America’s War on Terror began in October 2001 one month after the horrific September 11th Attacks which killed 3,000 people and destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon. For many the 9/11 Attacks marked a clash of civilizations between the West and the Muslim World. For many Christians and Muslims the 9/11 Attacks and the War on Terror that followed marked a new Holy War between Christianity and Islam.
In another post I mentioned I was 9 when the 9/11 Attacks happened. Growing up in a post 9/11 World as well as a Christian Family, I remember the rise in Anti-Islamic attitudes in the church after the attacks and Christian Television often times talking about a new Holy War between Christianity and Islam. The Islamic Terrorists such as the Al Qaeda were certainly intent on waging a jihad against Christians and Jews and the United States. The War on Terror has been compared to the Crusades of the Medieval Times.
Let’s talk about how the War on Terror was carried out. The 1st target was Afghanistan. Afghanistan was the country harboring Osama Bin Laden and the Al Qaeda Organization. The ruling Taliban Regime at the time refused to cooperate with the US from 1996-2001 when it came to terrorism and they supported Osama Bin Laden. The US began a full scale invasion on Afghanistan in October 2001. The US overthrew the Taliban and obliterated the Al Qaeda training camps but failed to get Osama Bin Laden until 2011. The USA embarked on a nation building mission in Afghanistan from 2002 onwards and occupied Afghanistan until 2021.
The 2nd target in the War on Terror became Yemen 🇾🇪 . The US began launching drone strikes in Yemen on the Al Qaeda branch in Yemen known as the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
The 3rd target became Iraq 🇮🇶 In March 2003 the US invaded Iraq and overthrew the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. Iraq had nothing to do with the September 11th Attacks and they also didn’t have any of the weapons of mass destruction the US had alleged they had.
The 4th target became 🇵🇰 Starting in 2004 the United States began drone strikes in Western Pakistan to strike at terrorists who operated there.
The 5th Target became Somalia 🇸🇴 In the United States began military operations in Somalia. Somalian Pirates started becoming a major problem for international cargo ships beginning around 2000. In 2002 the US began operations against Somalian Pirates for ocean security. In 2007 the US began using airstrikes and drone attacks on the Al Shabab Group in Somalia that is affiliated with the Al Qaeda.
Another country the US got more involved in the War on Terror was the Philippines 🇵🇭 From 2002-2015 Operation Enduring Freedom took place. The US sent many of its military troops to join the Filipino Army in fighting against Filipino Jihadist Groups such as Abu Sayyaf who have killed Americans and other foreigners in the Philippines.
As the War on Terror turns 20 let’s talk about how these went.
The US War in Afghanistan has been a failure. The original objective in 2001 was to go after the Al Qaeda and their training camps. It was not supposed to be a nation building campaign. In 2002 the George W Bush Admin decided to try and make Afghanistan a free country as if it were some moral responsibility to do it. The US wanted to try to be the saviours of Afghanistan. The United States spent $2 trillion in Afghanistan. The US attempted to put a new government in Afghanistan. To train up a new Afghan Army and Police. Rebuild Afghanistan’s roads and buildings. Try to destroy the opium production in Afghanistan. The US spent $90million dollars in 19 years on the opium mission and it still failed. The US should have never attempted to destroy heroin in Afghanistan. It really isn’t our job. To this day Afghanistan still produces 80% of the world’s opium and heroin. The US puppet government in Afghanistan was very corrupt, weak, and incompetent. When the US put a new government in Afghanistan in 2002, some really terrible warlords like Abdul Dostum were included in this new government.
Lots of horrible Afghan warlords were given positions in the new US Puppet Government from 2002 onwards and it was a really corrupt recipe. Billions in US Foreign Aid to Afghanistan was wasted because men like Dostum embezzled that money for themselves. Afghanistan is called the graveyard of empires for a reason. I wrote a past post dedicated to what wrong in Afghanistan. No one has ever won a war there. 20 years after being overthrown the Taliban ended up returning to power and the US Puppet Government in Afghanistan collapsed within weeks. Many of the US trained Afghan Soldiers gave up without a fight and fled the country.
