The US War On Terror Has Cost $5 Trillion And Increased Terrorism By 6,500%

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Darius Shahtahmasebi via,

On September 11, 2001, one of the most tragic events in recent American history took place. Close to 3,000 civilians lost their lives in horrific terror attacks that took place on American soil. Fifteen years later, it is time to ask the question: have our counterterror efforts helped to reduce the amount of terrorism in the world? Or at the very least, have they tried to make the world safer?

According to a report released by Dr. Neta Crawford, professor of political science at Brown University, spending by the United States Departments of Defense, State, Homeland Security, and Veteran Affairs since 9/11 is now close to $5 trillion USD. Before we have the chance to ask how a country that has racked up over $19.3 trillion USD in debt can spend $5 trillion USD on war, the focus of this article is to ask: What has all of this spending achieved?

As Reader Supported News reported at the end of last year, terrorism has increased 6,500 percent since 2002 (they probably should rename it “the war of terror”). In 2014, the outlet noted, it was reported that 74 percent of all terror-related casualties occurred in Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Syria. As stated by Paul Gottinger, a staff reporter for Reader Supported News, out of the aforementioned countries, “only Nigeria did not experience either U.S. air strikes or a military occupation in that year.”

Omitted from that assessment is the fact that the U.S. has been meddling in Nigeria for some time now. Why wouldn’t they? Until recently, Nigeria was Africa’s largest oil producer, as well as the continent’s largest economy until last month.

Hillary Clinton herself refused repeated requests from the CIA to place Boko Haram, the al-Qaeda and ISIS-linked terror group wreaking havoc across Nigeria (statistically they are far more deadly than ISIS), on the U.S. official list of foreign terrorist organizations.

Further, it was Hillary Clinton’s war in Libya that helped catapult Boko Haram into the menace it is today. In 2009, Boko Haram was a small-scale group with very limited weaponry. Following the invasion of Libya and the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan armories were looted, and much of the weaponry was sent over to Syria. However, Boko Haram was able to capitalize on these looted weapons and the instability that rippled throughout Africa following the NATO-led war in Libya. As Peter Weber stated in The Week:

“[Boko Haram’s weaponry] shifted from relatively cheap AK-47s in the early days of its post-2009 embrace of violence to desert-ready combat vehicles and anti-aircraft/ anti-tank guns.”

Boko Haram is just one example of an unforeseen consequence, right? At least we removed a dictator who was going to massacre his own people in Libya, right? Despite one’s thoughts on Gaddafi’s moral compass, he was able to transform Libya into Africa’s most prosperous democracy with the highest standard of living on the continent. Since then, Libya has fallen massively in the U.N. Human Development Index ratings (in 2015 alone, Libya fell 27 places). According to UNICEF, there are two million Libyan children out of school in a country that is now plagued by militants, civil war, and extremism. What are the chances of those children out of school being swayed to join a militant group?

Last year, four former U.S. air force service members wrote a letter to Barack Obama warning him that the single most effective recruitment tool for groups like ISIS was the drone program being implemented across the Muslim world, courtesy of the president himself. In fact, three former U.S. air force drone operators have even backed a lawsuit against the state, brought by a Yemeni man who lost members of his family in a drone strike in 2012.

According to Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick’s “Untold History of the United States”:

“When the U.S. began its Yemeni drone campaign in 2009, Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula had fewer than 300 militants in Yemen. By mid-2012, that number had jumped to over 1,000.”

Still believe there is no relationship between bombing a country to death and the resulting extremist groups that emerge from the rubble?

It seems as though recent history is just repeating itself over and over — not to mention the cruel and unnecessary havoc unleashed on the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. As Ben Swann, an investigative journalist and outspoken critic of U.S. foreign policy, stated:

“Before the 2003 U.S. invasion, do you know how many suicide attacks there were in Iraq? None. In the country’s history there had never been one. But since the 2003 invasion, there have been 1,892.


“In Iraq, prior to the start of the Iraq war, there were reportedly just over 1.5 million Christians living in that country. And yet shortly after the war started, more than one million of them fled to Syria. That didn’t work out well. Today fewer than half a million Christians remain and yet are being exterminated by groups like ISIS.”

The list of ways in which the $5 trillion USD effort to stamp out terrorism has either caused more terrorism or done nothing remotely towards curbing terrorism is endless. Even College Humor, in their show “Adam Ruins Everything,” put together an informative piece on how the TSA is almost completely useless, having never prevented a single terrorist attack – ever.

Yet how much money has been flowing into these programs – and still is today?

It’s time for a realistic talk about our counterterrorism efforts. One can only assume the U.S. establishment is not genuine in their bid to fight terrorism across the globe given that they have continued policies that merely exacerbate terrorism and have created a world less safe for future generations.

