In 2001, the Afghanistan war had started after 9/11. The US and NATO coalition joined forces to attack Taliban and Al Qaeda groups. Starting 2014, United States workforces are pulling themselves back from the nation, finishing a decade long battle. The US has been at war for almost the first decade of the 21st-century. A big number of US military personnel have been sent to another country to the Middle East to take part in what the administration of President George W. Bush indicated to as the ‘War on Terror.’ In numerous ways, the main battle of the War on Terror has occurred in the isolated and hilly country of Afghanistan. So, let’s take a brief tour to the longest war in the history of US.
Causes of the War
Afghanistan has been an unsteady country, especially over the last century. In the early 1900s, the country had established itself as a sovereign country that no longer need outside help. In the early 1970s, power shifts hand at a random pace, especially, from one group to another. A civil war within Afghanistan’s border had begun in 1978 and the parties involved were pro- and anti-communist forces. The Soviet Union sent in a military group to show support to the communists. As a result, a severe conflict started. Throughout this battle, the US gave cash and military help to those battling the Soviets. Some of these were known as the Mujahideen, made out of Islamists who were staunchly contradicted to the Soviet intrusion. Throughout this conflict, more than one million Afghans had passed on this contention, yet the Soviets were repelled.
Following the war against the Soviets, different warlords and extremist groups viewed Afghanistan as a weak link and they strive to take control over the country in the coming years. By the mid-1990s, the Taliban took control of the nation and they ruled by Islamic Sharia law. They also initiated to a great degree unforgiving restrictions on the citizens of this nation. Furthermore, the Taliban group had made a situation in Afghanistan that feed terrorists. Osama Bin Laden, a veteran of the battle against the Soviets, turned into a main figure in the Al Qaeda terrorist association, one of the biggest and most advanced Islamic terrorist groups on the planet. They operated within Afghanistan and they had planned to strike against the USA.
In the year 2011, the Al Qaeda terrorists group started attacks against the USA and they flew with two planes filled with innocent people and crashed into buildings in New York City and one into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. The brave passengers in Southern Pennsylvania had brought down the fourth plane. About 3,000 Americans were killed during these terrorists’ attacks.
How many have died in this war?
S. soldiers: 2,014 (as of 7/10/12, according to the Department of Defense)
Taliban: More than 30,000
Al-Qaeda: more than 2,500
Afghan government forces: 6,100
Afghan civilians: more than 34,000
British soldiers: 341
Canadian soldiers: 152
Soldiers from allied countries (mostly from Germany, Spain, France, and Denmark): 163
Why was it so hard to achieve positive goals against the Afghanistan?
The Afghan society is made of different tribes and ethnic groups. They have a history of conflict and rivalry. As a result, it is a difficult task to bring them into one government supervision.
The mountain terrains of this county provide several hiding places to insurgents and make traditional war an impossible task.
Despite the fact that the USA had no plans of making a colony in the country, the conventional Afghan brutality worked against them.
The Iraq war started on March 19, 2003. Currently, it is the longest military clash of United States other than the Vietnam War. The Iraq war has taken somewhere in the range of 90,000 Iraqi lives. Besides, around 4,298 coalition troops has been died, among them, there are about 4,000 Americans. Also, the American citizens or taxpayers have paid nearly $700 billion and this war may cost up to $2 trillion if the war continues for another five years.
Significant Events of the war
On March 2003, about 300,000 American and British troops had attacked Iraq. Almost all the members from the U.N. have opposed the war. On May 1, the then President of US Bush declared victory over Iraq. But, there was violence against American soldiers and Iraqis who supported the war. Because of vulnerable security, robbers figure out how to take invaluable archeological relics from the National Museum in Baghdad. And a huge amount of explosives was stolen from an Iraqi weapons facility. The Iraqi Army had broken down and members from Saddam’s ruling Baath party were restricted from taking part in the government activities. In December, Saddam was found in a little subversive hideout.
In 2004, an interim constitution was approved. There were photos revealed abusing Iraqi detainees by American fighters in the Abu Ghraib jail. A furious adversary of American inclusion in Iraq, Shiite minister Moktada al-Sadr, drove an uprising against U.S. troops. As a result, the terrorist attacks occurred in every day.
In 2005, the first election in Iraq took place in over 50 years. The people of Iraq picked a National Assembly. In that election, all most all Sunnis decline to vote, and Shiites win a greater part of the vote. The “Bringing down Street Memo” surfaces – providing details regarding a 2002 meeting, the head of British Intelligence expresses that President Bush needed to uproot Saddam, and that the Bush administration influenced the evidence to start an invasion. Saddam Hussein goes on trial for wrongdoings against humankind.
In 2006, Nouri al-Maliki was elected as Prime Minister of Iraq. Abu Musab al Zarqawi, a pioneer of “Al Qaeda in Iraq,” was executed by American troops. Saddam Hussein is executed as well.
In 2007, on the insistence of General David Petraeus, who was the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, US President Bush had provided an additional 30,000 troops to Iraq. “The surge” means to smother the aggression and help the rival groups to achieve a political settlement. The ongoing brutality of “al-Qaeda in Iraq” triggered a backfire, which is known as the Sunni Awakening. Almost 80,000 previous Sunni agitators betray Al-Qaeda and backed the new government.
2008 The Iraqi government calls for the removal of U.S. troops by 2011.
In February 2009, newly elected U.S. President Barack Obama declared that American battle troops will leave Iraq by August 2010. However, around 50,000 soldiers will stay for advising and training the Iraqi security forces and thus, they will help with intelligence-gathering.
In August 2010, US President Obama declared that the American battle mission in Iraq has been finished.
Numbers involved with Iraq War
American soldiers murdered in Iraq: 4,487
American soldiers injured in Iraq: 32,226
Dollars spent (or affirmed to be spent) on the war, through 9/10: about $900 billion
Iraqi police and soldiers murdered: 9,381
Iraqi civilians murdered: assessments range from 50,000 to 600,000
Iraqi guerrillas slaughtered: around 55,000
Iraqi refugees who have left their home: more than 2.1 million (about 7% of the aggregate population)
Iraqi refugees inside Iraq: more than 2.2 million starting 2007
How has the Iraq War changed the course of the lives of Iraq People?
As indicated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (in 2007), “Civilians endured the worst part of the persistent brutality and the poor security conditions disrupt the lives and jobs of millions. Consistently, many individuals were murdered and numerous were injured. Shootings, bombings, snatchings, murders, military operations and different types of savagery are compelling a large number of individuals to escape their homes and look for security somewhere else in Iraq or in neighboring nations.” As of 2007, 25% of Iraqi children experienced endless chronic malnutrition. 40% of professionals had escaped from the nation and a lot of homes had electricity for just a couple of hours a day (starting 2007). And just 1/3 of homes had sewer system facilities.