Tag Archives: U.S. interventions in Middle East

Ready, Fire, Aim: US Interests in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, by Chas W. Freeman, Jr.

Here’s a scathing assessment of the costs and consequences of recent U.S. interventions in the Middle East. Something to think about as the U.S. gets sucked into another intervention in the Ukraine. From Chas W. Freeman, Jr. at antiwar.com:

Contribution to a Panel Discussion at the DACOR Annual Conference, September 27, 2019

I have been asked to join my fellow panelists in speaking about U.S. interests in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. For some reason, our government has never been able to articulate these interests, but, judging by the fiscal priority Americans have assigned to these three countries in this century, they must be immense – almost transcendent. Since we invaded Afghanistan in 2001, we have spent more than $5 trillion and incurred liabilities for veterans’ disabilities and medical expenses of at least another trillion dollars, for a total of something over $6 trillion for military efforts alone.

This is money we didn’t spend on sustaining, still less improving, our own human and physical infrastructure or current and future well-being. We borrowed almost all of it. Estimates of the costs of servicing the resulting debt run to an additional $8 trillion over the next few decades.[1] Future generations of Americans will suffer from our failure to invest in education, scientific research, and transportation. On top of that, we have put them in hock for at least $14 trillion in war debt. Who says foreign policy is irrelevant to ordinary Americans?

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