The first step in preventing future terrorism would be to admit that our current strategy isn’t working. Anyone who believes otherwise — or who decides to run for president on the promise they will further expand these failed policies — is not only wasting our time, but will be wasting countless lives in the process.

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VWAndy's picture

 Fiat magic


Mr Poopra's picture

Mission Accomplished x 1000%.

If anyone thought the "War on Terror" was supposed to stop terrorism they are naive.  War on Terror is to enrich our corporations and keep the US military combat ready for the Sino-Russian war in 2017-2020.  It is inevitable.

Whoever wins this last great war will be able to implement the new currency/debt ensavement program for the next several centuries.  Gentlemen, the next few hands are for all the chips.

There has never been a time in history that determines the fate of the world such as this one.  Fellow ZH Patriots will need to hold fast, we will recognize each other when the time comes.

flaminratzazz's picture

Yes we need a call sign to recognize one another when tshtf. anyone have any ideas besides a yellow ribbon around the old oak tree?

VWAndy's picture

 That part will be easy. We wont be the glassy eyed ones.

Mr Poopra's picture

We'll be the ones still eating well.  If you haven't been stacking or tending a garden by now, it's too late for you.

VWAndy's picture

 Being ready to barter well should be a big part of any long term plan.

Creative_Destruct's picture

Gardening and bartering and hoping the starving masses don't overrun you while you're doing both....

VWAndy's picture

 Never forget the feral are extreamly predictable. They will jump on any bait they see pretty much every time if they think the bait is good. This trick works very well on the feral.

 I was told a story about one hot girl in Poland louring many a Germans to thier deaths. They never did catch her or her friends.

Rancho Texican's picture

Kinda reminds me of the yugely successful War on Drugs.

zeronetwork's picture

Imagine how much money someone made.

CheapBastard's picture

That's another reason RE is so high in the DC area. MIC live BIG.

oops's picture

America has only Israel to thank for this catastrophe.

mayhem_korner's picture

Being ready to barter well should be a big part of any long term plan.


Depends on your definition of "long term."

fauxhammer's picture

The zombies will be wearing blue sunglasses.

VWAndy's picture

 I wonder if they told the rank and file oathtakers the plan is for the USA to go down hard and fast yet.

VWAndy's picture

 Yes kiddies we will go down like Poland did in ww2. Our super special government will actually do most of the damage.

Million Dollar Bonehead's picture

$5 Trillion? A small price to pay to place righteous fear into the hearts of Dearest Lord Hillary's future subjects. By the Stars of Ishtar she will rule you all in peace if you bow and work. But woe unto those who would presume to question her, for her wrath is unquenchable. Praise be to Wise Anat and may the Eye of Providence smile upon the Dearest.

Bill of Rights's picture

Tyler, would you ban this nut job once and for all...

Mustafa Kemal's picture

Bill, MDB is a ZH pet. We all love him/her/it.

Captain Chlamydia's picture

He is a great satirical cynic. Do not underestimate the power of ridicule. Loads of those in power have lost all, because of satire, either in words or picture. 


Keep it up MDB! 

GUS100CORRINA's picture


Well Done Mr. President ... Well Done.

GUS100CORRINA's picture


Well Done Mr. President ... Well Done.

Scroby's picture

Just so I'm clear -- she's the same kind of Lord as Voldemort, right?

East Indian's picture

Ah, finally I got it. You are being sarcastic all this while...

Sorry. Mea culpa.

Upvoted you.

Bill of Rights's picture

And COPS don't forget the COPS...

SmackDaddy's picture

name the joo:  RUMPELSTILZCHEN!!!!!!!!!!!!

AllBentOutOfShape's picture

But... but.... "it is worth reminding ourselves of how lucky we are to be living in the most peaceful, most prosperous, most progressive era in human history."

J Jason Djfmam's picture

Let's hope the winner of this war won't be experiencing "The Road" on a worldwide scale.

Jack's Raging Bile Duct's picture

Yeah, and WWI was to end all wars too. Yawn.

larz's picture

What we need is for the government to wage all out war on the middle class  it's our only hope

VWAndy's picture

 The bankers own both sides of the WOT and are making a killing on it. Same as the war on some drugs.

post turtle saver's picture

so, it appears we got the same result with the 'war on terror' that we got with the 'war on poverty' and the 'war on drugs'... namely, never ending conflict... that, by inspection, will never be resolved... as the government entities set up to address them have more incentive to justify their existence than solve the problem...

great, just great...

Radical Marijuana's picture

The banksters were able to skim the cream of the profits from making drugs illegal.

& For a few Centuries, it has become the case that All Wars Are Bankers’ Wars:

Money is NECESSARILY measurement backed by murder.

However, one can not expect Zero Hedge content to address it!

