Harun Yahya

Airstrikes Hit the Global Economy




About ten weeks after the first US airstrike against ISIL targets, the US finally gave a name to the operation she conducts: Operation Inherent Resolve. According to US Central Command, CENTCOM, the name “Inherent Resolve” is “intended to reflect the unwavering resolve and deep commitment of the US and partner nations in the region and around the globe to eliminate the terrorist group ISIL and the threat they pose to Iraq, the region and the wider international community. It also symbolizes the willingness and dedication of coalition members to work closely with our friends in the region and apply all available dimensions of national power necessary — diplomatic, informational, military, economic — to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL.”[1]

It is certainly understandable that the US, being the superpower she is, is very committed to find a method that will put an end to the threat ISIL is posing around the globe; after all, the violence employed by ISIL and the seemingly unstoppable advance it made in the Middle East is an issue that needs to be resolved with utmost urgency. Being very well aware of the fact that ISIL is not the first and certainly will not be the last of its kind to use violence as a way of achieving its targets, it is also truly rational that the US wants to free the world from the danger of ISIL’s radicalism, which actually has no grounds in true religion.. What is difficult to understand though is the way the US keeps falling into the same mistakes she made in the past by resorting to methods solely based on military force.

Looking at the past, for instance, any reasonable person would know that the war US conducted in Afghanistan not long ago, Operation Enduring Freedom, brought nothing more than grief and a massive financial loss to the United States and the world. However, the sworn enemy of the US forces, the Taliban is still very much on the stage even though Operation Enduring Freedom has lasted 13 years as of 2014. Every hour, taxpayers in the United States are paying  $10.17 million as the cost of the operation going on in Afghanistan. As of today, the US has spent about  $764,047,900,188 for the war in Afghanistan. [2]

The war in Iraq, conducted as a part of the Global War on Terrorism, is another similar story. Every hour, taxpayers in the United States are paying $365,297 for cost of the war in Iraq. As of today, the US spent about $818,259,254,403 for the war in Iraq.[3] Certainly the losses endured are not only financial: Even after the US withdrawal some 1,000 people were killed across Iraq within the first two months. [4]

 

Not long after the US withdrawal from Iraq, operation Inherent Resolve started against ISIL, again in the Middle East region, on the same lands.

The cost of this military action against ISIL is devastating as well. Hearing the number will probably shock everyone in the world along with any US citizen on the streets. Every hour taxpayers in the United States are paying $312,500 for the cost of military action against ISIL. As of now, the money spent on this war by the US alone is  $1,233,291,825 and it is still growing. [5]

To see the bigger picture, let us have a look at the total cost of wars since 2001. Every hour, taxpayers in the United States are paying $10.54 million for total cost of wars since 2001. As of now the money spent since 2001 is  $1,581,851,706,598 and counting.[6]  Bear in mind that these figures only reflect the expenses of the US.

The devastating impact of the airstrikes and the war on the lands involved, the aftermath of wars, both for  US veterans and for the people living on those  lands, are not even mentioned.   

As one can clearly see looking at these few examples, the financial cost of such military actions are growing exponentially every step of the way. The US spent more than $1.2 billion in just a little less than four months in this war against ISIL.  It does not take an economist to see the fact that airstrikes not only hit ISIL, but also the civilian economy in Syria and Iraq as well as the US. These figures are certainly high enough to cripple any economy, even if it is the economy of a superpower like the US.

 

A rough calculation and a glance at the past experiences should make one see that there is something wrong in the way the US is attempting to deal with terrorist groups.  Waging a war on terror and war itself led to other even larger wars - one after the other - and did nothing to alter the fundamental reasons behind the terror. One might safely argue that these wars have made matters even worse.

 

The psychological impact of war and seeing the occupation of their lands are catastrophic and very long lasting on people. Seeing their homeland invaded by the boots of foreign soldiers, having their loved ones killed in front of their eyes has had a predictable impact on those people; it caused feelings of hatred and a desire for revenge against those who claim to bring them justice and freedom, and sadly, sympathy towards the ones the ‘occupiers’ fight against. Actually this is precisely what led the way to the formation of ISIL, which the world dreads today.

Setting out to bring about goodness and make wrongs right one should consider the fact that “violence begets violence”. As Martin Luther King, Jr. put it,  “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy, instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”[7]

Undoubtedly the US, as the pre-eminent superpower of the world, is right to be resolute and determined in bringing an end to terror. Furthermore, no one can argue with the fact that, in the current state of world affairs, a superpower should have the means and the weapons to serve as deterrent against the evil powers of the world. But that does not make it right to resort to weapons every time an evil power surfaces.

 

Let all those weapons, F35 Joint Strike Fighters, nuclear weapons, Tomahawk missiles serve their purpose as a symbol of the deterrent power of the US but let us use a much bigger and much more effective weapon this time; that is the weapon of love and compassion. Instead of falling into the same mistakes over and over again, let us try something we did not try until now. Instead of killing the perpetrators of evil, let us take away their only real weapon from their hands; let us take away their hatred. Let us take away their ignorance, their lack of real knowledge. Let us teach them by example that hatred is not the way. Let us teach them how to love and live in harmony despite differences. We will all come to see that it is far easier and infinitely more effective.

Let us try something new this time, because the time for love has come.





[1]                 [1] http://www.centcom.mil/en/news/articles/iraq-and-syria-ops-against-isil-designated-as-operation-inherent-resolve



[2]                 [2] https://www.nationalpriorities.org/cost-of/



[3                  [3] https://www.nationalpriorities.org/cost-of/



[4]                [4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_War



[5]                [5] https://www.nationalpriorities.org/cost-of/



[6]                [6] https://www.nationalpriorities.org/cost-of/



[7]                [7] http://westwing.bewarne.com/questions/quotes.html



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