoil, as a result of harboring terrorists until the U.S sees fit to cease fire!
Let us all have a moment of silence for those who died for our security and freedom, those U.S soldiers who lost their lives in the war and those civilians who lost their lives in iraq. It was not in vein. They shall not be forgotten a decade later. Their memory still lingers on. It wasn’t easy, but some 10 years later, life as we know it can continue and prosper. Persons can now work comfortably now without the fear of being bombed, children can now come out to play on a saturday afternoon in the local parks and designated playing areas, although many lives were lost, this just created an opening for someone else to get a job, persons still don’t feel safe traveling like before, but persons do get around, confidence in the U.S judicial system has plummeted significantly, trust in one another has declined as well, persons no longer trust staying out doors for long periods of time anymore, persons no longer feel safe when alone anymore, persons rarely even go out at nights anymore as a result of the war. A decade later nothing is the same! Those terrorists have taken the one thing we held dear to us, our sense of security and safety. They have stripped us of it, and now many things we once knew have changed!
It’s true some things have not changed, but in many regards, life as we know it has changed, and they way we perceive things has been affected drastically. Our safety even has been compromised, and it’s up to us to fix it! We can fix it, if we come together and decide to solve the problem instead of being one, then I know we can allow ourselves to feel safe again! Don’t you worry! Strong men and women out there are working on fixing things as we speak! Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, at least 56 Islamist-inspired terrorist plots against the United States have been foiled thanks to domestic and international cooperation. The core of al-Qaeda has been flushed from Afghanistan and hounded in Pakistan; and a number of affiliated groups across Southeast Asia, in part through U.S. counterterrorism assistance and cooperation, have been weakened!
Rest assured justice will prevail!
“TERRORISTS CAN’T SCARE US! NO THEY CAN’T” – Yannick Theodore