Since civilization has become almost totally based upon ENFORCING FRAUDS, which are becoming exponentially more fraudulent, everyone is socially successful to the degree that they have adapted to THAT by becoming the best available professional hypocrites, despite that advancing impossible ideals causes the opposite to actually happen in the real world.

Thousands of years of social success based upon being able to back up lies with violence has resulted in civilization manifesting runaway criminal insanities, as demonstrated by its combined money/murder systems becoming globalized electronic monkey money frauds, backed by the threat of force from apes with atomic bombs:


JuliaS's picture

You're having a war on terror?! Well, what does the war create?

Huckleberry Pie's picture

A win win for gov...

brada1013567's picture

I like this one better than the war on drugs, cant wait for the next war on from the morons

Radical Marijuana's picture

The historical pattern is for the abilities to enforce frauds to become exponentially more fraudulent, due to the underlying exponential progress in physical science and technology enabling those enforced frauds to become astronomically amplified by orders of magnitude.

It does no practical good to learn that events like those on 9/11/2001 were an inside job, false flag attack, which were deliberately designed to get the "War on Terror" going as a self-fulfilling prophesy. The more one learns about how civilization operates according to the methods of organized crime, the worse that gets. The "War on Terror" is many times WORSE than the "War on Drugs," which tends to be why the "War on Drugs" may be allowed to wind down, while the "War on Terror" winds up.

It is politically impossible to have any relatively rational debates regarding any important political issues. Theoretically, politics should be applied human ecology. However, the history of successful warfare based upon backing up deceits with destruction has resulted in the established death control systems becoming based upon what was the maximum possible deceits, while the continued progress in physical science drives those entrenched systems to become exponentially more deceitful.

My opinion is that NOBODY is going to survive the degree to which globalized Neolithic Civilization is manifesting runaway criminal insanities. There are no practical ways to prevent the vicious spiral of political funding enforcing frauds from automatically continuing to get worse faster ... The "War on Drugs" was about 75% the "War on Marijuana." Only a civilization that was completely crazy and corrupt to the core could have criminalized cannabis. Such a civilization is headed toward committing collective suicide, to the degree that it would take a series of miracles to prevent that tragic trajectory ... Although one may derive some philosophical consolations from contemplating that the laws of nature never stop working, the realities of human history have driven the development of a civilization which is too terminally sick and insane to recover from having become as criminally insane as it has actually become.

In my view, it has become futile to bother to better understand the so-called "War on Drugs," which segued into the "War on Terror," because the bottom line conclusions are that better understanding those kinds of runway collective insanities can not do anything practical to prevent those from still automatically getting worse, faster ... While one may superficially avoid being personally duped by the ways that civilization is based upon being able to back up lies with violence, there continues to be practically NOTHING that one can do to change the overall ways that backing up lies with violence continues to develop at about an exponential rate.

LadiesLoveCoolJames's picture

But oh man, the bomb factory parking lot is filled with shiny new cars. It's our only industry left.

Erek's picture

The first step in preventing future terrorism would be to admit that our current strategy isn’t working.

Actually, the first step in preventing terrorism is to get rid of the terrorists sitting in the seats of government.

KnuckleDragger-X's picture

This is about right since they could screw up a orgy in a whorehouse. Reliance on experts with no real experience is going to get a lot of people killed....

Vlad the Inhaler's picture

45,000 people every year die from suicide and the number one best selling drug is an anti psychotic.  How about we spend some money to fix that?  Since 2001 more Americans killed each other in Chicago than were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. How about we spend some money to fix that?  Forget the terrorists, turn off the MSM propaganda and the Kardashians, and get your fucking head straight America.

flaminratzazz's picture

Being Chitcongo is indeed a mess and Amerikans are being killed, then by rights that is terrorism so to fix it the only thing the MIC can figure is to cluster bomb the fvk out of them from dusk till dawn.


I bet that would work actually.

Vlad the Inhaler's picture

I'd bet they stop killing each other if you spent five trillion dollars on it.

Aubiekong's picture

Poor diet and lack of exercisesare the #1 reasons people get depressed....

Vlad the Inhaler's picture

And the #1 reasons people become terrorists are that their stupid religion won't let them drink beer and look at titties.

SmedleyButlersGhost's picture

Maybe these so called suicide bombers are actually just  guys exploding because of severe blue balls

Kidbuck's picture

Solution to Both cases is not to spend any more money. Simply Quit subsidizing shit heads in Chicago and diaper heads in middle east. Both sets would have to get productive jobs or starve.

khnum's picture

Keep on creating those enemies to justify those big budgets for the military industrial complex so it can keep systematically destroying and looting the worlds resorces to support that precious petrodollar

Rainman's picture

I seriously believe that $5 tril is a low lowball estimate.