Posted by: coastcontact | February 3, 2015

$1.6t

How much did the United States spend on the wars, counter terrorism operations, reconstruction, diplomacy, and medical care for wounded veterans since September 11, 2001? $1.6 trillion according to a congressional authorized office. Most of that money includes $686 billion on Operation enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and another $815 billion on Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq).

What do we have to show for our efforts? Iraq is in a state of collapse and Afghanistan is teetering towards collapse. ISIS (or ISIL) is on the rise having taken control of eastern Syria and Northwestern Iraq. al-Qaeda is on the rise in Yemen and Libya.

If there is a strategy to defeat al-Qaeda and ISIS it has not been revealed to the press and so the citizens of the United States have no knowledge.

The United States had provided a significant amount of military hardware to Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf nations but they seem to prefer keeping it all parked in their garages. Perhaps the killing of a Jordanian pilot will motivate countries in that region to step up to the plate and actively participate, but given their historical behavior this seems like an unlikely occurrence.

The Arab nations will hope that the United States will send in more troops and equipment to stop their enemies. Given America’s exhaustion over wars that did not result in defeat of Jihadi terrorist groups it is unlikely that there will be another wave of American ground troops.

The only event that is likely to cause a major re-engagement of America in the Middle East is a direct attack on the United States.

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