How did things go in Yemen? Not any better. Yemen has been a historically unstable country for many decades. Many civil wars happened in Yemen in the 1970s and 1980s and one in 1994. The Al Qaeda established a cell in Yemen around 1992. It was in 2000 that Al Qaeda terrorists attacked a US Navy Ship in a suicide bomb attack. The USS Cole. And in 1992 the Al Qaeda carried out a hotel bombing attack in 1992.
Since 2002 the US began carrying out drone strikes in Yemen. To this day the Al Qaeda are still functioning and fighting in Yemen. The government of Yemen collapsed in 2015 and has been in a total civil war since. The Shia Houthis Group, the Al Qaeda, and many other factions are fighting for control in Yemen. It has been a disaster.
Then there is Iraq. Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks. The US invaded Iraq in 2003 claiming Iraq was in possession of dangerous weapons of mass destruction. The Bush Administration was trying to connect Osama Bin Laden to Saddam Hussein. None of this was true. Iraq had been accussed since 1991 of pursuing a nuclear weapons program, biological weapons, and chemical weapons. The irony was the US was friends with Saddam Hussein in the 1980s when Iraq was at war against Iran.
Here is a picture of Donald Rumsfeld in 1983 shaking hands with Saddam Hussein in 1983. This is very ironic since Rumsfeld 20 years later in 2003 advocated for the invasion of Iraq and removal of Saddam Hussein as our Secretary of Defense. Iraq did not become our enemy until they invaded Kuwait in 1990. I have to say that Iraq in 2003 was not a threat any longer to anyone. The 1991 Gulf War had decimated their military capabilities. The international sanctions placed in Iraq from 1990-2003 had crippled their economy. The US bombed Iraq several times in 1991, 1993, 1996, 1998, and in 2001. This killed many innocent Iraqis and only caused them to hate the US even more. So when the US Invaded Iraq in 2003, many Iraqis were not happy to be invaded. They had a vendetta against the US for all the previous bombings and devestating sanctions. Let’s also not forget there were many Christians in Iraq prior to the 2003 Invasion. Life only got worse for Christians in Iraq since 2003!
Did the Iraqis really need to go through all of this suffering? NO. Ever since 2003 Iraq has been in total chaos. It is completely unstable and violent. Yes Saddam Hussein and his government were a brutal regime, but the chaos that continues to this day in Iraq is worse. There is more I want to say about this. Those who were against going to war in Iraq in 2002 were shamed by their families and American Society. The American Media criticized anyone who was against wanting to invade Iraq. We even briefly re-named french fries “freedom fries” because France did not want to join in the Invasion of Iraq. How petty and stupid.
How has Somalia gone?
The US airstrikes in Somalia have not fixed anything. Somalia has been in Civil War since the 1980s. It has been in complete anarchy since. They have not had a government since 1991. The Al Qaeda affiliate in Somalia Al Shabab is still very active. The Al Shabab group is also not a GLOBAL terrorist threat since the farthest they have ever gone beyond Somalia’s borders is Kenya. They are are worth the time to fight against. Many Somalian non-combatants were killed in these drone strikes, which fueled resentment against the USA in Africa. At the beginning of 2021, the US withdrew its last troops from Somalia and the airstrikes have stopped.
The US War on Terror has been extremely flawed. Some of the countries most responsible for funding and supporting terrorism have never been held accountable for it. The biggest culprits are Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
Osama Bin Laden was from Saudi Arabia and 15 out of the 19 hijackers in the 9/11 attacks were also from Saudi Arabia.
There has been more and more evidence linking Saudi Government Officials and Saudi Charities to helping some of the hijackers. It is also well known that many wealthy men in Saudi Arabia donate to the Al Qaeda and other Jihadist Groups. The US Government has tried to downplay this. The US is honestly so addicted to oil from Saudi Arabia, they will never say anything negative about Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is just as terrible as Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. It is a brutal monarchy and Islam is the only religion allowed. Radical Islam is promoted by the Saudi Monarchy.
