During his 2018 State of the Union address, Pres. Donald J. Trump declared ISIS had been defeated on the battlefield. During the run-up to the 2016 elections, he pledged to unleash the full, unrestrained might of the U.S. military and destroy the ISIS caliphate.
In a stunning turnaround, American and coalition soldiers eradicated terrorist fighters with terrifying resolve and determination. The group, once called a “JV” team by former Pres. Obama, held huge swaths of land until the Trump Administration let America’s generals take the lead and do their job.
Today, ISIS has been roundly defeated and the few former insurgents that survived are in hiding or are beyond reach. ISIS still has an active contingent in Syria battling that country’s military. Russia has thrown support behind Syrian Pres. Assad as those final pockets of terrorist fighters waned.
The 9-11 attacks escalated the fight from intelligence agencies tracking jihadists and arresting them to a hot war in the Middle East, and it has taken a heavy toll. The financial costs have been high. All told, the United States has spent upwards of $2.4 trillion between Department of Defense allocations and indirect costs. But the human costs have taken the lives of thousands of sons and daughters who enlisted. And, the deaths of innocent bystanders caught in the middle of radical Muslim extremism are high. These are the true costs of the War on Terror.
America Lost Sons and Daughters
Following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the Twin Towers in New York, the Pentagon and the downed flight by Americans fought jihadists on a plane meant for the White House, Pres. George W. Bush enlisted U.N. Security Council support and called upon NATO allies to move forward with the War on Terror.
The hot war that waged in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and other regions of the Middle East has resulted in the following loss of American life to date:
- U.S. Soldiers Killed – 7,008
- U.S. Military Wounded – 50,422
- U.S. Department of Defense Members Killed – 16
- American Civilian Contractors Killed – 3,000
- American Civilian Contractors Wounded – 6,000
- Veterans Suffering War-Related PTSD – More than 200,000
The final American death toll cannot yet be tallied. The U.S. military continues to pursue terrorist operations such a Boca Haram in Northern African and small groups of former al Qaeda and ISIS radicals around the globe.
On the home front, the Veterans Administration has accumulated a “Burn Pit Registry” of more than 150,000 American soldiers that have suffered debilitating health conditions due to contact with biohazards, carcinogens and other toxins during their military service in the Middle East.
Massive Loss of Civilian Lives
The use of human beings as shields has long been denounced by civilized nations around the world. Terrorist groups such as al Qaeda and ISIS among others routinely embed themselves in civilian populations or take hostages to deter direct combat. The practice has grossly increased the number of civilian deaths since the War on Terror began in 2001. These are some of the telling numbers.
Afghanistan: From 2001 to the present, upwards of 31,000 civilians have lost their lives due to direct fire and 29,900 have reportedly been wounded. More than 111,000 total Afghans have been killed when including soldiers, civilians, and insurgents. Some place the total loss of life as high as 360,000.
Iraq: The invasion of Iraq by U.S. and coalition forces reportedly resulted in upwards of 174,355 civilian deaths, according to the Iraq Body Count project. U.S. combat missions accounted for approximately 7,419 of those deaths. The highest number of casualties occurred in 2006 with 29,451 reported deaths.
The decision to invade Iraq by the Bush Administration did not produce weapons of mass destruction. Iraq’s Saddam Hussein did reportedly fund and support terrorism against the U.S. and other Western countries.
Murders Perpetrated by Terrorists
The 9-11 attacks remain the single most murderous act by a terrorist organization against Americans in history. The worst until 9-11 was the domestic terrorism of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols in Oklahoma City. The truck bombing killed women and children.
Since then, lone wolf jihadists have been responsible for multiple murders in incidents such as the Boston Marathon Bombing, Fort Hood killings, San Bernardino murders, and the Orlando nightclub shooting.
More than 10,000 deaths have been reported annually as a result of radical Muslim extremist violence around the world. The highest number of deaths occurred in 2014 at 32,763. American military leaders have stated that with the ISIS caliphate destroyed, civilian populations remain at risk from lone wolf and organized acts of terror.
~ Conservative Zone