And Pakistan is another country that is a very active state sponsor of terrorism. In 2011 Pakistan was caught harboring Osama Bin Laden during the Navy Seal Raid on his compound in Pakistan. Pakistan supports terrorism in the region. The Pakistani Government supports terrorist bombing attacks against their enemy India and support terrorism in Afghanistan. The Pakistanis provide safe haven to terrorists in their country.
After the 9/11 Attacks then President George W Bush said that countries that support and harbor terrorists would be punished. It never applied to Saudi Arabia or Pakistan. The War on Terror cannot be realistically won.
The US Military Interventions did not help in spreading the Gospel like some Christian Leaders said it would. The US Military interventions had nothing to do with Christianity or Spreading the Bible to the Muslim World. The senior pastor at my church once said in a sermon in 2015, “Bombing hasn’t worked” in regards to trying to spread Christianity in the Muslim World. He is right, it hasn’t.
There has been a lot of lies on the war on terror. Just like the War on Drugs this is just another forever war. Eventually the United States will run out of money to continue these crusades and campaigns. Also nation building clearly does not work.
We will always have evil in this world and terrorism. Until Jesus comes back. When the Lord Jesus return He will judge this planet and end this evil. The USA will never take His place. Amen.
7 responses to “America’s War on Terror 20 Years Later”
Thank you for this very informative and astute post. Our supposed ‘War on terror’ seems to be propaganda with nefarious political motives.
Nobody mentions the possible role of the CIA. In the early 1990s, while advocating for Armenia during Azeri invasion, we found that the CIA was involved, created a phony company called Megaoil. While ostensibly there to increase oil production, they were actually training a ‘private army’ of mercenaries. That’s a violation of US law.
We may never know how decisions are actually made, what motivations really are, and what the strategic outcomes are expected. Politics are very calculated.
Only believers have the Gospel truth that frames these events. Understanding that Satan is the ruler of this world and given authority over the “kingdoms of this world”, gives light and perspective to our government and all others.
I always appreciate your posts Joseph, they are succinct and provoking. These informative overviews teach us not to trust the ways and things of this world.
God bless you brother.
(I hope this comment’s not too long!!)
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My article was a very long one. So a very long comment matches it well. Oil and Politics it is very sordid. Thank you for sharing that info about the CIA and Azerbaijan. I didn’t know that.
I kind of touched on it in my post but it makes me angry to think how many Christians could have been killed in these countries like Iraq by US airstrikes. And many Christian Leaders like D James Kennedy advocated for the invasion of Iraq. Christians who were against invading Iraq in 2002 and 2003 were not well received by fellow Christians. I remember that well within my own family back then and Christian Television. This did not help our brothers and sisters in Iraq 😢
I pray that the US will not invade any new countries right now after the failure in Afghanistan. Come Lord Jesus is our hope
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Brother, you’ve once again highlighted our needed focus in all this – the body of Christ, our brethren in the world, and the honor and witness of God.
Thank you for always standing upon this call. All else pales beside it.
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I appreciate this article. The US is responsible for ISIS. I would also caution that men and women who serve do not know where they will be called to serve, so please be mindful/nuanced. My husband is a Christian who served for 22 years and was deployed to every country you’ve written about this year. His country called on him and he dutifully went. I do pray for Christians in the region. We in the USA cannot even begin to fathom history/tribalism like Afghanistan and the Middle East. Blessings, brother! I am interested in what you will write on next!!
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Thank you for reading this article. It is time to have an honest look at the past 20 years. My frustration is not on the soldiers serving, it is on members of congress and the the defense contract companies. And The Presidential Administrations that launch these wars. The horrible disasters in Lebanon in 1983 and Somalia in 1993 alone should cause these people in power to not send troops there. I hope we do not invade any more countries for a long time. Before the pandemic there were Senators like Marco Rubio and Lindsay Graham wanting to invade Venezuela
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I agree with you about the discussion, for sure! I read your article as soon as you posted it but took time to process before responding. It is harder to discern tone in written communication than in verbal. I did not want the US enter Venezuela. We have enough issues here without telling other places how to live.
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